Friends! Everything will be Ukraine! 

How an American rescuer saved tiny dog Mimi in Kherson

I am a small dog from Kherson, and this story is about me. Namely, about how I managed to find my Man – an American rescuer who flew around the hemisphere to help our defenders and defenders, and to change my four-legged life once and for all!

As long as I can remember, I have had no name, no home. I was just a stray dog. I didn’t know my mother and I don’t remember how, why, or when I ended up in the city all alone.

This year’s February night in my hometown was no different from other nights. Constant flashes and sounds. I’m used to running away. For as long as I can remember. I could see the river in the distance, but I was too sad near it. That’s why I often came to the high fence. Big dogs gathered around it every night.

tried to make friends with them, but probably because the other dogs were much taller than me, they often barked and quarreled in my direction, and I kept to myself. It was cold and I was very hungry. We all… both people and animals – all the time! Please do not forget that.

I decided to approach the huge dogs again, but they didn’t accept me, so I hesitantly backed away and thought that I would have to grow up a little. Then I will become like them and maybe we will become friends. Because I am too tiny for now.

Behind me, a quiet voice called me over. I turned around and the first thing I saw were very kind eyes looking at me and a smile that seemed to say: “Everything will be fine.”

It turned out that since that night the house behind the high fence had stopped being empty. The rescuers found shelter there to warm up and rest. They came to our city from a distant country.

Perhaps it was because of the high fence that this house was intact, unlike the others, that the rescuers decided to stay there. 

Another rescuer called the person who called me: “Barry,” and although I was a tiny puppy, I immediately remembered this name and repeated it to myself several times. 

It’s hard to explain what I felt at that moment, but I still decided to approach Barry. The rescuer took me in his palms, in which I fit completely.

– You’re so small,” the American rescuer said quietly and looked at his friend. 

– “Let’s take her inside,” Barry’s friend, who was also a rescuer and had flown with him from the United States, pointed to the other dogs who were quarreling in our direction. “But I still managed to love them. Don’t forget what I said at the beginning.

– Behind the fence, the crumbs don’t stand a chance. The puppy is too small. It is no more than two or three months old. You know what will happen,” he added. 

And although they spoke a different language, because they came to us from far away, I could easily understand the “language” of care.

Especially when the American rescuer brought me into their yard and I felt for the first time that I was not alone.

I could feel the warmth from his palms. He had flown to us on purpose to deliver parcels and help those who needed it most. 

What can I say: I, a tiny stray puppy, was really very lucky that night. To continue their mission to help everyone in need in Kherson, Barry and his rescue friends had to get a special permit. He made it possible to stay here for a while longer.

Meanwhile, while hundreds of thoughts were running through my dog’s head, Barry gently set me down on the ground and then began to set up a kennel and a warm bed. I was completely unsuited to living in a house before, so my gratitude was overwhelming. After all, he allowed me to stay in the kennel overnight and walk around the area. This calmed me down.

From now on, not only Barry and the other rescuers, but I had my own mission in life – to protect the territory entrusted to me, no matter how tiny it was! And above all, I was going to protect the man who had saved me and given me a completely new life as a homeless person. 

I noticed how tired the American rescuer was. Of course, you will be surprised, but I will admit that we dogs always feel what is inside you – people. It was not difficult for me to feel in my heart that this was Barry’s first and very difficult night. He looked extremely tired and sad because he had seen my city with his own eyes and what the vile invaders had done to it! He, like our defenders of our motherland and other rescuers, had a huge, brave heart and was constantly thinking about how else he could help.

At that moment, I went over and leaned my face against Barry’s leg. By doing so, I tried to show the American rescuer my support and that I fully trusted my little four-legged life.

– “Mimi,” Barry smiled and stroked me, and that’s how I got my name. The combat rescuer from the United States named me after his great-grandmother. I liked the name: “Mimi,” just like his name: I repeated the name “Barry” to myself several times. 

This moment of trust from me was a real breath of fresh air for the rescuer. I think he guessed that from now on he was my man.

That night I stayed in the booth after they fed me. As soon as dawn broke, the rescuers quickly got ready and went outside. I woke up right away. They were going to continue delivering aid parcels.

Barry and his team got ready and went to their car, which was on the next street. They quickly walked to the car, and although I felt at ease behind the fence because I knew every corner of it, I tried to keep up with Barry and stay close to him.

The rescuers got into the car and went on their mission. Meanwhile, I continued to run after the car as long as I could, and when I was completely out of energy, I stopped and went back. I was going to wait for Barry in front of the fence. 

When they came back, I squeaked with joy and ran to meet Barry. I literally threw myself on the American rescuer’s leg and started spinning around to show how happy I was to have him back. It was the second day of our meeting and Barry remembered it because of the incredible emotions of joy and happiness.

Thanks to me, he could take his mind off the constant flashes and sounds coming from everywhere. The only difference was that now I didn’t run away from them or hide anymore, because I knew Barry would protect me… and to be completely honest, I often hid behind Barry’s legs.

The third morning for Barry and his rescue friends was no different from the previous ones. They also continued to fulfill their mission, namely to help those in need by delivering parcels.

I ran as fast as I could to catch up with the car. I even managed to run further than yesterday, but then I fell behind and sat down to catch my breath. 

The car stopped periodically and the rescuers handed out parcels. Then quickly returning to the car, we continued to drive on. Moreover, that day the fire from the sky did not stop for a second. 

