by Amy Abern, Best Friends Staff
After a long journey, three dogs from Iran find safe, happy haven in the states.
Keizie a golden lab mix and his sister, Amie, a black lab mix, have plenty of play room in their new Colorado home. They’ve become fast friends with their new friend, The Cat. They never liked cats before; probably because their mom Rosie didn’t like cats.
But they don’t live with Rosie anymore and they’ve discovered cats --- at least The Cat --- provides hours of fun and entertainment. And Keizie and Amie couldn’t be happier with their new human companions, Diana Croissant and Paul Mushovic.
Rosie is content living with Denise Ferguson in the Washington D.C. area. She chose Denise as her person out of several potential human companions. Denise said from the moment she saw Rosie, she felt like she was seeing an old friend.
The three dogs are doing well now, but a year ago, they were in the throes of confusion, fright and anxiety. They had been living in Iran with their companions Fatemeh Motamedi and her husband, Sirous Salehi. When the couple was forced to flee Iran, they had to leave their dogs behind.
Over the past year, the dogs flew from Iran to Canada. They’ve been shuffled from sanctuaries to homes to adoption sites to sanctuaries and finally, to homes. It’s been a rough year for Rosie and her pups --- it was just as hard a year for Fatemeh.
"I can’t tell you --- there are no words to describe how difficult this was to leave my dogs," said Fatemeh. "Of all the hardships we faced, this was the biggest one of all."
Fatemeh and Sirous Salehi sought sanctuary in Canada. The three dogs were left with a friend in Iran. After a couple of months, the dogs were transported to Canada. But they couldn’t live with Fatemeh.
"I looked for homes for them, but I didn’t have any luck," she said. "So I found a nice sanctuary for them to stay in Canada."
Rosie, Keizie and Amie lived at Dog Days Camp until Fatemeh’s daughter Parisa drove from her home in Washington D.C. to pick up the dogs and bring them back to the states.
The first night back, Parisa invited her friend Denise over to meet the three pooches. When Rosie saw Denise, she thumped her tail in greeting. She waited patiently for the girls’ visit to end and then she followed Denise outside and went to her car. She was going home.
"Rosie jumped into the front seat," said Parisa. "It was like they’d been together for years."
But Keizie and Amie still needed homes. Parisa wanted to adopt them, but her German Shepherd Dupont would have none of it. Parisa tried training, separating the dogs into different sections of the home and even housing them in her boyfriend’s condo. Nothing worked.
Parisa took Keizie and Amie to several humane rescue adoption events. And then she brought them home from the adoption events.
One woman in North Carolina contacted Parisa and said she’d take the dogs. Parisa drove them to the woman’s home. A week later, Parisa picked them up and brought them back home with her because the woman had changed her mind.
"We were getting very discouraged," admitted Parisa. "I didn’t want to surrender the dogs to any shelter that would have been awful for me and my mom."
Fatemeh put Parisa in touch with Anne Mejia at Best Friends. Fatemeh had become close with Anne during a visit to Best Friends a few years back. Anne had been following Fatemeh’s sad saga and was more than willing to help.
Anne told Parisa Keizie and Amie would be welcome at Best Friends until they found a forever home --- and if they didn’t, they’d be welcome at Best Friends for the rest of their lives. Parisa loaded up her car and drove Keizie and Amie to Best Friends over Labor Day weekend.
After a month, Parisa received an email from Best Friends. It seemed this couple, Diana and Paul, were interested in adopting the siblings. Parisa refused to get her hopes up. She knew the dogs would be with this couple for a week-long trial…but then what?
At the end of the week, Parisa received an email from Paul and Diana saying even if she begged she couldn’t get Keizie and Amie back. They were home.
Fatemeh has ridden a rollercoaster of emotions since leaving Iran --- lately, her feelings come in waves of gratefulness and joy. She’s seen for herself her "babies" are in good homes, and as long as they’re happy, she’s happy.
Fatemeh had the chance to meet Denise during a visit with Parisa. When she saw her Rosie so obviously devoted and happy with Denise, she was able to let go.
And when she received a glowing email from Paul and Diana how much joy Keizie and Amie have brought into their home, Fatemeh let go again.
Of course, she has never stopped loving the dogs. It’s the same love that helped her understand Rosie, Keizie and Amie are in the best places possible. And that makes it a little easier.
"This was obviously such a sad story," said Fatemeh. "But there’s such a happy ending. And I’m so grateful to Parisa, Anne and everyone who helped my dogs through this journey. I think I finally knew when Keizie and Amie came to Best Friends, everything would be OK.
"And now things are better than OK! I look at the pictures everyone sends me of the dogs in their new families and my worries vanish. I feel so good knowing they have such wonderful lives now with such wonderful people."