April 2019- United State, Connecticut- Megan & Adrien

Romina is 2 1/2-year-old, blind female dog. I was asked to help find a Passenger to bring her from Tehran to the USA. VAFA Animal Shelter had secured a permanent home for Romina in Minnesota, so I contacted my sister who was visiting Tehran to see if she would bring Romina to the USA. She agreed and Romina was able to hitch a flight on my sister’s ticket.

Romina arrived in New York City with my sister from Tehran on January 24, 2019. I agreed to foster her for a few days before she was flown to Home for Life Sanctuary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Romina was extremely timid and shy, so I created a private space for her in our hallway, away from our other two rescued VAFA/Mehr dogs. Interestingly, both dogs would come to the short gate that separated Romina’s area from the rest of the house and sniff her, but would not bark or growl. They would move away on their own, giving her the privacy she needed. Somehow, my two rescues new that she was stressed and very timid. Even my three cats gave her the space she needed. After feeding and walking her, I took Romina to visit my dear friend and veterinarian, Dr. Donna Cobelli of Quarry Ridge Animal Hospital. Romina was given a thorough physical exam and put on medication for worms. Romina ate and drank that night and had a good walk on the leash in our yard where she was able to go to the bathroom. After a few days, Romina became used to our routine and I would carry her down the front steps to the yard and walk her on the leash.

Unfortunately, due to the cold climate in the northeast of the USA, neither the airlines nor Home for Life would agree to take her until the weather got warmer. I told VAFA I would keep her until springtime when the weather would be warmer. By the first week, it was clear that Romina enjoyed going out, regardless of the cold and the snow. Although she stayed to herself, she still liked to turn her head towards where my two dogs were. At that point, she was also going up and down the front door steps on her own. I realized that she was not so blind. Sure enough, within the first two weeks, she started running around and avoiding the trees, bypassing them as she ran. I did not even need to keep her on the leash. While my dogs have to deal with the Invisible Fence because of the location of our house, Romina would not leave our property, somehow realizing that if my other two dogs did not go beyond certain areas, neither should she. Romina enjoyed the two acres of land that we have. She loved to run around and started to dash up to my dogs to play with them. If they turned and sniffed her, she would immediately lie down on the ground in submission, still unsure of them. She had come a long way, but still timid. I contacted Ms. Farah Azari and told her that if VAFA agreed, I would try to find a home for Romina with a family rather than send her to the sanctuary. After receiving confirmation from VAFA, I started looking for a good home for Romina in our area.

I received three interests from families to adopt Romina. After giving extensive consideration, visiting homes, and interviewing the candidates, I chose one local couple, Megan and Adrien, who have a dog and a cat. Their children are much older and have moved out of the house. They wanted another dog to be a friend to their dog, they really liked Romina, and decided to give her a try. On Saturday, April 6, I drove Romina to Megan and Adrien’s home which is only 15 minutes away from mine. I took Romina’s bed so she would feel more at ease in her new environment. Within three days, Megan and Adrien decided to keep Romina and give her a forever loving home. Their cat loves Romina and sleeps in the bed with her and their dog adores her.

Romina has found a good home with a cat and dog as siblings and a mom and dad who take excellent care of her. I have visited her a few times and each time, Romina shows much improvement. She wags her tail, loves going outside, and walks within the property without a leash. Neighbors stop by to visit and pet her. She is good with children and other dogs and loves her kitty cat brother with whom she shares her bed. Megan and Adrien live in a community that has a lake, a few beaches, and a dog park. People are friendly and wave hello as they walk or drive by. Romina gets very excited when she sees me, but she is clearly attached to her new mom and dad now.

Sheyda Ardalan- New York

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