When Joanna brought in a hedgehog who had been confined in a cage with another male hedgehog and was in bad shape years ago, she thought she had found her purpose. If left alone, male hedgehogs, like other male animals, will fi.g.ht. Banjan required attention since he had lost his ears due to fi,g,h,ting with his prior owner and was infested with insects and parasites.
Over the months it took to nurture him back to health, Joanna and her spouse, Rory, fell in love with animal rescue. Several of their local rescues benefit from their work with furry, feathery, and scaled species, including Doolittle’s Animal Rescue and Freshfield Animal Rescue in the United Kingdom. They’ve taken in a variety of animals in need, including birds, ducks, cats, and dogs, as well as a few foster failures!
Their animals’ well-being is always on their minds. While on vacation in Bulgaria, the couple brought dog food with them to feed the several stray dogs they discovered. A tiny street puppy they rescued from a highway served as their keepsake. He eventually joined them in the UK after a British foster carer in Bulgaria dealing with Doolittle’s Animal Rescue healed him back to health. Shuck, as he was given the name, is now well and pleased in his new home.
While rescuing and fostering animals may bring a lot of joy and happiness, it can also cause a lot of grief. Joanna and Rory’s new foster child, has everything.
They learned about Migoi from the Bulgarian family that cared for Shuck while he was recovering from his life as a stray. Migoi had been treated in a horible way, unthinkable a.b.u.s.e when just a puppy. He was kept on a short chain outside in the cold as a “watch dog.” For his age, he was underweight because he had been starved and not been active. His cruel owner had taken away his ears and eyes.
Migoi was being looked after by Maxime, a Bulgarian foster mother who had previously cared for more than 40 dogs. He had a family set up to adopt him in the United Kingdom, but while waiting to be transported, they changed their minds, stating he was “too ugly.”
Though some dogs are afraid of people after being mis..t.r.e.a.ted, Migoi was eager to be loved! “Despite all of that, he is the loveliest boy, completely in love with humans,” Joanna told.
“It’s been a difficult few months learning how to look after a blind dog, how to defend him, and how to assist him gain confidence.” We put up baby gates to keep him off the stairs and decided to get rid of everything that might get in his way or cause danger. We bought him a fountain so he could hear where the water was coming from, and we placed scented candles around all of the other water bowls in the house. We learned how to alert him to a potential stumbling block.”
“The struggle for his eyes has been the most difficult of all; it took a long time to control the significant eye irritation caused by the damage to his eyes.” We just discovered that he has retinal detachment and glaucoma in his right eye, necessitating its removal. It was a major hit, but it made us want to fight even harder for his second eye, which is slated for surgery next month. A surgery that would restore sight to one of his eyes and return to him what someone else thought was rightfully taken away. ”
Even though Migoi couldn’t see, Joanna and Rory tried everything they could to give him the comfort to wander around their house. They were successful in keeping him safe and getting him the medical help he needed, but there were additional obstacles they didn’t anticipate and weren’t sure how to overcome. Thankfully, another family member was willing to assist.
“We were advised before Migoi came that he was a lively boy who required special attention. He was practically bouncing off the walls the first day, creating so much noise and rumpus. We couldn’t bear to leave him alone for even a second… We just discovered that’s how he shows he’s stressed after we got to know him. When something scared him, he would cry or bark at strange noises or dogs, which meant that he was afraid, not aggressive.
“One of the saddest things was discovering that he couldn’t play; he had no clue how to interact with the toys we gave him, but it wasn’t us who could explain it; it was Shuck.”
“He carefully looks after and educates his younger sibling. He teaches him how to be more self-assured, and Migoi repays the favor by assisting Shuck in breaking through his shell. Migoi struggled with his courage at first, and he was scared of other dogs. Our dog walking club in the park was responsible for the first success. Migoi chose to make acquaintances after noticing that all of those dogs were buddies with his older brother Shuck. ”
“Whenever we take Migoi to the vet, we also bring Shuck.” Their attachment got so deep that he now acts as Migoi’s support dog, keeping him relaxed during the process.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Migoi will always be with us.” We are terrible foster parents and can’t imagine giving up our newborn son! We’re hoping that the surgical procedure will save one of his eyes, which will boost his confidence. We’re hoping to take him and Shuck backpacking across Europe once he’s ready. ”
“We feel Migoi should be able to enjoy a normal life with other dogs, including being able to run free and play off-leash with them.” Working through his self-esteem issues and teaching him obstacle commands allows him to be that dog. ”
“We don’t believe his disability should restrict him in any way, any more than it should limit any other blind dog… Any dog, if Migoi can do it, can do it. Of course, keeping him safe is more difficult and time-consuming, but it is our responsibility as his parents.
“In just a few months, our kid has come a long way, and he still has a long way to go, but we will be there to support him every step of the way.”