In December 2017 Gary joined 'Paws2Rescue' during their annual Christmas campaign. Alison Standbridge, who founded Paws2Rescue does stirling work in Romania, and thanks to her and her team, they have rehomed 1000's of dogs who have suffered cruelty and neglect out on the streets.
Actor-comedian Ricky Gervais is proud Patron to Paws2Rescue, and Alison is always on the go, meeting Romanian rescuers, visiting shelters, and saving lives. It was an honour to be invited to help at Christmas.
Thanks to the many supporters who donated shoe-boxes full of toys and gifts, we visited various orphanages, and it was wonderful to see the children's eyes light up as Father Christmas greeted them. Many of the children had never seen Santa in their lives until today, and often the only gift they would receive would be a simple piece of fruit...an orange, or a banana. This year they had toys galore! Lots of nice clothes too.
I admit I wept away tears as I watched the children excitedly sat on Santa's lap, and the joy on their faces said more than words ever could. One young boy had recently returned from hospital after severing his fingers and having them reattached whilst chopping up firewood to keep himself warm. Their village affords no comforts, and it is a struggle to survive the harsh winters. His eyes lit up as he received his presents..especially his new football! Even the village dogs turned up, and they too got their Christmas gifts.
After making Christmas time special for those kids, we visited various shelters supported by Paws2Rescue. Carrie and Michael who joined us for this trip, and being their first time in Romania, were delighted to give the dogs love and attention. However, they also saw the sad reality for the many strays out on the streets. We fed as many as we could on our journey across Romania, but sadly, the ones we saw are but a drop in the ocean, and one night we received a desperate call from Marius, telling us that they had found a poor dog literally tossed out of a car in the dead of night.
We got there just in time, and this poor dog was very old, bewildered, on a freezing cold sidewalk. His leg damaged from the fall, and his eyesight was severely impaired. The callous nature of his owners, who had decided that he was too old to care for, and so it was easier to dump him out on the streets!
Alison could not hide her tears as she scooped this terrified dog into her arms. We rushed him to the emergency vets, and left him in their care. Alison named him 'Bruno', and as we returned to our hotel in the very early hours, we prayed for a miracle..that little Bruno would survive...

     A tearful Alison scoops Bruno into her arms.

     So many others available for adoption.

Sadly for Bruno, it was too late. He succumbed to his injuries next day. Obviously we were all heartbroken. This is the nature of our work, and the tears that we have cried could fill a river, such is the nature of rescue work. We struggle every time we try to save a life, but sometimes that life we rescue only holds on for the briefest of moments..just time enough to finally feel love for the very first time before gaining their angel wings...
For the ones who fly away, there are many others who survive, and who wait for their forever homes.
If you would like to adopt a rescue dog, please visit the Paws2Rescue website, where you can also donate.
                                                 For details visit https://paws2rescue.com/

       The night we found poor Bruno, tossed away like rubbish on the freezing streets of Bucharest.