So, what would you like to know about me? I'm a Carpathian cross Mioritic - what a mouthful! I was just a few weeks old when I was rescued from a traveller camp in Transylvania along with my two sisters. My owner, Tess, had asked her friend to look out for a large breed puppy like me. Luckily I was chosen that day as my future would have been on a chain with no food and beaten. But that day my life was changed forever by being rescued. I went into foster care and had early training via WhatsApp here in the UK to ensure that my socialisation started from an early age. After 4 months I travelled across Europe to the UK and met my mum whose voice I already knew. We had an instant, unbreakable connection.
I was sent to school soon after arriving - Tess says puppy lifeskills and training are really important. Tess returned to Transylvania to find out about my background and research my breed. She met my brother Raffy, sister Gabby and my mum Tutty who had a litter of puppies every season and was in a terrible condition. All three are now rescued by Tess and are now safe.
Once home Tess had three large teenage male dogs and we were all hard work so she went to the behaviour consultant team at Wood Green and we met our special training teacher Wendy Kruger. This is when I started to stand out as being a 'very clever dog who loved to learn, especially tricks' (blushing!). I passed many exams and tests and became a therapy dog. I love visiting people and making them smile.
My mum Tess was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum and I qualified as her assistance dog.
Tess finds communication and social interaction challenging so having me gave her a purpose in life and a reason to smile again. It also set her on the path of being an advocate for rescue dogs. She started teaching me the ‘Do As I Do’ training method, taught by Italian scientist Claudia Fugazza. This is a new training method based on a dog’s social cognitive skills, particularly on their imitative ability.With this technique dogs learn new behaviours by observing and imitating their owners. I went on to become the first dog in the UK to pass this exam.
Last year I had the honour of becoming an ‘Ambassadog’ for IAPWA a charity which campaigns for change through uniting animal lovers worldwide who want to use their voice and act to help animals in need.
This year I became the first Romanian rescue assistance dog to return to Romania to highlight what can be achieved through love, kindness and reward based training. In Romania my breed are known for guarding and not seen as pets, so for me to become an assistance and therapy dog astounded them. I appeared on national television channels and within their major news titles and attended a lecture at the Cluj University where I met 80 animal psychology students who wanted to learn about my journey. Following this visit we helped to arrange a lecture at Wood Green about my breeds and rescue with guest speaker Ray Dorgelo who is an expert in LGD (Livestock Guard Dog). I was a very special guest of honour.
Later this year I will be campaigning for kindness with my slogan #BeKindLikeKratu. All that, plus I managed to fit in a stint as a model on billboards across the UK for internet safety.
With thousands of Romanian rescues entering the UK every year it is vital that people are armed with the knowledge of their background, their purpose, their behaviour, how to train them and how to live with them.
Thank you for following my story.