Dogs who are rescued never forget the humans who saved them. In our series “Rescued Dogs are Family,” we are highlighting heartwarming stories of dogs saved from dire situations and then cherished as invaluable family members.
John Durkin was working at an oil rig in Qatar when he met a stray dog scrounging for food. He befriended the Sloughi, so when the time came for John to return home, he worried about leaving his new friend behind. This is Doggie’s story (in “his own” words):
“Hello, my name is Doggie, I am about 15 months old (I think!) and I live in Denmark with a lovely caring family in a big house with Garden right next to a Doggie Park where I am taken 3 times a day to run and play with other dogs.
“I love to steal their sticks and run away with it, knowing that I am much faster than the average dog here, so they won’t catch me! Life is good now, but it was a long way for me to get here… .
“I am from Qatar where I was left alone in the desert to die in mid summer. I managed to find shelter at an oil rig which appeared out of nothing in the sand. During the day, I would crawl under a container for protection from the heat and sleep.
“At night, I would roam around looking for food and friendship. I was always hungry and almost starved to death. A few people threw stones at me which made me very sad and I was scared of them, but I had no where to go, so I stayed.
“Then there were a few good hearted souls who would spare some of their food to share it with me, so I survived. One of them was John. I knew he was different than the others, always having something to eat for me and always nice and caring, so I stuck to him most of the time.
“What a dog like me does not know of course, is that the workers are only on the rigs for a limited amount of time and that also the rig would move on after a while.
“So, my new friend John got more and more worried with the end of the job coming nearer. We had bonded over the time at the rig and he could not just leave me behind – thanks to my big brown eyes, so he made a big decision and decided to adopt me.
“As he was not living in Qatar, it was slightly more complicated. I needed vaccinations and blood tests to be done, a wait time of three months following the blood test before I could go on the big Journey to Europe. So, John had me collected by the local Vet (and I was crying when I had to leave him, not knowing if I would ever see him again).
“I stayed at the vets for 11 days to get all my vaccinations done and moved into Pampered Pets kennels, which was home for me the following 4 months. John would come by to visit me as often as he could and he would bring me sweeties and take me for a walk.
“Then one day, he brought a girl along. I did not know, but it turned out to be his wife and my new dog mummy. Every day, they showed up at the kennels now, bringing me sweeties and taking me for walks. And they also brought the crate along, which I found really interesting, a nice Doggie retreat for me and I liked sleeping in it at night.
“We went to the airport and it as about 9pm, so I was really tired and slept through all the discussion my new Dog parents had with the airline whether or not they could take me as I had to be going in a bigger crate than planned due to me having grown quite a bit while on good food and care in the kennels.
“Finally I got loaded to the plane, which was a bit scary. But upon arrival in Amsterdam, they were there again, Dog mummy and daddy and I was so relieved to see them. But somehow the trip was still not finished.
“Another plane ride and we finally landed in freezing Copenhagen. Never been in Temperatures like this before, but I got used to it very quickly. Also to my new coat which I would be wearing going outside for a walk.
“There is so much to see and explore in my new life and I am really well behaved, I just do not like statues so much, so I decided to bark and growl at them.
“I love to play with other dogs, chasing birds and ducks (but my Dog parents don’t want to let me chase the ducks ?!) and roam through the park or find out about city life with lot of cars, bicycles and pigeons (which I again shall not chase, but I do it anyway, I can’t help it – hey I am a Sloughi!).
“There were a lot of loving people helping me to finally get where I am now and I would like to thank especially Birgit and QAWS, Kim and the Doha vet team and Nicky and Steve from Pampered Pets.
“A big hug for you from me,
“We’re a very lucky family to have him!” John says of Doggie.
Since rescuing Doggie, John and his wife have rescued two more dogs – Sophie (female Saluki / Greyhound mix from a shelter near Dallas, Texas) and Charlie (male Chihuahua / Terrier mix from the streets in Houston, Texas). “And they all love each other to bits!”
~ submitted to DogHeirs/Dogs are Family by John Durkin, April 21, 2013
Comments on this Article
Anouk Govil said, “What an awesome rescuer. Even though it wasn’t easy, temporarily being in a different country when you found him, you still saved him. And I love his name hehe, Doggie.”
Darrin Henry wrote: “It’s so sad to think of a beautiful dog like this starving to death in the desert. It’s such a beautiful contrast to see a beautiful dog like this flourish as a part of a family that loves them. Well done and thanks for sharing your story.”
Janet said, “Stories like this fill my heart with joy!! Thank you for saving that lovely pup. 🙂 I know many happy days are ahead for you all!”
Did you rescue your dog? If you’d like to share your rescue story, email your photos and stories directly to us under the Subject “Rescue dogs are family” to team (at) dogheirs (dot) com.