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Life After the Refuge – HELDA

Many of you will have seen the newly revamped DRC Twitter feed and all new Instagram feed. Well, both are thanks to Vasuki, who has recently moved to the area from Canada and volunteered her services. She started following DRC when she was still on the other side of the Pond, and her decision to adopt Helda was made well before Vasuki and her husband even met her.

In case you are unaware of Helda’s story, she was bought as a puppy and presumably came from a puppy mill. She has several health issues, including very poor vision. Her original owners kept her tied up at the bottom of their garden, and it was only by luck that she made it to the ScPA Carcassonne in November 2017. She was 5 years old at the time and had never known freedom.

Helda and her new “brother” Atlas


Here is what Vasuki wrote this morning, but I am sure we will have regular updates!

It’s now a week since we brought Helda home. So let me recap my experience.

Knowing Helda has never lived inside, which has caused her hip and joint issues and a vision problem, I expected much more difficulty. Sure there were a couple of accidents, but she figured it all out quicker.

She hasn’t destroyed any furniture or cushions. I did catch her attempting to bite a cushion, one warning and she stopped. Instead we got creative, took old tshirts and knotted them up to get her to play and rip.

She got over her instinct to be outside as normal pretty quick. The first 36 hours, she needed to be invited in, and waited at the door every time (heartbreaking). Now she wanders in and out, and has got it.

Going up the stairs was challenging and probably worrisome to her. Denis figured out how to her upstairs (just be at her side and nudge her a bit). She was more worried about going down. Understandable due to her hip issue. Her foot sometimes slides on the tiles, but she’s got it. She now needs to learn she can go upstairs without being invited.

We started her on Omega 3 pills for her hips and a homeopathic pills for inflammation. Vet was happy with that, and noticed improvement in her range of motion. Daily walks, and plenty of play outside seems to help. Next a specialist visit to have her eye looked at as vet doesn’t believe it is cataract. We have meds that help her till then. Cost: vet (€98 including eye meds), Omega 3 and homeopathic pills €40.

Was it worth it? Absolutely, positively yes. The look her on face at Gruissan beach, the pure joy everytime she’s around us, the kisses, the affection. Priceless.

German Shepherd lying down

Helda inside!

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