Pedros story: “For some reason I found myself wandering around the Sanctuary of Aphrodite. I felt the sun on my back as I wandered around areas that were now becoming familiar to me. I had company with the staff who fed me tit bits. I don’t know if I was lonely, I think I was, as I really looked forward to seeing the tourists come and go as they would always give me a clap so this told me I needed people in my life. I think my own mummy must have left me because she could only take care of herself and having a puppy like me around her paws would have made it difficult for her.
Anyway the 3rd November 2014 started like any other day. I had a wander around the Sanctuary exploring, wanting to play with the stray cats that I had got to know and of course had my daily tit bits from the kind staff. I sat on my usual spot looking to see who would be visiting….I could see two people in the distance. They didn’t see me at first, but I could see them. I let them have a look around and then when they were on their way out I walked over to them to say hello. One of the woman looked at me in a different way from all the others, it was a look that said we will always be near each other, was this love? I think it must have been because I had a happy feeling in my tummy and I just couldn’t stop my tail from wagging, I jumped into her arms as she snuggled close to me. She talked softly and it felt so nice. She held me for a long time. I didn’t want her to let me go, she was crying, so I decided to lick her tears away, this made her smile. She told me she didn’t want to leave me but she couldn’t take me with her. The other person came over and clapped me and said nice things about me. I didn’t want either of them to go, but they did. I felt a bit alone again as I watched them walk away. However this wasn’t my ending, it was just my beginning………
Wendy & Rhona: Well we decided to visit The Sanctuary of Aphrodite on the 3rd November, it was a beautiful day and we had hired a car so after the trip to the Sanctuary our plan was to visit Limassol. We spent some time at the Sanctuary exploring, Rhona went to see another part of the Sanctuary and while she was away I spotted a small head above a wall. I walked over and realised it was a puppy!! Where we found Pedro!
My heart melted the moment I set eyes on that gorgeous face…I said hello and the puppy jumped into my arms. I cried as I felt sorry for its vulnerability, no mum or dad, no brothers or sisters and according to staff the wee one had been alone just wandering. That was it, I was sold! Rhona arrived and could tell I was upset; I opened up my arms to show her who I had made friends with. She was quickly smitten too. We had a chat and decided we just couldn’t take the puppy home, how could we, we had to go to work every day, we had three cats and what about the travelling, the cost? It just didn’t seem practical. Our hearts were broken as we walked away because we are both massive animal lovers, we kept telling ourselves not to look back, but of course, we did. We both got into the car and didn’t exchange a word as we drove along the quiet roads in sunny Cyprus, both our thoughts churning silently. Rhona all of a sudden turned her head and said ‘we need to go back Wendy, don’t we”? I cried with joy as we turned the car around. We pulled over and looked on our phones to find dog Shelters in Cyprus. “I found one Rhona, Paws Shelter; let’s see if they can help. I’ll explain the situation”. A very comforting voice was at the other end of the phone, “Hi my name’s Matt, how can I help you”? I explained the situation and Matt listened attentively. He apologised but explained he couldn’t take the puppy as they had over 170 dogs already at the Shelter; we were distressed to hear the amount of dogs that needed a home. Matt asked me if we were considering keeping the puppy, I looked at Rhona, “are we considering keeping the puppy”? My heart was racing as I wanted a YES response and that’s exactly what I got, Rhona nodded! “That’s a yes Matt, we are”. Matt gave clear instructions and our plan of action started to unfold.
Mission 1: we had to go back to the Sanctuary and find the puppy;
Mission 2: find a pet shop for a collar and a lead (if we found the puppy);
Mission 3: Veterinary surgery at 3.00pm, that same day;
Mission 2, locate a pet shop….where, how? I went into a local shop next to the Sanctuary; a kind local who was English gave me directions to a pet shop close to Paphos. The puppy was so relaxed in the car and seemed to enjoy taking in all the views. I couldn’t stop kissing him, despite his fleas, ticks and worms, our hearts melted. We kept chatting away to our wee puppy to offer reassurance. Rhona did a brilliant job of getting us to the pet shop despite directions which were tricky to follow. I went in and had a good look around, it was brilliant, and they had everything! The woman in the pet shop was English also, she told me her name was Jill. I explained to her and her colleague about the puppy and how we didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl! Jill and her colleague made me aware they knew Matt and Paws Shelter as Jill’s husband worked there as a volunteer, small world. They came out to the car to meet the puppy. Jill told us it was a boy! Our wee boy….Jill told me that Matt and his wife Jane would probably foster the pup until we could fly him to Scotland; she said if they didn’t foster him, she would! We now had a collar and a lead and such a good wee boy who was so accepting of all these new experiences. Rhona and I had another couple of hours to kill until we could go to the vet so it was our time together, just the three of us.
On our way to the vet we thought about names and for some reason Pedro stood out. It is a Portuguese, Galician and Spanish form of the name Peter, which is derived via Latin “Petra” from the Greek word meaning Stone or Rock. We found him in a rocky region so it made sense. Pedro appeared to like his new name. Every time I said Pedro he would wag his tail. During those couple of hours we had to wait until the vet opened. We talked lots to you about your new home, the cats you would meet, Scotland, the cold weather, the walks we would have along the beach and the hills we would climb, and while we were chatting to you, you gently felt asleep in Rhona’s arms. You were so still and peaceful, our beautiful boy. We wondered if you were dreaming about all the happy times we had ahead.
We met Matt outside a Tavern (can’t recall the name of the place) and after all our introductions we followed him to the Shelter. What happened next could only be described as heart rending.
