Why we do, what we do.
I would like to tell you a little story. It was in June 2017. I went to Cuba with my brothers. I wanted to show my brothers the country in which I have been riding regularly for more than 15 years.
At the time, the trip should do me good too. I'm from Germany and had a dog called Nico there for almost 17 years. Nico was my best friend, he was with me during the best days of my life and he was with me during the worst days of my life.
I knew that Nico was very old and I also knew that his life would one day end. On February 7, 2017, this day had come. The last thing I could do for my best friend was to not let him suffer. I was devastated...
Nico was a loving dog to so many people. If people were afraid of dogs - with Nico they have lost that fear. Nico was the mascot for a big American Football Club. Children learned how to handle dogs at Nico. He was seen in music videos. World stars like Lionel Richie (I work for a radio station) played with him on the editorial staff of the station.
Nicos loving nature has inspired all who met him. For many, it was inconceivable that I brought this great dog out of the shelter in 2001.
Someone had just thrown away Nico.
After Nicos death, many of my friends asked me when to get a dog again. That was a tough question for me. Nothing could replace Nico, nothing! I asked Nico before he died: "If I have a dog again, send it to me!" ....
In June 2017 I flew back to Havana. As I said, this time with my two brothers Alexander and Felix. After an 11 hour flight we arrived in Cuba, checked in to our Casa, Alejandro our Cuban friend was there too ... We were tired and hungry.
So we went to a small restaurant near our Casa and ordered chicken with salad and rice. And then I saw him, saw his face and looked into his deep sad eyes. A medium sized dog in very bad shape. When he looked at me, I was in shock. THAT was exactly Nico's face and his eyes. My hunger was gone immediately.
I took the chicken off my plate and went to him. He was so scared, had no confidence in people, and even the waiters did not like the fact that I threw some meat to the little boy. "Please not in front of the restaurant!" I was told. So I went a bit further, sat down on the sidewalk and bit the chicken little by little to the puppy. I gave him the name Pablo.
In the next few days we went to the same restaurant again and again. Pablo was already waiting for us. And after 3 days Pablo let himself be stroked for the first time.
Pablo, who was so anxious, slowly gained confidence. I was even greeted with a little tail wagging. Even the waiters who were unfriendly days before, automatically gave me meat leftovers for my new friend. I still do not forget the words of the waitress when she said to me on the third day: "You have a good heart!" ...
On the fourth day Pablo had suddenly disappeared. We searched for him, asked people, talked on the phone. I did not see Pablo again until the day I left.
I heard horror stories that dogs are caught and poisoned. I was angry about these stories. But I also understood what happened in Havana: Nico sent me a task!
Back in Germany, I contacted Aniplant and CEDA (2 Cuban animal welfare organizations). I asked how we can help. Meanwhile, we have brought the first small relief shipments to Cuba. In Germany, I found people who help me: Nicos former veterinarian, several animal markets and friends who help.
What I am most proud of is my brothers. We love animals. My brother Alex is a big fan of cats and he started taking pictures of cats in Cuba. When we looked at all pictures in Germany again I was fascinated by the beauty of these pictures.
Alex made a cat calendar every year, just for friends and relatives, a maximum of 50 copies. I asked him if we should make a calendar to help the two aid organizations. He said yes immediately. And on our next visit to Havana, Alex and Felix went to Havana for several days just to take pictures of cats. The result you see on this website.
When I showed the pictures to Mrs. Nora Garcia Perez (President of Aniplant), she began to cry. Her idea was also to exhibit the pictures on 5 October 2019 for the "Day of Animal Welfare" in Havana.
It's time for me to thank my two boys. Nico, thank you for sending me Pablo. I thank you that I was allowed to see him.
And Pablo, we only had a little time together. I do not know where you are today, I do not even know if you're still alive. No matter where you are today, little boy, you should know that all that is happening now and will happen in the future is yours.
I will not forget you and Nico as long as I live. That's a promise!
Dear reader, only together can we achieve something. I am the very first one who knows that. I am only part of this story. You can decide how this story will continue now.
If you want to help us, I would be pleased to have you on board. And, as you can see from this story, we will help both cats and dogs.
2018 - first aid delivery to CEDA
2018 - visit Aniplant