For Bessie – who helped to save 323 lives


Bessie passed away a year ago today – she was only three.  She had very bad epilepsy fits and she eventually died from heart failure.

But in her short life, she inspired her mummy to help others. 11752022_405430429667222_5313876009036892138_nTo be exact – 323 other abandoned dogs to date from Hungary have new lives in the UK because of Bessie.  One of them being George.

For you see, Bessie ended up as a Christmas present for Hilda.  Bessie and Hilda were inseparable, partly due to Bessie’s separation anxiety and probably Hilda also felt the angst of leaving Bessie (same-same for Mummy – LOL!)  11755816_405433809666884_7283961211186803817_nHilda is from Hungary but lives in the UK.  She loved how dogs are so much a part of households here in the UK – most of the time.  She wanted to get people to start thinking about rescuing instead of buying puppies.

About a year after Bessie came into her life, Hilda started to volunteer at the various Hungarian shelters by translating their sites into English – to widen the reach and finding homes for the hundreds upon hundreds of dogs left in the shelters – which then allow them space to rescue more healthy adoptable dogs from the Killing Stations.

She could not have carried out the plan if not for the help she got from Action Aid for Animals in London. They helped to  provide transportation for the dogs who were adopted to bring them to the UK.  Action Aid was passing through Budapest on their way from Romania.  As Hilda’s drive and efforts grew, she and her friend Jenni soon formed Hungary Hearts Dog Rescue in February 2014.

We have never met Bessie, sadly, but she leaves a legacy.  It was because of her that George was found and rescued from a Killing Station by one of the shelters.10410994_283858685157731_9138772470408011702_n-5R.I.P. Bessie – we know you broke your mummy’s heart when you left her. She told us that she helped to give hundreds of dogs new lives but she couldn’t save her own.11755280_405430459667219_8506836000942090989_nYou were here on earth for a reason and we say thank you – for all the lives you have inspired our humans to save.

May’s comment: I have been asked a few times why I rescued George from Hungary when there are so many to adopt here in the UK.  My answer is two-fold.

A dog in need knows no boundaries.  Those boundaries are created by humans.

And then I had to consider my living environment. I live in a populated area, specifically, I live in a mansion block in a big city – with lots of people and families.  Size would be a limitation and I could not risk getting an aggressive dog.  I needed to minimise any potential problems with neighbours.  Most shelters would immediately disqualify me.

There was Darcy to consider. I needed to think how she would react to another – and what type of dog would go well with her. I had thought about another cockapoo, maybe even a cavapoo and after learning about so many abandoned dogs, I thought I should consider rescues.  And I searched for cockapoos who needed rehoming.

That was how I learnt about Riley – he was the rescue dog I had imagined rehoming. As I inquired about him, I was introduced to Hilda and her charity – Hungary Hearts Dog Rescue. Of course there are dogs coming in all the time from Romania, Spain, Ireland, etc, etc. And the plight of Soi Dogs in Thailand. All those strays in Ko Samui. Where does one begin to look and consider?

Just as people asked me why I had chosen to help three little boys in Kenya or choose to follow through with Didier aka Turtle Boy – my answer is – the Universe brought them to my attention in unexpected ways – just as I was brought to the attention of Hungary Hearts Rescue.  There are so many charities and organisations that I could help but if I just focused on one, as small as it might be, and someone else can help another.  And another someone can help yet another – amongst all of us, we can help an awful lot.  We just need to start somewhere.  Just as Hilda did.

After giving whatever I could to contribute to getting some of the dogs out of the Killing Stations and safely to shelters, I felt the need to do more than just send money. I considered fostering them – that way they can come to the UK which increases their chances of being found homes. If the dogs have not been adopted or fostered, they cannot come.  Again by chance, just as I was mentally ready, Hilda asked if I could foster George (Bobo) as he had not been spoken for.  If I didn’t he would have missed the ride to the UK last September. I reluctantly agreed and almost did not get to foster George due to my many conditions.

Somehow it all happened according to plan.  I made it to the day when Kim drove me to South Mimms to meet the Transporter load of dogs who had crossed the continent to start their new lives.IMG_3772

IMG_3769 Thank you Bessie, for being the inspiration in saving at least 323 dogs in just three years.IMG_3767-5George aka Bobo says thank you.

It’s 323 and counting!

Click here for more information on Hungary Hearts Dog Rescue or visit



  1. May, I so admire what you do! Now what about the book about travelling with your dog?

  2. Cecilia

    Molly was our first when my 10 year old wanted a pet, we didn’t know any better then and bought from a private breeder 7 years ago. But it was her that opened my eyes to the plight of so many other helpless dogs and animals. Now I donate to the dog rescue people in Taiwan and foster for the Tiramisu Dog Rescue who help to bring the strays there to the States.

  3. Kate

    I still just LOVE that you took in little George! I truly love reading your blog posts when they pop up on Doodlemania and think that little George and his big sister Darcy are just smashing!! You’re an inspiration to all of us x x x

  4. Thank you for writing this beautiful tribute for our Bessie! She was a darling girl and she stays in our heart forever ❤️

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