It’s hard to imagine a better life for a dog than being on a farm: spending all day outside roaming the pastures, interacting with animals and enjoying the country air. Total freedom.
But just a few short months ago, the life of Tia was much different.
Formerly known as Satiya, she was slated to be slaughtered as part of the illegal dog meat trade in Southeast Asia.
But Tia is one of the lucky ones. She was saved by the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand, and was brought to BC as part of a partnership with L.E.A.S.H., a Vancouver-area rescue trying to save these sweet souls.
She is the first of the BC Soi Dogs to be rehoused, and what a home she has!
Ashlee Brillert of Grown Here Farm adopted her after seeing her photo online, and took her back to the 40-acres she lives on in Langley.
Daily Hive caught up with Ashlee and Tia for this edition of Rescue Me. She describes in her own words what it’s been like to adopt a “meat dog.”
I wanted to help one of the Soi Dogs because it really matters. Having Satiya by my side helps raise awareness about the meat industry in Thailand as people often ask me where she’s from and how I came to adopt her. Nine times out of ten people are completely shocked, and appalled that this industry even exists. Satiya is also a constant personal reminder that you do not have to become a product of your surroundings.
It would have been so understandable if she had become hardened by her experiences, and become aggressive towards people, or towards other dogs. But Satiya is resilient, trusting, and hopeful that the world can be beautiful. She’s gentle and kind even though up until recently she was treated with no respect, or had many (if any) kindnesses bestowed upon her.
I wasn’t really nervous adopting a potentially traumatized dog because of my past experiences with fostering. You have to ask yourself if you have the time and patience for unexpected issues. Tia is very nervous in public sometimes. She freezes in a standstill and will refuse to move.
We just take it as it comes. I don’t rush her, and she comes around, and gets bolder with each day. It’s a process, one that I am lucky enough to have the time for. Not every individual or family does and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is something you need to be honest with yourself about if you’re intending to adopt a dog who has been through a trauma such as this.
There was an adjustment time. Stairs were scary, the farm animals (alpacas and chickens) were scary, the cats were scary… but Tia just needed some time. She now romps around like she owns the place. She’s a little too curious about the chickens.
She lives a pretty hard life. It starts with a morning walk, feeding and letting the chickens out for the day, checking in on the alpacas, and then coming in for some breakfast. From there, we head to work at Grown Here Farms for the day. Tia comes on everything from farm chores to deliveries. By the time our work day is done, she’s pooped and sleeps all through the night, to repeat the next day. Sometimes if we’re lucky on the weekends, we get to run away on little adventures. She just went swimming for the first time out in Osoyoos.
For someone who is considering adopting one of these special animals, I would tell them to have patience, and be kind. If you can do this, you will have a best friend for life, and you absolutely will be spoiled with love and gratitude for giving them the life they deserve. I am so lucky to have found Tia.
Tia isn’t the only Soi Dog in BC looking for a home. Check out L.E.A.S.H. for more adoptable pups.