I never thought you would become the friend I never had.
So it's March, which is supposed to be the month dedicated to women and mothers, right? I think I am going to make an exception. To me, March is a great deal also about my dad and how he has inspired me in my work with dogs.
In Romania, we have this tradition called Martisor. On the 1st of March, men give women small symbolic brooches attached to an intertwined red and white ribbon. White represents purity, red means life. So purity and life intertwined together, attached to a small symbolic brooch that women proudly wear in the first days of March. Over the years, especially if you're popular, you do get to stack up quite a few dozen, if not hundreds of these Martisor's. But to me, only one Martisor is meaningful, and it's the only one I've been wearing every single spring, for the past 25+ years. It's the first Martisor I ever received from my dad when I was a little girl:
It's the tiny pink pen made out of cheap metal, but to me it's priceless and I would not trade it for gold nor diamonds. It's the first ever Martisor I ever received from my dad. And it's over a quarter of a century old. Over the years, I've also attached to it a little white and pink dog representing my complete devotion to this species. And this March, it finally hit me: for quite a few good years I've been wearing a pen and a dog. How accurate is my Martisor for describing my life: writing for and about dogs!
My dad has inspired a great deal of my love for dogs and "sense" for their behavior. I was a kid and I remember watching him as he was dealing with a fearful-aggressive dog in the countryside that had escaped from his owners and no one dared to approach him. My dad was simply breathtaking. I don't know if it took half an hour, an hour or even longer, time has simply stopped for me as I was observing him. He just stood there, gradually earning the trust of that dog everyone else was fearing, and in the end could pet it and gently get a hold if its collar and take it home to its owner with the dog willingly coming along. It was one of those wow moments I'll always remember. My dad, a natural. He did not need training, he has always had that "feeling" about dogs. I like to think and hope that I have also inherited this "feeling" from my dad.
It does not mean my relationship with my dad has always been smooth and perfect. No way. We both have our rough edges, we're both stubborn mules more often than not. But over the years he has become an unbelievable support and anchor for me and my work. Driving countless times with me and dogs to the airport for dogs' departures, driving so many times to the little puppy center and to vet clinics, yet also correcting me and telling me off when I go too far. It's great to have a sensitive yet rational solid rock by my side to count on. That's my dad. In the words of a Spice Girls song, I never thought that with time he would become the friend I never had.
The March appeal is dedicated to my dad. This month I want him to be proud of me. So this month, I am hoping to be able to sterilize 100 animals as part of our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge. That's my biggest wish for March. In addition, any help towards dog food and veterinary needs for the strays we're looking after would be highly appreciated. If you can also foster or want to adopt one of the strays in our care, that would be the cherry on top.
Our organization Paypal is firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, our bank account info is listed on the right side of this blog, and we're equally happy to receive instead donations in products such as dog food, flea treatments, etc.
Thank you dearly!