A Russian dog named Shavi was hit by a car and left for dead by the driver. She was saved by a woman named Nina who took her in, nursed her back to health, and then found her a home. But Shavi escaped from her new home and walked nearly 200 miles back to be with her guardian angel.
Last winter, Shavi had been trying to survive as a street dog during the harsh Russian winter when her life nearly ended. She was the victim of a hit-and-run, which resulted in two badly broken legs, among other injuries.
She nearly froze to death, but two good Samaritans found her and brought her to a veterinarian. They took their plea to find Shavi a home to the public, and only one person responded – Nina Baranovskaya.
The woman brought the injured dog back to her Rostov-on-Don home, and nursed her back to health. According to Komsomolskaya Pravda, she taught Shavi how to walk again, and trained her to understand basic commands.
“After the anesthesia, when she saw me, she raised her weary eyes and timidly licked my hand,” the 26-year-old mother of one explained.
Shavi was a fighter, and on the first day after the surgery, wouldn’t even relieve herself on the blanket set out for her. Rather, she tried to make it outside, and was found lying on the doorstep. Nina diapered her and spent the next six months helping her recover.
Some parts were easy; Shavi was a smart and apt student, and easily learned commands. But she was terrified of strangers and cars, and it took a long time to get her reacquainted with the outside world. Gradually, she overcame the ordeal.
Though she would have loved to have kept her, obstacles prevented Nina from doing so. Her apartment was too small, especially with three cats and two other rescue dogs, and her job and family commitments kept her from giving the new one as much attention as she needed.
As much as it pained her to do it, she searched for someone to take her in, but the only friends willing to do so lived 180 miles away. They lived out in the countryside, and Shavi would have more room to romp around. Nina believed this was truly the best choice for her.
However, only days after arriving at her new home, Shavi went missing after she dug a hole under the fence. Panicked, her new owners called Nina to tell them their heartbreaking news – Shavi was once again fending for herself out on the streets.
Almost two weeks later, Nina was walking down the road when she was startled by the sensation of something brushing up against her leg – it was Shavi! Nina burst into tears, hardly able to believe that this dog walked so far just to find her. When she leaned down, Shavi jumped right into her arms.
“Most people don’t notice that dogs can laugh and cry, too,” she said. “Or maybe they don’t want to see.”
What was most fascinating about the reunion is that during the time Shavi had vanished, Nina’s family had moved to a bigger apartment, about five bus stations away.
“I’ve heard amazing stories about dogs’ loyalty, but I never imagined this sort of thing would ever happen to me. Even now, I can hardly believe this dog traveled such a long distance to find us, and most importantly, track us down to a new location.”
Shavi was thin and haggard-looking, and once again, Nina nurtured her until she was healthy and confident that she wasn’t going anywhere again – this time she was Nina’s for keeps.
“Of course, now she has remained with us for good. I would never give this kind of friend away again. Animals are the most loyal and loving creatures in the world. For every drop of human love, they are will to give all of theirs in return, and I know that from personal experience. Shavi is like a child to me now.”
After her story was published in the local papers, dozens of people offered to help Nina by donating money or anything else they could need. But she politely declined, and instead, asked them to do something different:
“I am really very touched – thank you all from the bottom of my heart! But I don’t need money, I didn’t do this for monetary gains. If you really want to help, I beg you, don’t ignore animals that need your help. I never grow tired of repeating this – animals are the most devoted and loving creatures. They need our love and care.”