Adopted Aug 8, 2010 by Ara Serjoie

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Iran was meeting Ms. Esna-ashari and seeing Vafa animal shelter firsthand. If there is such a thing as God’swork on earth, then I truly believe she and her team are doing it. Taking care of helpless and innocent creatures with love and compassion is within all of us. However, very few of us indeed rise to the occasion and do it so beautifully and with heartfelt interest. I am honored to have met her and grateful to Lucky for bringing me to this wonderful opportunity.

I went to Iran for a couple of weeks to celebrate Nowruz with my family after 18 years; and to be at my brother’s wedding. I found Lucky on March 26th while I was taking a morning walk in Tehran. With the gyms being closed for the Iranian new year, I decided the best way to keep active during my visit was to walk around town and re-explore the familiar neighborhoods of my childhood. Anyway, I had been walking for about 1.5 hours when I came across a little furry thing on the corner of a sidewalk on one of the side streets in Mirdamad and at first thought it was a dead cat. But, as I was walking past the furry little thing, all of a sudden he lifted his head and looked at me. I realized that it was a puppy, dirty and malnutritioned, who had probably been stranded. I just froze and kept on looking at him, wondering what I could or should do. He was clearly not healthy and with the rainy season that Tehran was having, I knew he would not survive more than a couple of days.

I called my brother (who resides in Tehran) and consulted with him. After determining that there was indeed no way to find a vet at that time (Friday morning and in the middle of the holiday season) he suggested that I bring him home with me. As I walked around the corner, to see if I can find something to wrap around the puppy to pick him up, he slowly got up and followed me. He was so weak but he was still able to show the kind of affection that only comes from a puppy. I had made up my mind. I took off my jacket,wrapped it around him, picked him up, and started walking towards Mohseni Square. There, I hailed down a cab. He stopped and said he would take me home for free! He said he has his own dog and that he knew it would be a long time before anyone else would stop for me. I was so touched by his kindness and paid him well upon arrival (but it took a lot of convincing on my part before he accepted the payment).

Once home, I called down for my brother who showed up with towels, shampoo, and a loofah. I bathed lucky twice in the parking lot bathroom. He was scared of the water but did not once get aggressive towards me. My sister came down with food. Once the pup was dried up, we were finally able to get him eating. The building caretaker – Rahim (who is a refugee from Afghanistan) – agreed to help me with watching the puppy – whom I named Lucky – until the next day when I took him to the 24 hour Tehran Veterinary Hospital. There, he was put on IV and given tests and shots. He was bathed. I barely made it home in time to get ready for my brother’s wedding that afternoon.

The next day, I took Lucky back for another hygiene bath. And then I called Vafa Shelter to be greeted by the lovely Lida Esnaashari. A couple of days later, my dad, mom, and I drove to Karaj with Lucky. I held him in my arms the whole drive. I don’t know how I managed to muster up the ability to leave Lucky behind. Had he been healthier and given the appropriate paperwork, I would have brought him back to the U.S. with me. But for now, I feel comfortable knowing that he is in good hands, being cared for, fed, cured, and loved at Vafa animal shelter. Maybe in the near future, I will make a trip back to see my family again and this time bring Lucky home with me…I am grateful to Ms. Esna-ashari for taking in Lucky and keeping him as an ‘amanati’ for me. I feel so much respect and admiration for her that cannot be expressed in words.

All my best,


His guardian angel who found him, has requested to adopt him. He is now in California


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