I’ve always wanted a dog, even as a child, but my parents never shared the same idea. Later, when my own children asked for a cat, I found myself telling them it wasn’t a good idea as we live in an apartment, in a block of flats. But one day they brought home a tiny kitten, not bigger than their palm and I agreed to let her stay overnight but to be taken back the next day. Of course, the following day became a problem as neither one was willing to return the kitten and I had no heart to do so as well… So this kitten prolonged her overnight stay into the next 18 years.
After that we decided not to have any pets in the flat anymore, as it just doesn’t befit the apartment… This lasted for two years and then, out of the blue, a sighthound entered our lives; although we used to think sighthounds were somewhat unattractive, like a bag of bones, I instantly fell in love with that little black frightened being. Within a month, he was living with us and as he was so incredibly timid we decided to adopt another sighthound, one who would offer support and company to the first one.
And then she came. Our Lili. It was actually not us who chose Lili- we took her on because someone cancelled to adopt her and we felt it was important that she came to us as soon as possible as medical condition of our first sighthound was declining. Suki, as we called our pooch, never got to meet her as we had to say goodbye to him 14 days prior to her arrival, yet I’m sure her company would have done him lots of good.
Lili is an adopted Galgo and she is 8 years old. Immensely gentle and lovable, she immediately gets under your skin. A sold soul for petting and cuddling. She never gets enough of it. At home, she lies comfortably on a couch with big, fluffy pillows and does not think any more about her old life in Spain, where she, after her previous owner got bored with her, ended in a shanty shelter. Now, she is safe, well fed and loved. She knows she doesn’t have to fight for life and mere survival anymore.
Lili has been special from day one: even on our first encounter she was calm, not at all timid which is otherwise typical for sighthounds, and she immediately leaned her head into my lap to be petted and stroked. And she still does this: she casually approaches people, even strangers she’s never met before, places herself right next to them and waits for the cuddling to begin. While other sighthounds playfully run around, she is looking to bond with people.
Several people mentioned to me that Lili has a calming, even therapeutic effect on them but we’d never thought about becoming a therapy pair. That was until the day Monika posted an article on Hrtji svet (Sighthound world, Slovenian website for sighthound adoption) that Helena and her Senna and Aurika have just became a therapy pair. We then applied for testing and then everything developed with the speed of light: lectures, practical work, exam.
I’ve met many wonderful, heart-felt people during this time who are connected with the Institute through one way or the other. I’ve always wanted to do some volunteer work, yet I never envisaged myself here with Lili. I kept thinking that it must have been my first sighthound Suki who brought me here. And it makes me think of one of Tom Jones’ quotes: »Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, filing an emptiness we don’t even know we have«.
Branka and Lili