Written by: Emina Divković
The times are such that no one is suprised to see a dog on the street. This has become a normal occurence to all of us. I am not even suprised by a wave of thoroughbred dogs roaming the streets. Humans have long ago stopped differentiating between living beings and things, so when they get old or boring, they throw their best friend out on the street. People move swiftly through life, taking each step down the street without noticing a single abandonded soul. They don’t even offer them a look, let alone a touch.
Still, everyone noticed him because it was impossible to ignore him. His large body and sleepy eyes did not leave anyone feeling apathetic. We watched him for a few days, but when we saw that his presence evoked fear and jitters, we had to take him to a shelter. We all know what happens to dogs who are perceived as dangerous.
However, Jumbo was everything but dangerous. The presenence of his large body scared people, but in reality he was only lost and confused. He was abandoned, alone, and left to fate. Jumbo was not a resourcefull street dog who was going to find his way somehow. Jumbo is a fullbred Brazilian Fila, which until yesterday ate out of a bowl and had walked around someone’s yard.
What happened to his owner that led him to leave Jumbo in the street at mercy of god’s will? Maybe he wanted a big agressive dog, but Jumbo did not fit that profile, or maybe he grew too much? We will never know…
He ended up on the street like many others. While others were more agile and skillful, Jumbo was just a scared giant. He is a small soul trapped inside of an enormous body. His legs shiverred when we first brought him to the shelter. His gaze was down and his ears were lowered as if he was asking for all of this to just end quickly.
We could not offer him much, just a free box, food and a casual touch. In the beginning it was most important to us that no one hurt him.
Jumbo did not do well in the shelter, it was too loud and stressful, so despite receiving adequate food, he began to lose weight. During the most critical period he only had 27 kg. Wounds started opening up across his body and it was frightening just to look at him. We didn’t know if the shelter was the problem, or if he missed his owner, a warm bed or what else, but it was horrible to see how we were slowely and surely losing him. The veterinarians were unable to help, they just advised us to shorten his misery – in essence, one dog more or less.
But we couldn’t just let him go! We couldn’t surrender because we fell in love with him! Only one woman who would visit him was able to entice a single wag of his tail. With a look full of hope he was telling her, „Help me!“
A decision was made! Jumbo had to temporarily go with his new mom. Unfortunately, that wasn’t easy to pull off because the woman already had 17 rescue cats, two dogs, and a number of feathered animals. But, she had to make room for Jumbo too.
Jumbo moved to his new home and we had hope that progress was made. Step by step things were returning back. Jumbo was gaining weight once again and his wounds were healing.
With time Jumbo became frisky! He became a happily silly dog whom you had to love no matter what he did. You could do anything you wanted to him, but you couldn’t get too close to Dina (the woman who took him in). He loved her unconditionally, followed her every step and reacted to her every word. Their love was mutual and strong but painful because we knew that he couldn’t stay there.
How could we destroy his world once again? How could we ruin the sense of life in those eyes full of hope? We gave everything to find him a new home, but because of his size that did not go easily.
One day after we have lost all hope, we received two calls, which has never happened before, from two young ladies who were interested in offering Jumbo a home.
Months passed by, we were checking potential homes and in the end we decided on Sindy. The only worry was how Jumbo would get along with her two dogs. Excitement and tension was present in all of us, and you can only imagine what it was like for the two almond-color eyes in tears to see him off.
Sometimes you have to give up a piece of your own heart in order to help. Sometimes you must say goodbye even though your soul is fighting against it. Sometimes you must walk across thorns in order to reach the stars.
Jumbo experienced everything in order to finally enjoy unconditional love and blessing. He is happy and we are proud of his strong soul and our determination. He is one of our big successes and strength for another tomorrow.
When things start going down hill, we remember him and remember that nothing is impossible.