Adopted by Ghafoori Family - September 4, 2012 - Harlingen, Texas
My name is Ziba (which means "pretty"). I am an Iranian-American -- and a Texan at that!
I was born in Iran. And as my name suggests, I was a very pretty girl. Unfortunately, when I was very little, a very bad person kicked and beat me, damaging my hip severely. But a lovely angel named Hengame, who volunteers at VAFA, came to my rescue. She nurtured me and took me to the vet and got me hooked up with VAFA. (For those of you who don't know, VAFA is an incredible dog shelter, the ONLY one in all of Iran, established by another lovely angel, Fatameh Motamedi (who donated the land) and is run by dedicated and beautiful worker/volunteer souls in Hashtgerd, Iran.)
Everyone could see that I was a very special girl. So I was selected, along with my buddy Baran (which means “rain”) for possible adoption in a Furrever Loving Home in America. Unfortunately for me (but, hey, a big shout out to Baran!!!), they picked Baran
Then one day, my Mom and Dad showed up! Of course, they didn’t know they were going to be my Mom and Dad at the time, but I did J
My Mom had learned about VAFA and had been making donations. She had said that if she ever came across Hashtgerd during her trips to Iran, she would love to visit the shelter. So in August of 2012, she and my Dad were traveling to the North, and on the way out of Tehran, my Mom noticed the road sign for Hashtgerd. So she asked their guide to take detour, and after some interesting experiences asking for directions, they stumbled upon the VAFA shelter.
Mom and Dad came and said “hello,” and then Dad went inside to make a donation. Mom (not letting on to Dad!) was thinking to herself it would be pretty cool to be able to bring one of us home. So she was eyeballing and watching. I kept trying to get her attention, but I was way on the other side, and there is well over 450 of us, so I had no luck. Then mom came closer to my side to go say “hello” to the poor kids who had had amputations.
So I took my shot! I kept nibbling her arm, playing, wagging my whole body, and escaping from under my fence until she just couldn't resist me!
So then my Mom told Dad that she wanted to bring me to Texas as her birthday present. Dad asked Mr. Ali Sani if that was possible, and he instantly said "absolutely -- she can even go back on your flight with you." And my angel, Mr. Sani immediately began making phone calls and e-mails to start the process for my possible adoption!
I was so excited and nervous. I couldn't believe I might have my own family. But working out the logistics might require some magic. Because as luck would have it, the whole city of Tehran, including government and offices, was essentially shut down. A 5-day holiday had been declared in preparation for visiting nations of the Non-alliance Members (NAM), and there would only be one and a half days for official business to be conducted before Mom and Dad would be flying out.
A flurry of activity then ensued. Health certificates, shots, and permissions had to be obtained and travel arrangements made. Mom and Dad had to complete the adoption paperwork and get approval. Mom and Dad, and my Adoption guardian angel, Farah Ravon, had to play around and around phone tag and e-mail tag. I was a nervous wreck! But with everyone's dedication, the miracle materialized, and I was on my way to the airport!
It really seemed like this was just meant to be, and so many people contributed and cooperated. I breezed through the check-in process at Imam Khomeini Airport. In Amsterdam, my connecting flight, I was taken, courtesy of KLM, to their Pet Motel for a pee break, water, and a kennel change (to a much bigger one, with new newspapers -- free of charge!). Once in Texas, my Mom rented a car (the airlines connecting from Houston to their town do not transport dogs), and we drove another 7 hours to "Home."
The first night home, my Mom left my brother and sister at the Pet Ranch so I could get my bearings and rest some. The next day, we hopped in the car and drove to the Ranch and picked up my brother and sister. They thought I was one of the Ranch guests too, so they thought I would be real fun to play with and pal around with. (... Well, in truth, my sister really doesn't think ANYONE is fun to play and pal around with, and she really doesn't have much time for anyone who doesn't hunt.). So by day two, I was already up and running, and it did not take long for me to establish myself.
I now have many names. Besides Ziba, my Mom calls me "Smiley,"
"Smelly," "Zeebie," and "Zebbles." My sister has ten times that number of names, so apparently more and more names get added through the years.
Mom and Dad quickly identified that I loved being outside (although I sure know how to find my way inside when Mom is cooking!). We have lots of land, and I keep myself busy chasing all kinds of birds and the pesky dust-cropper that loves to fly overhead. I also love herding and chasing my brother, and biting his nubby tail. I serve as a "spotter" and offer moral support to my sister when she hunts squirrels. I yell at the neighbors when they boat past our house, and I really yell when they come too close to our bank. I am also an accomplished fisherwoman (although my Mom has "outed" me, and told my Dad she has figured out where and how I dig out the trapped, dead catfish out of the resaca).
Besides my outdoor activities, I love riding in the car and I love belly rubs. I also absolutely love my bedtime, and especially my dinner-time treats. Mom actually cooks special dinner stew for us (and Dad always complains that the dog/kid food smells better than his food!). If we didn't share their dinner, we would get our own stew with chicken or shank and vegetables and herbs and barley or brown rice and beans or split peas (yum!). In fact, if Mom starts getting a little skimpy, I would go on hunger strike and wouldn't eat my dog food until the treat portions were back up to par.
Unfortunately, however, I am very sad to report that a recent turn of events has put a damper on my Happy Ending story .... Mom and Dad decided to become vegetarians ;( I kid you not! I came all the way from Iran to become a vegetarian??? Who knows? Maybe if I do my Ziba dance, they'll slip in a meatball every once in awhile????