Rufus was the ultimate safe rescue dog. So mentally broken that in the beginning I wondered if he could ever lead a happy life without mental torment. Rufus came from the Risiori public shelter in Romania and without Cornelia that’s where he would have died. I’m not sure what the situation there is now but at that time it was nothing but horror. They would put aggressive dogs in with vulnerable dogs purposely because they knew they’d kill them and it would reduce numbers and people with that mentality could be nothing but monsters to the dogs in that horrific hell hole. Rufus survived only because he moulded himself into a gap between two wooden crates and he cowered there until Cornelia got him out. Funds were raised and we were asked to take him and I looked at his picture and I knew we had to.
Rufus arrived and he continued to cower in gaps. He’d be behind the washing machine or the sofa until I went to bed and only then would he dare venture out of hiding. Little by little and with the help of the other more confident and playful dogs Rufus learnt to be a normal happy dog for as long as everything stayed the same. New people coming in would have him running round the back of the sofa poohing and peeing as he ran so we stopped letting in people he didn’t know because the distress he showed was too hard to watch.
In time what I thought was impossible happened and Rufus learnt to love me and my children. I will never forget walking into the living room one day and being astounded that he was on the sofa with my four year old daughter letting her stroke him and actually enjoying it. He learnt to play with us and would bounce around and get excited when he saw us and nibble at our fingers. The terrified and shut down dog developed a really cheeky character and it was magical to see. As each person in the household was approached by him we all exclaimed omg Roofy let me touch him!!
This morning our boy died and I wasn’t with him, he died at the vets because I wanted so badly for them to be able to save him and even though I knew it was s long shot I had to try. He was around eight years old and that’s no age at all really.
Rufus was everything our rescue is about and every reason that we started out on this arduous path. Nobody has the right to torture and abuse another living creature to the extent that they are too terrified to even raise their head and face the world around them. Rufus was so loved not only by our family but by online supporters that followed his story from that awful first picture. I do not forgive the monsters at the risiori shelter and I never will. Our boy until his dying day was terrified of being in a crate and would even growl at me and tremble when I walked towards it to get him out again. Rufus was 95% happy but 5% of him never left the fear of that shelter and I swear he still had flash backs to that place.
It’s hard to write this, nothing I can say can really express my feelings for Rufus. His story and his progress with us drove me on to take other dogs that seemed hopeless because he showed us even the most broken dogs can go onto live happy and worthwhile lives and if we write those dogs off those monsters that made them that afraid have won and I’ll never let them win.
Gone but never ever forgotten by anyone who knew him personally or from afar, there will only ever be one Roofy but his legacy will live on.