© FOUR PAWS | George Nedelcu
An obituary about a true hero
There are only a few heroes among men. Altruism, kindness, complete devotion, self sacrifice, these qualities are hard to find even on their own. Finding all of them in the same person makes them a legend. But are humans the only ones capable of such feelings? Not at all. There are many examples of animal heroes around the world.
We ourselves know a dog who has lived its life more heroically than most people have. A true hero, who died a few days ago, leaving behind precisely what heroes do: not just pain and suffering, but also a void we don’t know who, how and when we’ll be able to fill. When heroes die it is dramatic not only for their loved ones, but also for everyone they’ve helped. Who will take their place? What will become of the ones who need them?
Tibi is the name of our hero. Tibi was a pioneer. He was the dog who, in 2004, started FOUR PAWS' "Dogs for People" - an animal assisted therapy programme using stray dogs - a world first. He was found as a stray more dead than alive, thrown out on the streets, somewhere near Craiova. When George (the man who stood by his side and was his trainer) saved his life, no one thought that in the 12 years he had left to live, Tibi would, in his turn, save many more lives.
Whether he was working with abandoned kids, children with autism, old people forgotten by their families and left in nursing homes or terminally ill patients, Tibi was an incredible dog. Without being able to speak, he told his patients more than anyone had ever done in their entire sad lives. He used to say to them (and we know this from the patients themselves) “I’m here friend. I’m here for you. I know what it’s like to suffer because I have suffered too. Don’t let yourself be knocked down, because there’s always a second chance. Enjoy the time you have left and, above all, don’t be afraid. You have nothing to fear because I’m here”.
Tibi was a true Ambassador for all Romanian stray dogs and for our Animal Assisted Therapy programme, he will be greatly missed by everyone.