In my most recent post, I showed this photo along with the comment "we never found out what it was". Well, I did find it on Google, and this is what it said:
The statue is called Trajan and the She-Wolf, and it stands in front of the National History Museum in Bucharest. It was created by sculptor Vaslie Golduz and unveiled in 2012. Trajan was the Roman emperor who captured the land that became Romania. He is holding a replica of Capitoline, the she-wolf in the founding myth of Rome.
"Oh!" I thought… that makes me think of this other statue we passed as we drove through Bucharest:
According to what I read, public reaction to the Trajan statue has been mixed. One comment was that the wolf represents "all the stray dogs in Bucharest". That statement brings up another issue, the estimated 60,000 stray dogs in the city.
There is a historical reason for the abundance of stray dogs, and it is maddening and sad. In the 1980s, the Communist dictator Nicholae Ceasescu decided to build his gigantic Palace of the Parliament in the center of Bucharest (see my prior post). In order to accomplish this he erased an entire part of the city, evicting people from their homes and relocating them to huge high-rise apartment blocks. When this happened the evicted families were forced to give up their dogs. The stray problem has been increasing ever since. Cruel methods have been used to deal with these stray dogs. Many have been rounded up and killed.
Thank goodness there are some kind-hearted people who are trying to help these dogs. I found this picture of a woman who feeds them, with the strays following her.
Now I have read about a 13-year old girl in Romania who is dedicated to helping these dogs and finding good homes for them. I think her story is amazing. Her name is Ana Maria Ciulcu. She has a Facebook page where she talks about her rescue work. There are a couple of YouTube videos about her, too.
She takes the dogs to a vet for vaccinations, ID tags, papers and microchips.
She takes their photo and posts it on her Facebook page, looking for families to adopt them.
When she finds a home for them she does the paperwork to get passports for them to go to their new home. Her family pays for the vet and the paperwork. The adopting families pay for transportation. Most of them go to other countries in Europe.
Here is a link, in case you would like to read more about her work (you have to double click on it).
Here is a different link: