The pet’s new owners, Christine and Steve Arnott, were over the moon when their new pet arrived in Bolton on April 18 after five months of waiting and shelling out around 3,700 pounds (approx. US$ 5,150) on the pooch.
Deena was 3 months old when she was found on the streets of Changchun City, Jilin province, with a broken back leg—feared to have been from jumping off a meat truck.
Christine and Steve then found her on an animal welfare charity website called the Great Bulls of China and were struck by Deena’s “intense” facial expression; they knew right then that they wanted to give her a better life with their three Alaskan Malamutes and three German Shepherds.
“She was so beautiful and had such an intense expression on her face, yet was unsponsored,” Christine, 49, said. “We hadn’t planned on getting another dog, but we felt like she needed a home when we saw her picture.”
From November 2020, the couple began paying 135 pounds (approx. US$188) a month’s sponsorship and were finally able to start buying doggie treats, beds, and blankets as the big day neared.
According to health and safety officer Christine, there were five to six attempts made to get Deena onto a plane, but with the pandemic, the cost of flights was astronomical.
During the months that followed, the charity continued to send photos and videos of Deena to the couple as they eagerly waited for her arrival. Christine then received a bonus from work that was initially meant to be spent on a new kitchen, but she said “this was more important.”
Recalling the one weekend the couple thought that Deena had made it onto the flight, but then were told that the canine was refused due to an overloaded plane, Christine said, “We were gutted.”
However, in April 2021, Deena was finally put on a plane. “We were just mind blown when we got told she was on her way,” Christine said. The couple then went all out to buy blankets, treats, and all different brands of food as they were unaware of what Deena would like and couldn’t wait to finally hold her.
Christine went down to Bolton to pick up the new arrival. Describing the moment she first saw Deena, Christine said: “When the guy opened the back of the pet transfer van in Bolton, it’s safe to say I was in floods of tears. “It was just amazing to see her and hold her after five months of pictures and videos.”
Christine then drove her beloved pet back home and introduced Deena to all the other dogs outside the house one by one. “She was a little bit reserved at first but seemed interested, and very curious,” Christine said.
Now that it’s been a few weeks since Deena has settled into her new home, Christine says that she gets along fabulously with the other dogs, but admits that Deena still doesn’t get some things, like realizing her meals are regular.
Sometimes, the couple sit back in amazement and look at her, thinking “of the horror that could have happened” if she wasn’t with them.
“To just think of all the thousands of miles she traveled, all the pain she had been in, all the different people that touched her, it breaks my heart,” Christine said. “If a human had gone through half of what Deena’s been through they would need years of therapy.” ✪