When I meet a dog and look into their eyes within minutes, I can write a page long description about them, from the heart no problem. Writing about myself is a different matter altogether but I have been asked to write 'about me' so here we go, I will try my best.
Trying my best is what I do daily here when it comes to helping dogs. This all started when I moved to Portugal just over 3 years ago and began to volunteer at the local dog shelter APAR in the East of the Algarve. I must admit I had no idea this would take me on the biggest roller coaster ride of my life and a never-ending journey of heartbreak, happiness and everything in between. I have always loved animals (always grown up with them), always cared for the vulnerable, whether that be human or animal and just simply have to try and help those who are unable to do it for themselves.
When I walked into the shelter for the first time, I was shocked to the core at what I saw, tiny kennels, full of dogs with desperate eyes living in the most basic of conditions. I didn't cry, I couldn't, i was too shocked. Instead I rolled up my sleeves and began going into each kennel one by one, letting the dogs approach me, one by one... some too scared, backed away into the corners and I did what needed to be done, scrubbed each kennel one by one and interacted with the dogs who would allow me to do so.
Since that day I have met hundreds of dogs with the same look in their eyes when first rescued... that same look of despair.... I have cried sad tears when seeing the cruelty inflicted on some of these, but I have also cried many happy tears when these same dogs, after months of love, care and attention are re homed to loving families. i have focused on each and every puppy and dog that is rescued by the shelter, focused on improving the shelter conditions which is now helped by other amazing volunteers and have fostered and re homed many dogs in this time.
I care, I care with all my heart about these dogs, about ensuring their time in a shelter is as 'okay' as it can be possibly be (given the incredibly basic facilities). I care about the now but I also deeply care about changing the way things are here in Portugal, for me changing things here has become my life, my aim and I will continue to do my best for the dogs here... The best is all I can do, it often sadly feels like it is not enough but with your support, awareness and help things can get better, we have to believe.