-Stelio, when did you manage to eat the pie?
-What pie?!

And in the background, on the sofa, was Leda, who was looking at us indifferently and laughing by herself, with a stomach full of cheese pie. And just like that, the days pass by, full of laughter and moments we didn’t imagine, after our decision to adopt a dog from SPAZ and its beautiful company.

Leda, our beautiful girl, is a breed of the heart, we respond when – without reason – they ask us her breed, she is 6 years old and her name is inspired by the flares, as she was found a dark night when she was a baby, and also inspired by the fireballs, because she was one of the most energetic and playful puppy of the shelter. She grew up at the shelter. The only exception was a short adoption that ended up with her being abandoned in a field. Luckily, volunteers of the shelter found her. So yes, we still maintain contact with the people of SPAZ, that helped our girl grow and we still send photos and get excited and emotional with them. And I don’t find it bad or too much, because without them, Leda wouldn’t be with us now.

When we started looking at photos of sheltered dogs, I knew that we would choose her, as her eyes were full of affection and a calmness that shocked us, and in the end, she proved herself. When you visit a shelter, the first thought and need is to take all the dogs in your car and leave, but Leda “claimed” us with dignity, and she was such a good and considerate dog that won our heart. We both were clueless about dogs, something we had to consider and the fact that our little girl already knew some things and didn’t have fears, helped us make these decisions.

Leda came to our home on 11 November of 2022, a day full of stress and awkwardness, a day we spent on the coach, trying to understand her and to realize that a furry almost 30 kilos baby had entered our home and our lives. The next days weren’t how we expected them. Not from Leda’s side, as especially the first days she needed sleep and rest. I think a part of her understood my psychology and tried to give me space and time. That’s the dog we are talking about! The thing that shattered me was that we consciously chose the adoption of an adult dog, I realized that suddenly I had a new role in life. The role of the dog mum, the role of having the responsibility of a creature that fully needs you, that claims a part of your daily life, that has an already a shaped character – as she already was 5 years old-, that carries her own experiences, and most importantly, that lived through a harsh abandonment. Every moment I was disappointed by myself, as I was blocked and in denial. And in this moment, with her patience, she made me realize that every relationship in our lives needs effort. Nothing is easy, especially at the beginning, but with a lot of love and respect, everything is possible! So, with little steps, we tried to find the balance needed and not long after, we managed to become a family and to never think of our life without our doggie.

Our Leda, started to become herself and to transform day after day and still, after a year, she continues to amaze us with the love she can give, like she was never betrayed. She becomes more and more communicative, and we can hear her voice, as she was never barking. She has a funny way to curl herself when you pet her and she loves the kisses, but she is also selective and independent, like a cat, wanting her space after a few minutes. She is still scared of vacuums (of any kind) and runs to hide. Some mornings she becomes so happy after you tell her good morning that she literally vomits from all the jumping. Leda really loves her friends, and she gets bursts of joy when they visit her. She is in love with grandpa dog Zacharias and when she sees him, she pees herself and she flirts him with her moves, waiting for him to look at her. When she feels comfortable, she becomes a ballerina as she turns on her back and flexes her left leg in the air. To make her go to the vet, the doctor must give her all the treats available. She becomes the greediest beggar in the world when she sees that you are eating, especially her favorite eggs and a good treat with cranberries. This is Leda, an amazing dog, our dog.

SPAZ, thank you for helping her grow old, with so much love, and that you trusted us with her care. We promise that we will do the best we can, with our rights and our wrongs.

Our baby Leda, thank you for coming like a flare in our life, for making us better people and for the love we give each other unconditionally.