Leonie in the Everydaystray shelter

A Snippet into the Life of Street Dogs: An Experience for Life

Being a stray dog who has to fend for itself on the streets is not an easy life, especially where mixed-breed dogs are often overlooked.

Leonie Lang, a longtime volunteer at Everydaystray was kind enough to lend us a snippet into the contrasts of the treatment of dogs in Germany in comparison to Bulgaria. After a series of emails back and forth, Leonie gave us some answers to what it’s like to personally work with our partner NGO Everydaystray.

How did you come across Everydaystray?

Instagram. I’ve been following Everydaystray since the beginning.

How did you start volunteering for Everydaystray?

There was a callout for volunteers on Instagram. At the time, I had also been long considering to volunteer abroad and was already in contact with a few other organizations. Thanks to corona, I spontaneously took a leave and travelled to Bulgaria in July 2020 for two weeks. Best decision ever!

Leonie with a rescue dog

What does Everydaystray do differently?

Their no-kill shelter policy AND Everydaystray is like your family. Each and every dog is given the best time in the shelter. The dogs are not locked away, are allowed to be outside together all day, playing, running, sleeping and enjoying their new found chance in life. Even when it means countless walks, thousands of steps a day and a lot of extra work, each dog is cared for individually and ensured they are comfortable. If a dog would have to return to the shelter, they’d be more than happy to. Just the best kind of signs, right?

From your own perspective, how is the general acceptance of dogs in Bulgaria?

Any dog that is a pure-bred would be accepted! Yorkshire Terriers and American Staffordshires are the forefront. You see people in the cities treating their pedigree dogs like their child whilst not giving the street dogs a glance or even shooing them away. There is full acceptance of fashion dogs which are accepted as family members whereas the bitterly poor chained hunting and guard dogs in most people’s gardens are unwanted, invisible to most and unimportant. It’s really saddening!

You, yourself own two rescue dogs, do you have any advice for those that are still considering about adopting a shelter dog?

For many, it often comes down to appearance. I myself always wanted big dogs and had a certain look in my head. Now I have two small/medium-sized dogs. In the end, the character and nature of the two that persuaded me and I would never want to replace them with any larger dogs in this world.

The pandemic and the increased demand for dogs in Germany, do you have any advice for those who are looking to get a dog?

You should never rush into anything. Personally, it helped me incredibly to look after my sister’s dog at my house for two weeks. It made me realize what it means to have to go out 3-4 times a day, what it means to have to move appointments or cancel events because the dog can’t stay alone for so long and to have a sense of the extra costs that might come up. After this time I had, I definitely knew that for me personally, making sacrifices but to share a life with a dog had more worth than to be without a dog.

Is there anything you want people to know about rescue dogs?

Rescue dogs are one of a kind.

Rescue dogs have a story and a past. Rescue dogs need time, patience and understanding. Rescue dogs have the biggest hearts. Rescue dogs will show you what it means to forgive. Rescue dogs are one of a kind.

Cloud7 & Everydaystray

Cloud7 supports both dogs from ethical breeders and rescue dogs. We understand that it comes down to each individual’s personal decisions however, we will continuously support and create awareness for all the street dogs out there that are neglected and treated like non-living beings. If you are open to adopting a mixed-breed dog, please consider your local shelters as well as shelters abroad, specifically in countries with uncontrolled number of dogs to prevent shelters from overflowing.

If you would like to volunteer alongside Leonie and the Everydaystray team, please get in touch with Clair and Neil at [email protected] with VOLUNTEERING as the subject line.

If you would like to donate to Everydaystray, click here for more infos on how to donate or wear products from our RESC7UE collection.