We love catching up and hearing from the people who have adopted animals from Aanifeira. It can be from Portugal or in a foreign country and one person who constantly keeps us updated on her dog is Betty from France. Betty adopted a beautiful old and blind Podengo (Portuguese breed of dog) called Sonia a little over three years ago.
Sonia’s story is very sad one as no one was absolutely sure where she came from or when she actually entered into Aanifeira. In those days life was not easy for the dogs living at the shelter and fortunately Sonia was one of the hardier ones living in a corridor of the pavilion yet barely leaving her bed that she treasured so much. It would take a lot of coaxing to get her outside into the sunshine to spend time enjoying her surroundings as well as socializing with people.
Although conditions generally were not the best there was always love and a helping hand from those who cared – the volunteers. The volunteers showed that they cared about the welfare of the animals and wanted to help the original founder of the shelter who deep in her heart only wanted the very best for the dogs. So with a lot of very hard work and understanding between all, things gradually improved eventually bringing the shelter to what it is today.
Betty adopted Sonia just over three years and her story can be read here. She regularly she keeps us updated throughout the year on her health always sending a beautiful photo with each email.
Here below are Betty’s comments each time she send us an email and photo. We do so enjoy receiving this and it still brings tears to our eyes to see this beautiful elderly and blind dog who received a new life when a kind lady heard about her and came to the shelter to give her a forever home.
8 Sept 2014
“Little old Sonia, she is still going strong. Also her evening rituals with moaning, and we trying to figure out what she wants, food, drink, outside. We have to guide her more often down the steps, she slowly is getting a bit lost in her mind. but she still enjoys cuddling and is, we think, happy in her own way.”
23 July 2014
“Still going strong, despite the tics, problems with balance and blindness, she is still doing well. She clearly indicates when she wants something to eat, drink, wants to pee or wants a cuddle. Of course it is an old dog and you know there will be a time that you have to say goodbye. But for now she is safe and enjoys her old age in love. Sonia; the door opens to the left :-)”
14 May 2014
“Sonia is doing well, she loves her food twice a day and can clean my plate every night. Her ritual the last couple of days has become a bit less, event hough she still gets up after dinner 3-4 times, wants to drink, get off, a bit of food, a bit of drink again and then sleep.
Rolling in her chair, stroking her tummy, she loves it and enjoy the attention. Her tics are getting worse and she scared of the differences in light, as going outside and getting a shade in her face, she startles and gets a tic. I have to hold her till it’s gone and then she walks a bit around and seems not to worry.”
2 April 2014
“Old Sonia, she sleeps all day but in the evening she now has a strange ‘ritual’. Around 19h she gets up in her chair, I lift her out, sometimes she wants to go out, sometimes she wants to drink and then back in the chair. This goes on till around 22h, getting up, wanting a drink, wanting something to eat, wanting to get off, wanting a hug, very restless, panting and not wanting to lay down. This is only in the night and never during the day. Around 22h it is done and she goes to sleep and sleeps all night through.”
4 March 2014
Thankyou for being my foster Mom/Dad
22 January 2014
“With Sonia things are pretty well again luckily. She sleeps a lot but eats fine and clearly states when she wants to go outside. Now is that she wants to go out 3-4 times in the evening, after dinner she always goes out, but then 2 hours later she wants to go again and one hour later again. Before she goes to sleep she get some dry food and when I forget she starts to whine. As medication she is getting Enurace and Candilat which are both expensive medicines so your support for her remains very welcome.”
26 December 2013
” With thanks for all that you have done for me this year.”
5 November 2013
” Yesterday evening around 6 pm Sonia gave up her food. W hen she later drank some water , she threw this out after half an hour too. The rest of the evening she was quiet, before bedtime she got some dry food and this stayed in.
This night at half past three I heard Sonia moaning so I took her off the chair and she went out by herself, did a pee and then seemed to have some trouble with the stairs so I helped her. Once inside she could not stand , she fell over and sank to her feet . I put her in her chair and I sit with her. Because I was still worried , I put her on my bed , but since she is not used to this she remained making little squeaks and moans. After an hour I put her back in her chair, she went to sleep. Then , of course, I did not really slept and looked several times during the rest of the night if she was fine but she was in deep sleep.”
This morning I put her outside where she fell over and her legs subsided, I had to hold her to pee but she could not take any step without falling. Called the vet and he came at half past nine.
By now it was already a lot better with her and she could walk by herself in the waiting room . The vet checked her, heart was good, little inflammation in eye , no fever so probably very likely a TIA caused by geriatric vestibular syndrome. She has had an injection of Candilat and must now take 2x a day a Candilat pill.
She is now back fast asleep. It was a shock because even though she is old, we really do not want to lose her.”
29 October 2013
“Herewith an update and new photo of Sonia. She is doing well, she eats well, clearly indicates when she wants to go off her chair and stil knows how to get the attention. In the evening after the last pee she gets some food, because she does not go into the kitchen, she gets them on her chair and stands waiting till we give them to her. She is now 2,5 years with us and I am still happy every day that I went to get her in Portugal. Sonia is an example of how you sometimes have to accept that a dog makes the choice what makes him of her happy, in her case, living safe and warm in her own big chair.”
11 September 2013 – Greetings
“Already 2 years with us, sweet Sonia. Oh she can fool us and we have to laugh so much. She stands up in her chair and gives little squeaks. Normally the sign that she wants to go off to pee or drink. But more often these days, she waits till you reach her and when you want to lift her, she falls over on her back and she wants you to rub her tummy. When you stop she grabs your arms with her paws, no no go on now! Love Betty and Sonia”
Below is a slideshow of all the photos that she has sent us throughout the past year and half.