Washing them, cleaning after them, feeding them, put up with the smell, the noise, the neighbor complaints, paying for the food, the doctors and their medical care.
Basically, watching your whole universe changing and revolving around them. This is what you have to put up with as an animal lover.
A glimpse, a warm touch and some wet eyes is what you get in return. To some that is the whole world.
As a kid I was bitten by a twice my size dog. I was scared to death and on top of that I had to have my anti rabies shots. No kid fancy a puncture through his belly.
Recently, while I was working on a documentary on the outskirts of Bucharest I was surrounded by a pack of stray dogs. I slipped on ice and wasted a four thousands euros camera.
I never thought I will ever be grateful to these dogs.
When I first saw the shelter near Glina my heart melted even though I was facing a -15 degree blistering cold. Everyone would be touched by the site of snowed in animals.
But that was nothing. We often wonder where are all those wonderful people we usually read about in award winning novels.
Fortunately, and thanks to these poor creatures I was lucky enough to meet some of them.
Convinced royalists, opticians, strategists, tourist guides, they all share the same love.
Some where borne with this gene, other learned how to care and love an animal through the love they have for their own children.
If you would ever meet them you would recognize there is something special about them.
You would not be able to say what makes them so special until you pay them a home visit.
They are the doers. They don’t just preach their love for animals. They act on it and they show responsibility.
My first encounters where with those that jumped in and gave proper shelter to the freezing dogs once the snow storms badly hit south eastern Romania.
They have their own dogs, but more than that they have their own problems.
Yet they could not stand and watch animals suffer. Many of them ended adopting some of the poor souls they thought they will only temporarily shelter.
Later I met those who decided to adopt some of the dogs that where offered temporarily shelter. The adoption is an extremely touching moment.
Signing the adoption papers it’s a solemn moment that validates your love through assumed responsibility.
Because they love the animals they feel no burden. Their love takes and immense toll on their lives and their relationships. I would say it’s a test. The test of their own humanity.
Those that they take it, make the world a better place.
For in such an unconditioned love lays our salvation. If we learn to love each other as these people love their pets, our survival as a species will never be in doubt anymore…