In one of those moments, Barry didn’t notice that he had lost his glove, which I found by smelling on the way back to the house and took with me. I hoped that Barry would not go looking for her with his friends. Indeed, even though his friend noticed that Barry had lost one of his gloves, they decided not to go back for it.

Finally, late in the evening, they came to the fence. I was sitting proudly leaning on my front paws, under which I was trying to hide a surprise for the American rescuer, namely, his lost glove. 

As they approached the gate, Barry noticed that I was hiding something under my paws. He could not guess what I had there and only when he approached and crouched down did he see his glove, which I had found thanks to his scent. I wanted to show him once again how grateful I was that he had taken me behind the fence to live with them.

Barry was so stunned when I removed the paws. He took the glove in confusion because he still could not believe his eyes. The American rescuer patted me. Other rescuers stopped not far from us and Barry said: 

– This is my second visit to Ukraine. I had come to help people again, but,” and then he stopped talking and his eyes told me so much. I knew that Barry was thinking of me, the tiny dog Mimi. They say: “Rescuers, like defenders, are not a job, but a calling of the soul.” I am sure it is! I have no other explanation.

That night, the barking of the dogs was too loud. Barry came out to see if I had gone over the fence. In addition, the street was covered with a special, thick darkness. Flames appeared in the night sky more and more often. Barry never fell asleep. He and the other rescuers went outside and felt the warmth from my side. I was literally sitting on his leg. 

Barry took me in his arms and carried me to the basement. So, for the first time in my four-legged life, I found myself inside a room. I probably wouldn’t have been able to cross the threshold on my own, even when the flashes were very close. But thanks to Barry’s carrying me in, I still stayed in the basement until the morning. Because I perceived Barry as an alpha, and in his presence, I did not even drink water or eat. In this way, I showed the rescuer that everything around us belonged only to him. For us dogs, this is extremely important!

Behind the walls, where we sat until the morning, Barry supported me with his palm, and in the morning he went to consult with his team: 

– Does Mimi have an owner? “Maybe the puppy is just lost and someone is looking for her?” he asked his rescue friends. 

– “I don’t think so,” said one of the guys. – “Most likely, the puppy was born on the street. She has no home or anyone who can take care of her right now.

That morning, Barry went around to the locals to ask if I was sure I had no owner and no one was crying for me. It turned out that I didn’t, and because people in my hometown were so worried about the vile invaders, they would hardly be able to take care of me properly. You know what I mean. 

Barry went back to consult with his friends about what would happen to me when they left. This was the question that worried him the most.

– You know what will happen,” one of his friends told Barry. – “She’s too small, just a tiny little thing. Mimi can’t do it alone… look at her. 

– Well, – Barry replied and thought to himself that even before going to Kherson, he had been thinking that it would be good if he had a chance to help not only people but also animals, and it was as if fate itself had heard him. 

I looked into his eyes, filled with kindness, and even before he mentally decided to take me, I felt it. Somewhere inside me, I knew he wasn’t just taking me away that night. I knew for sure since yesterday that Barry is my man. And this is so important for us four-legged animals: to find exactly He decided to find “his man” and entrust his furry life to him.

So when it came time to leave the city because the rescue workers’ permit had expired, Barry took me with him. Since I had already been indoors, I was glad to be going with him. And although the day and a half trip to Kyiv was too long for a restless puppy, the main thing was that we were together.

We arrived in the capital and moved into an apartment. And even though since meeting Barry, something new has been happening to me all the time, like a home, instead of running around the streets hiding because of the constant flames around me…

Then Barry put a leash on me for the first time so that we could walk around and get to know the new city for us, and I was incredibly happy. 

When he fastened it on me, I admit that I protested and simply refused to go for a walk. Instead, I lay down on my back. In my hometown, I could run wherever I wanted, but I knew I had to obey Barry.

In general, my acquaintance with all the new things that are happening around me is going well, although I don’t like the large number of cars. It’s strange for me. I also worry about the large number of dogs on walks. However, the main thing is that we are walking with Barry at this time. 

Barry also does a lot of training in Kyiv. He teaches other rescuers what he knows. If the classes do not take too long and there are no other dogs there, the American rescuer takes me with him. After all, I’m still a tiny little thing. I guess that’s just the way I am.

However, if school lasts all day or Barry goes out of town, my American rescuer takes me to his friends, with whom he has been friends for more than two years. Their names are Tetiana and Pavlo. They have a little Shih Tzu dog named Marko. We have become very close and have become friends. Marko accepts me as I am, and it makes me happy.

I am very happy that Barry and I live together now and I can often come to visit and play with Marco. When I see other dogs, I still feel embarrassed, but we always have fun with Marco.

Who would have thought that after so many things, I have found everything I could not even dream of thanks to Barry. Now, I am Mimi, and I can say that I am absolutely happy, because one night in February, I finally found my man!

I would like to once again sincerely thank the curator, volunteer, teacher Artem Kelbas and combat rescuer, volunteer from the United States – Barry Wolf, who flew to our country for the second time to help our defenders protect us from the vile invaders… and, of course, the fluffy baby Mimi! 

In gratitude, I presented American rescuer Barry and baby Mimi with a 4th grade Ukrainian Literature and Reading textbook, which includes my work, and told them, of course, about “Where did the Cossacks get the strength to defend our motherland”!

Sincerely, the author: Inga Kvitka!

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