The incredible story of Piatra, a stray dog adopted by an American family from the city beneath Pietricica Hill (Neamț county, Romania)



„Piatra” is a beautiful female dog who ended up in the US after she was adopted from the train station area in Piatra-Neamț city, Romania, by a young American man from Utah who came in Romania along with his wife, a Romanian woman adopted by an American family in 1997 from a Romanian orphanage in Iași.

As they arrived to Romania during the autumn of 2018, Dusty and Daniela have been searching for information about the origins of her family. They booked in at a place in Piatra-Neamț for a few days.

Here, during a warm autumn afternoon they found a puppy girl, abandoned in a bus station. They took her home, washed her and cleaned the parasites from her after they ended up with fleas too. Since then they have been inseparable.

„They named her Piatra, a female dog whose race is yet unknown, but who grew up so beautiful. They wanted to always remember about Romania and the beautiful city beneath Pietricica Hill and now they want someone from our town to hear their story before they return to Romania.”, a close Romanian friend of Dusty and Daniela wrote to us. He learned their story as he met them in the train station area, right in the moment they decided to adopt Piatra.

We managed to get in touch with Dusty and Daniela and this is their amazing story:

How we found her:

We were scheduled to go on a hike (Varful Toaca) around Piatra-Neamt that day. We couldn’t find the hike. It led us to a totally different place. We asked a few locals where the hike was and we decided we would probably do the hike the next day since it was already 3pm and about to get dark. We decided to drive around and site-see for the day instead.

We ended up doing the tram in Piatra-Neamt and on the way back, we saw some kids playing basketball so we decided to play with them. Once it got dark, we went back to the bus station right next to the tram entrance and had some food and crepes. After we were done, we started to go to our car and saw this little puppy playing around on the sidewalk right next to the bus stop.

Daniela and Piatra

She was playing with a water bottle. You could tell she was a stray since there was a half eaten hamburger and a little cup for water set aside for her. It seemed like she had been there a while. We started trying to play with her and she was very timid. She was scared of us but eventually started opening up to us.

My husband was rolling on the ground for about two hours trying to see if she would let him actually pet her. She was exhausted and eventually just let me hold her, Daniela says. I wrapped her in a blanket and held her. It seemed like she finally gave in after not even knowing what the warmth of human touch felt like.

We were staying with a family we met on Facebook for our trip while we were there (the trip was for my return back to Romania after being adopted at the age of five. It was my first time back since then and so I thought it was so amazing that we even found her).

Why the name:

We named her Piatra before we even knew that it meant „stone”. But it seems to fit her. She’s been through a lot and she still seems to be happy. We just love her strong fight and will to love and be happy.

We named her Piatra because we also found her in Piatra-Neamt and we didn’t want to forget that about her.

How did we bring her here:

We used a transport company that ships dogs from Europe to the United states. They are called Infinite Marketing. They shipped her to Colorado and we picked her up there from Utah. They really did everything for us from providing a crate as well as a passport for her.

Before that, we were able to have a family watch her for us in Otopeni while we tried to find a way to get her here so that she could get all her vaccinations done.

She was required to stay in Romania for thirty days after her rabies shot so it took some time. We really didn’t think it would be possible to bring her from Romania to the United States but it really became a reality for her and for us.

What does she mean to us:

She means so much to us. I feel like I have a special place in my heart for her since we were there because it was my first time back since I was adopted at age 5.

21 years have passed and I finally returned. It was such a great experience. I even had the opportunity to visit the orphanage that I was adopted from.

It just happened that we were mislead for our hike that day and everything happened in a way for us to find her. And what an amazing story we have for her.

We only had her for five days before we had to go back to the United States. But we knew we had to do everything we could to keep her as our family.

How important to adopt strays and how wonderful they can be:

It really is so heart-wrenching to see all the stray dogs in Romania.

In the United States, dogs are family, but in Romania they are everywhere and if you do have a dog, it is treated as a way of income.

I just feel like if everyone could see dogs in a different way, there wouldn’t be as many strays. And if people could treat strays as beautiful animals with kind hearts instead of ‘the outcast’ there wouldn’t be as many.

In the United States, we see the strays in Romania as beautiful dogs that many would pay even a thousand dollars for. They are pretty rare and beautiful creatures worth fighting for.

I just think if we can change even one life, we might as well fight for it. Piatra is the best thing I could ever hope for. She is beautiful and so full of light!

She loves the snow. Her favorite thing in the world is running in circles and catching snowballs. She is such an an angel!

If even one dog is saved, that one might have a better life and it will mean the whole world to the puppy.

Piatra now:

Photo and video credits: Dusty and Daniela

Thank you!

(Mihaela Iosub)

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