The beginning of this love story actually begins on December 2, 2013. This was the day my husband, Raul, and I [Julie] sent our Rusty to the Bridge. We swore, through tear-streaking faces, that we would never, never get another dog. Rusty had been our third Golden Retriever and fourth dog. The pain of loosing yet another dog was unbearable. Besides, I was retiring soon and the benefit of “picking up and leaving on a whim” without having to worry about the care of a dog was appealing.
It wasn’t long before I became an active member of EGRR and was caught up in the Turkey Dog frenzy. These dogs needed the most caring, loving, and patient homes/owners we could find. Raul and I were going to help facilitate this process by fostering Levi until the perfect home was found. My counterparts at EGRR commented that us fostering Levi would never work (they knew I was a mush). Of course, I wouldn’t listen and Levi come home with us. Let the fostering begin!!
Needless to say, my EGRR family was right….I’m a foster failure. By the second week, I knew I couldn’t give Levi to anyone else. Being that he was the oldest of the Turkey Dogs, Levi needed some extra TLC when it came to acclimating to daily routines and training. He has come so far in these past seven months and Raul and I couldn’t be more proud.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a love story. Anyone who knew our Rusty knows that only the most exceptional Golden Retriever could follow in his paw-prints. Levi has endured living on the streets and in the forests of Istanbul, traveled half-way around the world, and found his way into our hearts. What an exceptional journey for an exceptional dog; hence the name — Levi Journey.