From rescue dog to TV paw-former!
Kratu's life is a bit of a shaggy dog story. Rescued from a life of misery in Romania, he is now set for a career in television and modelling.
Dog lover Tess Brown, from Dullingham, saved the Romanian Mioritic sheep dog from a life of being chained up – the breed are generally used to protect a herd or their owner’s property from predators and thieves.
But Ms Brown rescued Kratu and his brother Raffy and brought them back to the UK.
“Kratu is incredible. He came from a Romanian gypsy camp,” she said. “Because of him I got on a plane and went to Romania as the photographs I saw of his mum really haunted me. I was determined to go and see where he came from.
“I found his mum and brother Raffy. They beat his mum so badly that Raffy had fear issues but we have been working with the behaviour specialist at Wood Green and she has done a fantastic job.
“Kratu has been on TV in the programme The Secrets of Growing Older. It’s amazing that they can be trained into such loving and inspirational dogs who are so clever.
“My dogs are full of love. I bought his mum, Tutty, over and she is now rehomed in Scotland.
“I met Raffy at three weeks old and it was touch and go whether he would make it. Now he is 50kg.
“They wanted to chop his tail off when I was there and it brought tears to my eyes. The male dogs are chained for life. They are guard dogs.
“Kratu is now doing trick training – he’s so clever. Raffy is a big gentle giant and has such a big heart. He loves children and old people.
“I wasn’t frightened about going over there to rescue these dogs. I was determined. My friend was frightened and nervous but nothing was going to stop me.
“Kratu is just so happy and has a magnetic personality.”
Not only is Kratu a clever dog, he is now on the books of a modelling agency and there is hope he will do more TV work.
Now Ms Brown wants to return to Romania to rescue more of the dogs who are set for a life chained up.
She added: “I want to go back, and I have asked my friend to go and have a look at the camp and see what is happening. I think they have kept Raffy’s sisters and are using them to provide more litters. I would like to go back and get a conclusion. They chain them because they don’t want them to run off. They are used as guard dogs at the camp.
“Some dogs even have the chains embedded in their neck. I have seen some awful cases of that.
“The problem is these dogs are hard work – they need a lot of training.
“A lot of people are bringing them over here, but you have to remember they are bred to fight bears.
“People have to be careful because you have to be tough with them. These breeds are very challenging.
“There are a lot of mistakes over here with these dogs. Some of them are very traumatised and some are coming from public shelters where dogs eat other dogs.
“I have rehomed about 18 but my problem is finding the right homes. I had to do a lot of work and all my dogs had obedience training. Raffy needed the most work because he had suffered the worst experience.
“When you see the size of them and how they are, it is incredible because they have so much love to give a person and they are very loyal to their owners.”