'Meet Luna our beautiful, bonkers Bosnian rescue dog. Like most people looking to adopt we started with in the U.K but kept coming up against two hurdles i.e a child and a cat and became very frustrated with the progress so started looking on line. We filled in countless forms and thankfully WAHF were the first to respond. Whilst we knew of the florist we were venturing into completely new territory adopting a dog from abroad and if you'd told me a year ago that we would be sitting watching a dog from Bosnia sleep on our rug I would have said you were mad. Who knew these things were even possible, WAHF did!!!
The whole process from start to finish was so simple with the brilliant Eve and WAHF team and it wasn't long before we had to agree a delivery date. Whilst we were waiting for a slot we got the news that Luna had been taken ill and it had affected her ability to travel. Once again Eve was on hand to help and put us in direct contact with the amazing Bosnian ladies who provided regular updates and videos on her recovery. We monitored her for the next few weeks but as the weather was heating up there was concern that Luna wouldn't get through the summer. We received one final video which showed Luna having made huge improvement and we made the final decision to take her. Throughout this process at no point did WAHF put any pressure on us to commit. They gave us the time and information to make an educated decision to ensure we could support Luna long term. For us there was never really any get out, we fell in love when we saw her picture and now she needed us even more.
Luna arrived with us one year ago. We picked her up from a motorway service station on a Saturday afternoon and after numerous coffees (we arrived far to early as so eager) we saw the van pull in. At one point we were concerned she wasn't on there as dog after dog got handed over but not ours. Eventually I saw her at the back and as I handed over the documents they handed this really smelly, dirty fluff ball and told me not to put her down! It all felt so surreal. I'd had dogs all my childhood and then cats all my adult life so I knew what is was to have a pet but this felt so different and so right.
From that moment she was stuck to me. I couldn't move without her coming with me. It didn't matter if it was just from one chair to another, she came along. The first few weeks were quiet while she adjusted to her new life. She was tidied up, washed numerous times and slowly started to trust the other humans who lived in her new home. Then it happened. The bark!!! She had been so quiet we thought we'd been lucky and had picked this perfect pooch who was going to fit in nicely. Oh how wrong we were.
On one hand she was extremely clever and easy to train but on the other she had so many learned bad behaviours and lack of trust in people that she was an absolute nightmare. (Luna was just over one when she came to us and had been rescued from a horrific kill shelter and had clearly had a hard start in life). Little did we know that we were about to embark on 6 months of turmoil. People couldn't come to our house as she was so loud and protective. We couldn't walk past a cyclist or person without her lunging. God forbid they had a fluorescent jacket on, then they got the full Luna treatment.
Over the next few months we had huge highs and humongous lows. The WAHF behaviourist was brilliant and did a home visit. One tip. If he comes video him. There was so much to take in we couldn't remember it all and had to email for reminders. It was so difficult to judge Lunas mood as her tail didn't work (we believe it to have been broken) so we didn't know if she was pleased, scared or just angry. She didn't know how to interact with humans and would use her teeth to get our attention. It was nothing bad but our ankles did take a bit of a bashing. Anyway with the entire family working together we made progress. Sit, stay, here etc were all pretty easy and gradually moving things (people, cars,bikes etc) didn't bother her as much. By month 6 everything started to fall into place. We had a couple of months of excellent behaviour then a relapse.
By months 9-10 we were back on track and walking 3 hours off lead along canals with bikes, people and boats. Every now and again the "bad behaviours" - we've actually named them!! pop up but we can live with that considering her background. We haven't managed to crack the special welcome she gives our visitors but it is so much improved. If you're confident and ignore her you can visit peacefully, however show her any sign of fear and she will hound you your entire visit.
As we approach one year Luna has settled into life with us and us with her. I've accepted that I will continue to see 5am more frequently than I would like and will constantly have my breakfast interrupted with a steady flow of shoes and Luna has accepted that we're an ok punch of humans to live with. She may not have a waggy tail but she does have a tummy to tickle which is presented each time we come home (and obviously at every other available opportunity). We've had our first summer BBQ where she moved amongst 13 people happily, has started swimming in the river with her dog walking pack and is making her way to Australia in our garden.
Luna still has health problems that are probably a result of living on the streets and human abuse. We don't know what the future holds but we do know that Luna has found her forever home with the help of The WAHF team.'
- Kate Sullivan