The golden retriever had been on the streets for several weeks and was starving. She held a little piece of bread in her lips until she found a safe location to eat since it was the only meal she could locate.
Ayberk Ayar, a dog enthusiast from Turkey’s Central Anatolia area, captured a snapshot of the golden retriever in March. When Ayar inquired about the dog, he was told that she had been discarded recently and had been wandering about the neighborhood for approximately two weeks.
Tracy Behnke, the intake director for Rescuers Without Borders, an organization that rescues and relocates dogs from Turkey, noticed the photo on Ayar’s Instagram profile from more than 6,000 miles away.
“We thought she was going to starve or get really wounded,” Behnke told The Dodo. “Golden retrievers just cannot compete with larger dogs in combat. ‘We ought to do something for her,’ I thought as I was smitten with her.’
Rescuers Without Borders enlisted the help of a few volunteers to locate and rescue the golden retriever from the streets. However, when they reached in the village where she had been last seen, the dog had vanished.
The volunteers assumed the worst when they heard this, assuming the father was trying to sell her for breeding reasons. “He probably drove about with her asking others if they wanted to buy her for breeding and then brought her home,” Behnke said.
The volunteers didn’t give up, and their perseverance paid off in the end. “They were able to locate her in a run-down shed with the help of other people,” Behnke added. “There were no windows, it was dark, and she had no food or drink.”
Behnke stated, “They claimed she was extremely nice.” “She was offering kisses, which is rare for a Turkish dog,” said the owner. I believe she was well aware that she would be returning to safety.”
Harper was placed in foster care in Turkey while the Rescuers Without Borders team worked out a plan to get her to the United States. “It all occurred so quickly,” Behnke remarked. Harper was put on a trip to San Francisco as soon as she had her medical checks and paperwork.
Behnke and her husband came from Salem, Oregon, to meet Harper at the airport this past weekend, and they both fell in love with her right away.
Behnke described her as a “sweetheart.” “Everyone who has met her thus far has been astounded by how wonderful a dog can be when they are in that circumstance.”
But it was evident that Harper had been living on the streets – she’s shy and unwilling to take food, according to Behnke.
“We offer her food, and she almost seems unsure if she can take it,” Behnke added. “In the end, my husband had to hand-feed her to get her to eat.” ‘I don’t want to get in trouble,’ she seemed to be thinking.
Harper also attempts to remain awake when she’s tired, like she undoubtedly had to do when she was living on the streets. “She would kind of sleep or doze with her head up and then fall down,” Behnke explained. “She’d slumber for about 15 minutes before getting up and watching.”
Harper is currently living with a foster home in Washington state, where she is settling in slowly. According to Behnke, she enjoys playing outside on the grass the most.
“She broke out of her shell and exclaimed, ‘Oh my god, this is fantastic,'” Behnke recalled. “She was rushing about and playing as if it were the most fantastic thing in the world.”