Escaping Horror: Reflecting on Nikolas's Story
Are there any more gruesome words than a dog in a meat market or a Borzoi in a Chinese meat market? And yet, that is Nikolas’s story. He was found in a Chinese meat market in mainland China by volunteers of the British group Candy Cane Rescue.
Candy Cane Rescue operates in China seeking Greyhounds and other (sight) hounds in order to save them from unspeakable fates. The horrors of Chinese meat markets are only the beginning for many sight hounds; the Candy Cane Rescue website lists some of unimaginable ways dogs are abused and tortured to death. The stories reflect acts of cruelty and sadism. This more than just a cultural difference, it is a fundamental lack of respect and compassion for nature and life.
Where Nikolas came from is a mystery, but he was saved in the nick of time. Candy Cane contacted NBRF and the ball started rolling to him out of China. Initially Vicki Stone was to travel to Beijing and bring him back in February, but the pandemic was spreading and the wise decision was made to cancel her trip. This left Nikolas with no way out. His medical situation was also a concern: he was undernourished, weak, and diseased. Candy Cane Rescue helped with its established network of veterinary care and boarding, both uncommon in China a country where there are few resources for animal care. Nikolas stayed for about 11 months in the care of Plush Bears Shelter, one of the largest and best shelters in China. The Plush Bears website also goes into many of the barbaric situations they face, too graphic for me to include in this article. After months of trying, NBRF directors found a way out for Nikolas. He was to fly out as cargo, but no direct flight was possible so he went to Seoul, South Korea, then to Frankfurt, Germany, and finally to his new home in Seattle, Washington. This escape route came at a hefty price of $9000. After almost a year, he finally arrived and has been a surprise to all.
His adopted family reports how sweet and gentle he is, how fast he has adjusted, and that he is quite a goofy and sometime clumsy puppy. He is estimated to be about two years old and loves small dogs. In fact his adopted family waited for a long time to find a Borzoi that would be safe among their pack of small dogs. Nikki, as he is affectionately called, is their fifth Borzoi and they have also rescued several Afghans through the years. They are very experienced with the breed and love Nikolas dearly. Nikolas traveled a long way, but has finally found the affection he deserves. He is still healing from wound but is expected to make a full recovery.
As a volunteer, I was not aware of Nikolas until a few weeks ago. I tip my hat to NBRF and its directors for their work and the decision to spend $9000 for the rescue of one dog. I know that most rescue organizations would never have considered such a bold and expensive move. It takes guts to ignore the bottom line and go all in and win at all costs.
It is noble and makes NBRF unique and worthy of our support. I love that NBRF has such an extensive network worldwide and works at getting dogs, like Nikolas, out of horrible places. Certainly we should all sound the alarm and raise awareness on what dogs face in China and other Asian Countries