Adopted by Nicole & Karlheinz Pilgrim – Oscar – July 1, 2011 & Roya – Sept 30, 2011 – Friedrichshafen, Germany

Our story with Roya and Oscar started about a year before they actually came to live with us for good. That was when my husband went to Iran for work. While he was there he told me on the phone that there was a beautiful stray dog which often came to the gate of the factory where she was happy to see him. From the start there has been a special connection between my husband Karlheinz and Roya which still can be seen today. He told me that she had one blind eye though and that he would like to take her with him. I replied jokingly that we already had a sweet little dog which would not tolerate any other dog in our house.

About a year later Karlheinz went to Iran again. His German colleagues and he found Roya with eight puppies that had just been born. There was snow and it was very cold. After one night two puppies had already died. Karlheinz and his colleagues knew they had to do something, so they built a crate for shelter and fed Roya. With the help of Vafa a vet came and it was decided to take the mama dog with her puppies to the shelter. The puppies were not doing too well and three died at the shelter.

At home in Germany our beloved dog Pauline died due to cancer two weeks after the puppies were born. For us it was clear at once: we wanted to get one of the dogs Karlheinz saved. But which one? Karlheinz absolutely wanted the mother dog and I had fallen in love with the puppy which looked like one of the Beagle Boys from Mickey Mouse. His eyes on the photos kept telling me: “I want to come and live with you”. After a few weeks of discussion we finally decided that each of us would get the dog they wanted and up to now it is clear to see, Oscar is my dog and Roya is Karlheinz’s dog.

Since it is not easy to transfer dogs to Germany, it took quite a while till the dogs could come to Germany. Born on the 14th February, Oscar arrived at the airport in Munich in June after a little detour and a cool holiday in California.  A frequent flyer at the age of four months, incredible! He was very happy straight away and we spent an amazing summer with Oscar growing quickly.

It was harder to get Roya’s papers ready, so that it was only at the end of September that Roya arrived in Germany: via Frankfurt she landed directly in our hometown Friedrichshafen at Lake Constance in the South of Germany. For her, the journey had been very stressful and she didn’t have an easy start at her new home. There were so many things she didn’t know and that she was afraid of, but we tried to help her getting adjusted wherever we could. Her son Oscar often led the way and helped her, too.

Now both dogs are doing fine. Oscar has become a beautiful dog who is very active and loves any kind of training. We spend about two hours a day walking through the forest and over the fields and the dogs just love that. Once a week we go to a dog school. We started agility training with Oscar and he is very good at it.

Roya is more reserved than Oscar but she is very friendly and sometimes she is very funny and outgoing. However, being a dog which has lived outside all by herself, she not only chases everything one can chase (so a long leash is necessary in the woods) but also she doesn’t really understand why she should sit or lie down or follow any commands. We’re working on it using positive affirmation and she has already improved.

We are very happy that everything turned out well and we have to say that all the effort and expenses were worth the cause. We are often asked what breed these dogs are because they are so special and beautiful and then people are surprised when they hear our great story.

Nicole Pilgrim


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