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Hi all,

I've been on the forum for a few months now and realised I've never actually taken the time to properly introduce myself or my girl Layla.

My name is Dena, I am a British born and raised Egyptian now living in Dubai.

Layla is my first Doberman. Dubai is a very animal unfriendly city. There are no animal rights here, no legislation that protects animals from cruelty, harsh arid weather and generally very poor understanding of animals and the value of animal life. Pet shops and the import of animals is not regulated. Ages are forged to allow animals to be transported too young, vaccination books are falsified for the sake of making a sale.

I came across Layla whilst I was in a pet shop looking for a new toy for my 3 year old Jack Russell, Enzo. I ordinarily avoid pet shops in this city like the plague. I refuse to feed this disgusting industry. But he'd been such a good buy I wanted to find him something special.

But in the back of the shop, in a cage meant for a cat, was this skinny big brown eyed creature. As I neared the cage, I saw a breed of puppy that I preyed I would never see in a country like this, where animals are treated the way they are. To my disbelief, there was a small doberman puppy staring back at me.

I immediately asked a thousand questions about her, where she came from, how old she was, why she was being kept like this...they're questions I usually start shouting in any pet shop only to be met with the blank, disinterested faces of under paid, over worked staff.

I opened the cage, and out bounded this skinny, flaky skinned, horribly cropped, tick, flea and ear mite infested little girl, seemingly completely oblivious to her ailments judging by her now entirely waggy back end. Just to be looked at and addressed with "hi" was the most exciting and amazing thing to have ever happened to this poor girl. She sat and stared up at me with the most beautiful doe eyes I've ever seen.

I fought in my mind for 45 minutes. I CANNOT feed this industry, I will not give them money. I don't even have the space for a doberman! But how can I leave her here?? To be bought by some local who'll think she'd look "cool" chained up in his back yard until summer hits and he doesn't want this untrained bouncy, stinky thing in his house and she dies in the heat chained to the same tree that has become her only familiar thing in the world.

I raced home and got Enzo, as he is first dog and therefore has to make this decision with me. He growled at every other dog behind a cage in the pet shop until we got to Layla and they stared at eachother with waggy tails. After I was comfortable there was no aggression, I let Layla out. They greeted eachother and immediately waggy bums went up in the air and and heads were bowed. They were the perfect match, my decision was made.

I was living in a one bed apartment at the time, and after 3 weeks, me, Enzo and Layla were driving eachother mad. I needed space for these guys. I decided to make the move to a villa with a large garden.

I started training with Layla and tried to socialise a dog that looks the way she does as much as I could, but was usually met with scared running children and clueless small dog owners pulling their dogs away terrified. But I continued.

Alot of the time she'd frustrate me with her energy and her insistence on walking stuck by me all the time, I wasn't used to a dog like this.

As time has gone on, I have formed a bond with Layla that I have never ever had with any animal before in my life. And as an animal lover since childhood, the feeling is incredibly overwhelming.

Layla is now 29 kilos and 25 inches tall at 8 months old, with a shiny coat and great muscle definition. She has gone from my vet saying "poor girl" to "wow, you could show her if we were in the UK".

From the way she looks up at me with those eyes, to her gentle licking just before she falls asleep, to the way I feel protected by this loyal girl who has unconditional love for me that seeps from her very being.

I don't know what line she's from, I don't even know what her parents look like, I don't know her actual age or her pedigree. All I know is she's my Layla and I love her dearly.

You've all been so kind and helpful and this forum has helped me so much, I wanted to share my story with you all.

Thank you for reading.

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welcome to DT, and yes, she is a lucky girl that you fell for her and Enzo accepted her. It is a shame about the crop on her ears, but with that sweet face, she is a heart breaker!
 

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Wow. What a story to read right now. Thank you for taking her. What a loving face she has. She will adore you and protect you for the rest of her life. But, sounds to me like the feeling is so mutual.

I think she is beautiful!

By the way, welcome and please keep the photos coming.
 

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What a wonderful story, I know all too well what Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is like and how the people there treat the animals they have been blessed with but choose to abuse. I once went to a supermarket (Saudi Arabia) and found they had a zoo out back, the conditions the animals were kept in were appauling but the man looking after them tried his best but he had a terrible job to stop the children who visited the zoo from tormenting the animals. My son and I saw a beautiful German Shephard and a Bondu dog in a cage and 2 boys were taunting and throwing stones at them. The man dare not say anything to them as he was a poor Bangladeshi and in the eyes of the kids parents a servant. They discovered however, that the British lady and her son were not reticent in coming forward and protecting the dogs. When the parents stormed off with their kids in tow the man came up and thanked us for saving his dogs. (he called all the animals his we learnt, bless). It is such a shame that some people cannot see animals as gods creatures just as much as they are, (though I find it hard to believe anyone who is cruel to an animal is anything other than the devils creation).

Thank you for helping your lovely girl and for stopping some idiot from getting his grubby paws on her and abusing/neglecting her.
 

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Deena, how wonderful to read your story! For the past month or two, I have enjoyed reading your posts and finding out more about things in your part of the world. I am so glad everything has worked out so well for you, Layla and Enzo. Yes, the bonding is quite incredible.
I love hearing about other countries and conditions there for dogs and owners. Keep posting - we can always learn more! Thanks.
 

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Welcome Layla and Dena! Your story is very touching and courageous. We have an expresssion, "Lucky Dog.... Lucky Dog." And, indeed Layla is.
PS: You write very well! Have you considered writing a little book, even a children's book, on treating all animals with kindness? (I think you should "think" about it........).
 

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Welcome to the forum. Layla is a beautiful girl - such a loving, sweet face - and you are both lucky to have found each other. I love her name too. :) Can't wait to hear more about you and yours.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you that's very kind, I have been asked to write before and I am definitely considering it.

Its sad to hear that story about Saudi Arabia. I just feel so helpless in being able to do anything. I've lived here for 6 years and have so far fostered and re-homed 13 cats.

I won't go into details about the various trends in animal torture and treatment here, its very grim.

Would you believe this is actually one of the better countries for animal treatment in this region. There are at least alot of expats here who try and do what they can.

Dubai is a beautiful and very progressive city. But unfortunately they city and its infrastructure moved faster than the people's own development thinking.

I will keep you all posted on mine and Layla's progress. The weather's great here now so she's getting plenty of outdoor fun. But as soon as it starts getting hot again I'm going to need to call on you guys for help on keeping her exercised and stimulated indoors!

Thanks again :)
 

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Welcome to the forum. You have a beautiful dobegirl there...congratulations
 
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I have visited Dubai many times but was based in Saudi and like you Deena will not regail these fine folk with the horror stories of how they treat their animals. Suffice to say I have had many a tussle and argument with folk and have caused many a near international incident because of.

I so do hate cruelty to animals.
 
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