In March of 2018 I returned back to Romania to help to educate people about the amazing capabilities of rescue dogs. I am the very first Romanian rescue assistance dog to do this in the world so I'm pretty proud of that.
I am a fully qualified assistance dog for Tess who is on the Autistic Spectrum so I was allowed to fly in the cabin! Very posh.
After my success at Crufts Tess wanted to do some more research into guarding breeds (as I am crossed with two). Many of my breed come to the UK but sadly are given back into rescue or put to sleep as there is not enough information about my specific breeds and our guarding traits.
We flew from Luton airport with Wizz Air. The airport staff were amazing. Tess was terrified and doubting the whole trip. The staff were so kind and helpful and we boarded without any problems. The pilot even came to say hello to me!
We had been invited by Alina Rusu Associate Professor, PhD (Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education, Babes-Bolyai University ) to attend a lecture for her animal psychology students. She wanted us to tell our story and to show them the incredible animal human bond that we have.
Two TV news stations had heard about us and wanted to interview us. We also had to give an interview to a leading newspaper. I felt quite a star!
We arrived at the University and it was really hot inside but Tess said that I behaved with impeccable manners. We were interviewed by Cluj TVR and after the lecture we went to the local park and Digi TV filmed us too.
A group of children and their parents came past looking in astonishment as in Romania you don't see dogs like me walking down the busy streets in town. The parents said their children could come and stroke me which was nice.
The following day we met up with Ray Dorgelo from Canine Efficiency who works and trains livestock guard dogs (LGD's). Ray came to UK the following month after our return to do a special lecture for the staff at Wood Green and I was a special guest. Tess told me that our mission was to educate people about the guarding behaviours and genetics of Romanian shepherds. This was to help them understand that the ones going back into rescue far too frequently is a result of being placed in wrong and inexperienced homes.
We then met with George Mosoi from Dog Assist - Terapie Asistata de Animale. He was very interested in meeting me and hearing about my training and the therapy work.
We also met with Vlad Vancia a Biologist at Societatea Română de Antrozoologie. He is also a dog behaviour consultant who writes for a radio station about animals. He was very interested in discussing the reward based training that we do as he is very keen to change the way that people train dogs in Cluj.
There is another organisation in Bucharest who are using rescue dogs to train as therapy dogs. This is something Tess wanted to support with me so we will return next year to see how we can help.
I am a leading ambassador for rescue and I am helping changing perceptions about rescue dogs in Romania.
I returned home to share my story, it was a very emotional journey. We returned to my birthplace. I was just a little puppy but I have left such humble and dangerous beginnings and returned with so many achievements. I am loved by many people worldwide and I feel very blessed.