The first thing that hit us was the sound like a barking choir, a chorus of dogs. Right away Matt reassured Rhona and me that he and his wife Jane would foster Pedro until he could fly to Scotland, within 10 minutes he had secured a flight for Pedro, unbelievable. Matt gave us a tour of the amazing Paws Shelter; he knew every single dog by name. As we wandered around our hearts were breaking as Matt described the purpose of the Shelter, the difficulty with the amount of dogs they had to support and the lack of space, but do you know despite all of this Paws Shelter is by far the best place for dogs we had ever seen. It was super clean and the dogs were all really happy, as was the occasional cats wandering through! The animals had found refuge in a safe secure environment with Matt and his team of volunteers who clearly loved the animals they are caring for. Every single dog stood out for us and if we could have taken them all home we would have. It was an honour and a privilege to be let into Matt’s world just for that moment.
Pedro: I met my new foster daddy Matt; he was cool and he knew how to handle me really well. I wagged my tail for him so that shows how safe he made me feel but to be honest I didn’t quite know what was going on. My Mummies and Matt were chatting lots, then I was put into a big cage as my they went to see these other hairy creatures that could make much more noise than me. I held my paw up in the cage hoping that I would melt their hearts and they wouldn’t leave me alone, but they did! It was fine though as they came back soon after. I was so happy to see them I could have burst (well I did a little bit as I had an accident on Mummy Rhona)! I don’t know what happened next but mummy Wendy was crying AGAIN! I was in Matt's arms as my they walked away and left me with Matt, didn’t they want me, what about the adventure, the beach walks, and the hills we would climb……..this time they didn’t look back L
Wendy & Rhona: We spent the rest of our holiday talking about Pedro, checking in with Matt and Jane, thanking them over and over for what they had done for us, we could never repay their generosity in looking after our wee boy. Jane has kept me up to speed since we returned to Scotland through every part of Pedro’s time with them, video clips, photos, and messages via Facebook. Pedro has not only found a forever home with Rhona and I but also 2 foster parents who will see him grow up to be a handsome boy …and all because of the power of social media. Rhona and I have made that solemn promise to Jane and Matt. Who knows what the future holds, after all Pedro does have his own passport now so one day he may want to holiday in Cyprus to go back and see the Mummy and Daddy who loved him so much during his adventure. Pedro arrives in a cold, frosty and sunny Edinburgh today the 8th December 2014. This is where his adventure will continue. For Rhona and me it will be the start of an exciting chapter in our life and one which we will embrace full on. Pedro, the boy who stole our hearts, but we believe the last words should go to Pedro………
Pedro: I needed to be loved, and I found people who loved me, I needed to be cared for, I found people who did just that. I’m one lucky puppy who was taken out of the dark space I could have ended up in. There are others like me who need a forever home. Please help other doggies and donate to Paws Shelter. If it wasn’t for places like this dogs like me would never find a forever home.
Jane and Matt, I will always remember you both and despite being a few thousand miles away I will never forget the fun you brought into my life, I will love you both forever.
Wendy & Rhona: Pedro was brilliant when we went into the vets, although he became all macho in an attempt at what could only be described as a growl howl! It made us laugh; he clearly wanted to protect us from the other doggy in the surgery but at that point hadn’t quite mastered the art of growling. He was given a worm tablet and some flea repellent and that was him good to go! Mission 3 now ticked off the list. We got back in the car and headed towards Paws Shelter to meet our new friend Matt.
Pedro: I fell asleep in mummy Rhona’s arms as they were telling me stories about all the adventures we were going to have. I felt happy and loved. Someone wanted me. I could have slept on but Mummy Wendy woke me up gently. She wrapped me in a warm jacket and we went into a very strange place, with very strange smells. What was this furry creature that had lots of fur and was barking the way I do! I didn’t like it, was it going to hurt my mummies, I had to protect them! I felt a noise coming from my throat that was deep and dark, it bellowed out. Mummy Wendy told me not to growl,,,,so that noise was me growling then? I don’t know why I made the noise as it made no difference. The other furry creature still sat where he was. Anyway I was taken into a room; they were talking to a man who kept looking at me, checking me over. He put this weird tablet thing in my mouth and cold liquid on my neck…..I’m guessing this was to help me in some way but it tasted and smelt terrible. I trusted my mummy’s so I knew it wouldn’t do me any harm.
Wendy & Rhona: We returned to the Sanctuary and explained to the staff we were back to find the puppy and take him home with us to Scotland, they were all so happy as we knew they also wanted a happy ending for the wee one. Rhona and I searched. Rhona went one way and I went another, we called and whistled but no response, we were getting despondent. For some reason I was drawn to an area out with the Sanctuary, again I whistled and there the puppy stood, wagging the tail, the puppy had remembered me, I knew this for sure. Running at full speed towards me as we met each other, cuddling and laughing, Rhona arrived so we had a massive 3 way cuddle. “We told you we were your new mummies and that we’re taking you home to Scotland. You were our puppy, and we would love you forever”. From that moment all our life’s changed and Mission 1 had been accomplished.
Pedro: ”So I was down at my usual dirt track in the Sanctuary as it was midday and too hot for puppies, so I was lying underneath a big rock to keep me cool, I could hear a strange noise coming from the distance, whistling, I heard a woman’s voice calling out, I recognised her voice. She was calling for me, I got myself up and stood at the bottom of the dirt track my eyes were a wee bit dusty, I kept looking and all of a sudden I could see who it was. It was the two women from earlier that day. I knew from that moment my life would change forever because they had come back for me. I barked to let her know I was there and we ran towards each other, she picked me up and we cuddled the three of us held onto each other, this was my new family and they would love me forever, my two mummies”.