THE STORY OF MAVI
How it all began:
In April 2012, I (Bianca) came across a picture of Mavi on the Internet. Strange how
sometimes a feeling crawls up to you when you see a picture... so I clicked the picture.
For the first time I read Mavi’s story. And at the same time it was the first time I got familiar
with an organisation that imports dogs from abroad to give them a better future. I once heard
of similar organisations, a friend of mine adopted a dog from abroad twice, but it never
crossed my mind to do the same. For me the risk was to high, you never know what a dog
like that has been through. I did have experience with "second hand dogs" as I call them with
love. Almost all of the dogs of my parents were adopted, and quite a few of them were
Impressed with Mavi's story I continued surfing on the internet. Shocked of all the stories that
I read I went to bed that night. I never suspected that in some parts of the world dogs were
treated this horribly.
The following weeks, when I was online, my attention kept on being pulled towards websites
like this. To be honest I didn't want to read the stories because they distressed me, but I
couldn't help it and kept on reading them. At that time we were raising a German Shepherd
puppy of 4 months old, called C-Zar and the thought of another dog in the house was
appealing but not an option at first.
But the weeks after, the wish for a second dog kept on growing and we started to look
around more seriously. We visited many websites, with lots of adorable foreign dogs, but I
kept on taking a sneak peek at Mavi's picture. But every time we pushed the thought of
adopting Mavi aside. She was a German Shepherd of 10 years old! The year before we lost
our 2,5 year young German Shepherd Kyra unexpectedly because of a cardiac arrest during
her sterilisation. A year before we Kyra was born, we lost our 16 year old Jack Russel Dusty
and the loss of those two dogs was still very painful. The idea to lose another dog at a short
notice seemed to heavy for us. So we pushed the thought of adopting a second dog to the
background and I stopped visiting those websites.
Until a few weeks later… C-Zar was getting older and we saw his immense joy when he was
playing with other dogs. Because of this, the loss of our other dogs was softening and we
realized that we were blessed to have had Kyra around for 2,5 years rather then not having
the privilege to have known her at all. We decided that, when Mavi was still exposed on Alas'
website we would attempt to adopt her.
And she was still there! Nervously I dialled the phone number... but nobody answered...
So we filed the application form and the waiting started. Pretty scary that another person
decides of you are a good match or not and that they decide if you are a dog lover or not. But
luckily we received a message very quickly that we could meet Mavi and that, if there was a
click, we could bring Mavi home.
The first few months:
At June 21st 2012 the moment was there. Considering the relatively big distance we agreed
with foster parent Jenske that if the meeting went well, we would take Mavi with us
immediately. But we also agreed that, when we had doubts, we would take some time to
When we arrived, Jenske was waiting for us at the door, together with Mavi. It was love at
first site. What a sweetheart she was! After an extensive introduction and a long walk with
Mavi, we decided without a doubt to adopt her.
On the one hand full of happiness and expectations, on the other had with pain in our hearts
because we realized that we were taking her out of her safe enviroment again, Jenske said
goodbye to Mavi. Passively Mavi got on the backseat of the car and ignored us the whole
ride home. She didn't respond to any signal we gave her and she kept on staring straight
Once we arrived in our hometown Hengelo, the time was there to meet C-Zar, who was 8
months at that time. We decided to do this on neutral territory, outside on a big field. This
meeting went very well. Both dogs were able to set their borders and understand each others
signals. So it was time to go home.
The first days went by quietly, although we had to "protect" Mavi for the endless energy of
C-Zar. He wanted to play all day, while Mavi just wanted to sleep. She was still quite passive,
let everything happen and just lay there, staring. It seemed like she wanted to turn herself
invisible. C-Zar, always being happy and active didn't know how to deal with this at first. But
on the second day, smart as he is, he found a solution. He started to caress her by nibbling
her carefully with his front teeth! Mavi loved it, and in the meantime this has become a ritual
that is repeated several times a day.
To us, Mavi was holding back at first. We had to get used to this, because we were used to
dogs that we could "play" with, but Mavi didn't respond to anything and we couldn't persuade
her to anything active. On the contrary, between Mavi and C-Zar things went very well. They
kept on looking each other up. We have plenty of dogbeds and relaxing spots for the dogs in
our house, but they kept on crawling together on one little dogbed.
Slowly we saw Mavi getting more and more naughty and she started to take the initiative to
play, frolic and cuddle with C-Zar. And little by little we could challenge her to play with us
too. It felt like a big victory when after a few weeks she started to tremble her back paw and
she playfully bit Emiel in his hand.
Mavi literally started to take space in our house. Every day we noticed more of her character:
Sweet, stabile, curious, fond of driving in the car, but also jealous and sometimes quite
stubborn. Also we discovered why they called her "The Queen", in the shelter in Spain. She
took care of C-Zar like a mother and she tended to decide what he should and shouldn’t do.
Although regularly they grumble to each other (sometimes it's just like I have two teenagers
in my house again), C-Zar accepts anything from her and keeps on looking her up to play or
just to lie against her when she is not in the mood to play.
At first, both dogs slept separately, Mavi in the front half of the garage and C-Zar in the back.
But after a few weeks we decided to let them sleep together. This went very well and after a
few days we discovered that she became much more happy and involved with everything
that happened in the house. She was getting much more confident and sometimes when she
is naughty she accepts our grumbles with her ears upright and a cheerful look. Hmmm...
that's not how it’s supposed to be of course, but who can resist her when she looks at us that
At this moment:
Mavi is with us for 13 months now and still we see her change and become more relaxed
every day. Cuddling is her biggest hobby and we only have to point at her to make her turn
and lay on her back, ready to be cuddled. She loves kids. When a child approaches her, her
tail wiggles like crazy and when this kid rubs her back, she's in love!
Sometimes she's a handful; after all she is still the queen she was in Spain! She tends to
control everything and when something happens, she is sitting front row to check everything.
A correction, if needed, doesn't impress her at all, which sometimes creates hilarious
moments. After all, we can't be mad at her. We grant her so much, not being afraid anymore
and having the confidence to be a bit stubborn.
To conclude, we can say that Mavi enriched our live enormously. Sometimes, when they lay
together, my eyes are filled with tears of happiness. I love it when I come home and our two
“children” are waiting for us, noses against the window, ears pointing forward, eyes shining
and tails wiggling. Of course we hope to have her around for a long time but at the same we
know we have to be realistic. Therefor we enjoy her presence and friendship with C-Zar
every minute of the day.
Our special thanks go out to Jenske Bos and her family, because she was so courageous to
shelter Mavi (and many other dogs), with the risk that she would never be adopted,
considering her age. And our sincere thanks go out to all volunteers in Spain, Alas Resque
Team and foster parents that make sure that so many fantastic dogs receive a second
chance in The Netherlands. We have great admiration for what these people do and sacrifice
for the wellbeing of these great animals.
With warm greetings,
Emiel en Bianca Mulder
Photo's and videos of Mavi can be found on the following websites:
* Photos : http://www.mijnalbum.nl/Album=RC6JPXTI
* Videos : http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSdQE_MlE-S9R-Aptc9vBnA