If anyone doubts how loyal and loving dogs can be, all they would have to do is read about Shavi, a former stray from Russia, and her owner, Nina Baranovska. After rescuing a dying Shiva, Nina had no choice but to find her a new owner, one who she found but lived over 300 kilometers away. After sadly giving her away, Nina figured she's never see Shavi again, until one day, she felt something wet moving on her leg.

One cold January night in Rostov, Russia, Nina Baranovska saw Shavi for the very first time. She was brought to her by a few friends who found her lying in a landfill, which was known as a dumping grounds for unwanted pets. She was left for dead, shivering from the cold and with two broken legs. It looked like she had been hit by a car, covered in bruises and lacerations, and her owners simply didn't want to deal with the hassle of dealing with her. Right away, Nina and her friends wrapped the dog in a warm blanket and drove her around, looking for a veterinarian who would give them a discount. Finally, one agreed, operating on the stricken dog by putting metal screws in her legs, in the hopes that she would one day walk again.

For six months, Nina raised the dog, now named Shavi, in her crowded house, which was already packed with her mother, daughter, two adopted dogs, and three cats. By the time she got better, Shavi became a part of the family, playing with Nina's daughter Maya and with the other animals. As much as she would have loved to, Nina just could't afford to take care of Shiva on her already-modest salary, and she finally found some friends willing to adopt her. Unfortunately, they lived 290 kilometers away, in the Voronezh region, which made Nina realize that she would probably never be able to see her beautiful dog again. But when thinking of how Shavi could run around freely in the countryside, she decided to make the heartbreaking decision to give her away.

A few days after dropping her off, Nina received a phone call from her friends who had taken Shavi in, claiming that they came home to find her missing. Heartbroken, Nina assumed the worst, that Shavi had been miserable and run away from her new home. Keeping her in her thoughts, Nina went on with her life, until one day, two weeks later, she felt something wet moving on her leg while walking home from work. She looked down and could not believe who was down there. It was an exhausted and frail Shavi, who had found her way home after a 290 kilometer journey, wagging her tail and licking Nina's leg. As soon as Nina picked her up, they both started to laugh and cry. "Most people don't notice that dogs can laugh and cry too," says Nina. "Maybe they don't want to see."

Shavi is now back home and there to stay.


Go back to the ‘80s with Answer Me 1988, the latest heartwarming and nostalgic installment in the popular Answer Me series: