How are we all doing? I mean, really and truly, how are you doing?

I hope everyone is managing to stay positive. It’s a challenge isn’t it? Every time we see the light at the end of the tunnel, circumstances shift just enough to block it. I don’t know about anyone else but it makes me  simultaneously grateful for the smallest things, and yet longing for bigger adventures and normality. Not to mention the reopening of schools. Home schooling is an experience.

For obvious reasons, no one is travelling right now. Adventures are confined to the local area. No complaints from me on that one, I think it’s the right thing to do and I’m lucky to live in a very lovely ‘local area’. Which also isn’t home to me, so exploring locally really is a discovery.

I really believe that walking is therapeutic. Putting one foot in front of the other is mood boosting and head clearing. Ten minutes or ten miles, it doesn’t matter. Just doing it is what counts. And who knows what you’ll find when you’re out and about. A lovely letter box? A bit of history? A knock out view?

This week I was rewarded with the sight of early Spring flowers. Daffodils and Snow drops. I’m amazed at their ability to survive and bloom given that we’ve had all seasons in these parts lately. It made me heart happy to see them. It’s encouraging. A reason to smile.

People can’t travel yet, but stories can. If you need a reason to smile, here’s a tale with a happy ending that reached me from the frozen wilderness of Estonia. For those of you who might not know, here’s a quick bit of context: my husband is a British soldier currently deployed in Estonia. I’m not entirely sure what he does in all honesty, but I know he isn’t in the Estonia of the travel brochures. He works from a military camp set on miles of training area. Think forest, muddy ground, ice , abandoned buildings (see below) and so on. Bit bleak, really. Not the kindest environment, not in the heart of Winter anyway.

Like me, Mr THL is also a dog lover. A bit of a softy for four paws and a wagging tail. So we were both a bit sad when he sent me this picture. A beautiful boy, a bit on the skinny side but looking like he’d been well cared for at some point. He’d been spotted out on the training area, but despite best efforts he wouldn’t let anyone near him. Soldiers tried to offer him some rations, but he wasn’t keen. Can’t blame him, I’ve seen them and good food they ain’t. He wouldn’t be tempted into the truck and again ( tongue in cheek) I don’t blame him. I’m not sure I’d jump on board with them either. So he had to be left.

Here’s where I have to admit how soft I can be. I went to bed thinking about that dog. Thinking about him being cold and out on his own. Thinking about how The Wolf would cope if he was out on his own. Wondering if this Estonian dog was missing his family, and if an Estonian family somewhere was missing him. I’ve heard of soldiers informally adopting strays during other deployments…could there be anyone patient enough to win this one round enough to care for him, even if only for a little while?

I might have even googled something like, ‘ How to adopt a stray dog from Estonia?’ . Mr THL would have thought that a crazy plan, but it wouldn’t be the first crazy plan I’ve won him round to. I’m sure he would have been up to the task of bringing this dog home, I have every faith in him. Luckily for him, there was no need as I got up a few days later to this.

A happy ending. Turned out the dog is called Roi, a much loved pet now reunited with his human. He’s been missing since New Year. Fireworks spooked him, he fled then couldn’t find his way home. He did find his way onto the military training area where, eventually, he bumped into a group of British soldiers who were bothered enough to try and help him out. In the end, he gave in to the temptation of a sandwich and the rest, as they say, is history. Well maybe not history exactly, but definitely a heart warming story. Roi was found by the army and his human was located via social media. Now those two things don’t always get the best press, so how lovely that they intersect into such a nice story?

Now that Roi is reunited with his owner, hopefully he’s living life to the full and that handsome tail is wagging. But there’s someone else who deserves a mention to round out this story. The soldier who held up a convoy of vehicles to rescue Roi when he spotted him. It earned him, to say the least, a bit of a dressing down. Taken on the chin in order to see Roi rescued and reunited with his people. What a guy, hey? I don’t know what the military gives medals out for these days, but Daring Dog Rescue should definitely be on the list.

What’s the take away from this, then? Spring blooms and happy endings. Well, let’s think about Roi. Something big and scary happened and he turned tail and fled. Got a bit lost along the way, but didn’t give up. Looked after himself as best he could until he found his way out of a sticky situation and into a happy ending. I think that’s a bit like us finding our way out of this pandemic. Be more Roi. Keep in sight the certainty that will get there. Things will work out.

Life will bloom again despite the hardships, just like those Spring flowers that made me smile. We will find our way home, just like Roi, despite getting lost in a Baltic winter. Hang on in there and keep smiling.

Helen x

14 thoughts

  1. How wonderful for both Roi and his owner that he was re-united and is safely back home. Lovely to see the first snowdrops and daffodils too, being further north, I am yet to see them but they are always a cheery sight. Take care, Marion x.

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  2. Aw! Almost had me tearing up, such a lovely story. That lad should get a medal and I’m sure if they have the equivalent of the RSPCA in Estonia, they would recognise his ??? what is the word, not heroism, bravery, pragmatism? Thanks for telling us this tale, one which can touch every nationality and every human, dog-lovers or not.

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    1. It’s a lovely story isn’t it? It was nice to hear some good news. Poor husband though, all the interesting things he’s been involved in, but it takes a story with a dog really impress me!

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    1. Thank you. I’m feeling very optimistic at the moment. I think it helps that Spring is in the air and I’m on the home stretch to having the husband home.

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  3. I love this story! I also would’ve gone to bed worried about that sad face. Dogs are the best and it makes SO happy to know he made it back to his human. And I’m with you, that soldier deserves recognition, a medal and an award! Thanks Helen, we all need some happy stories to keep our spirits up during these lockdowns. 😊

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    1. It’s great that he made it home isn’t it? Every home should have a dog and and every dog should have a home. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment 😊

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    1. It’s lovely that Roi found his way home. My husband tells me you could tell he was very much loved and missed when his owners collected him. A tale to make us smile.

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  4. Welcome to my blog, Helen! You are certainly on the move! Especially I cherrished your black
    schäefer. What a wonderful being! I do not have a dog of my own, but – we ( my wife and I) are
    dog caretakers whenever family members need to park their dog(s) for the week-end or such.
    (Sad story about Roi. Didn’t he carry a dog-tag?))
    A few words about my blog:
    Here you will find more than 8000 pictures from Norwegian nature (95% in ‘full screen mode’ – large enough to cover a screen of 60 inches or even more) Iwill tell you a bit more when you get ‘house-warm’ 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes my husband and I like to travel and be outdoors as much as possible! Being care taker to all the dogs sounds lovely, dogs are such great company. I’ll look forward to getting to know your blog .

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