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The Waiting Game

Sonia Vaquera volunteers as part of our BU web team and is currently waiting for her new adopted pupstar Lia. Adopting an overseas pup requires patience as your chosen charity organises travel arrangements, tests and pet passports but it is definitely worth the wait as many adopters will tell you! Check out Michaela's story about adoption too!

Sonia tells us in her own words what her family have been up to prepare for Lia's arrival! The anticipation, excitement, anxieties- the preparatory purchases- everything! We hope that this post will be useful for those of you waiting for your beloved bu babies, they won't be long now!


My name is Sonia and me and my partner David have decided to adopt Lia. BU asked me to write about our experience during the adoption process. So here we go!

I have always considered myself a dog person, I was born into a house with a dog and a cat, and when I was 5 years old my parents decided to bring home another dog for me to grow up with. By 9 years old I had my third dog!

David and I moved to the UK in 2013 from sunny Spain and since then I missed having a dog so much... but until now, we haven’t been able to do, so as we were renting and most of the landlords or agencies do not allow dogs.

We currently have a cat, her name is Blue (yes, she’s a British blue cat and my imagination runs low, but I named her Blue after Blue from Jurassic World!) and well, when we adopted her we thought she was a he, but that’s a story for another day...!

We have recently bought a house and since we moved we thought it would be great to have a dog now that we have lots of space and beautiful places for it to enjoy. I am not sure how, but one day Balkan Underdogs Facebook page appeared on my account... so I started following them and fell in love with the amazing work they (now ‘we’) do!

David wanted to surprise me by buying a puppy, but before making the final step he thought it would be wise to get my opinion. So I told him, instead of spending that much money on a puppy- why don’t we adopt one? There are so many dogs that are desperate for a home! And so we contacted Balkan Underdogs...and the anticipation began!

Firstly, it was imperative for us to find a dog that would be good with cats, so when I contacted Balkan Underdogs, the team were great at pointing us to some dogs that tested and found to be ok with cats.

This is how we found Lia! This beautiful girl -only 10 months old, and something about her just clicked with us. I have been reading black dogs have fewer chances to get adopted, well it wasn’t the case for us...

BU put us in contact with her rescuer so we could ask any questions we had and she was phenomenal! She explained everything we needed to know, she shared pictures and videos of her so we could see first-hand what Lia was all about.

After we agreed to adopt her, it was time for a home check and a conversation with BU. I must say I never imagined the adoption process, but as you go through it you realise how necessary this is to ensure the dogs end up in the right family.

I was also added to the Facebook group for people that already adopted, and what a great community- I must say! The support is incredible! BU is fully invested to not only ensure dogs and cats get adopted but also to ensure you have lifetime support for anything you or your dog may need.

I have approached the BU adoption team a few times to ask questions and they have always been so responsive with fast and kind answers. I am aware of what is happening every step of the way. Some people (I know I was one of them) may think to hold on...why do I have to pay to adopt a dog? If they need it so much why are they not for free? As you go along the process you understand why! Dogs are taken care of since the day they are rescued and sometimes before as rescuers feed and care for them whilst on the streets before they can develop trust. They get vet checks, vaccinations, and food, they are treated for any medical conditions they have and worked on to ensure they can be the best version of themselves, obtain their passports, and organise transportation. They are also neutered and microchipped and get a full health check-testing for various diseases, and of course, you get full lifetime support.

When I saw the amazing job BU does and the number of people involved I couldn’t resist it and I joined the team to support however I could.

We are still a couple of months away to get Lia home and I can’t wait to see her, we have been preparing for her arrival.

My reading has been nonstop. How can I introduce Lia to Blue, types of training, how to positively train your dog, settling up your new BU Dog, separation anxiety, problems barking? I have also been watching lots of dog training videos, and buying dog seat belts, leads, and crates... so much to read!! 😊 But I know that when Lia comes home and we see her for the first time it will all be worth it!"

Our thanks to Sonia for sharing her excitement with us! Please do feel free to leave a comment for Sonia below, and if you have any questions for her, you can contact Sonia here!

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