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Yan’s First Rescue, MuLan: 

“The amount of stray dogs roaming the streets of China appeared to increase during the hot summer days. I would bring them a bottle of water and some food. Most would accept the donations graciously and then be on their way. 

I’d catch glimpses of one particular puppy by the train station near an outdoor shopping center, but I was never able to get close to her until the third day I saw her. I quickly bought a sandwich from a nearby Starbucks to give to her. The dog smelled it, took a few bites, drank some water, and then laid down. 

I purchased a leash for the puppy at a nearby pet shop. The dog was still aimlessly wandering the streets when I came out. Although she had accepted my food, she was still too wary to remain close to me. I was worried that I’d scare her away so I went home without her. The next day, I returned with another peace offering: mutton and water.  As the dog ate a couple pieces of lamb, I made a hesitant attempt to scratch her ear. She didn’t object so I continued to pet her. After more than three hours, I was able to get the leash I’d purchased yesterday onto the dog. A young lady who had been watching the entire interaction brought me to a local pet hospital to get the stray examined. 

After several tests, I learned that the dog was around two years old, was fully vaccinated, and had a skin disease and worms. The vet gave me a bottle of soothing shampoo and medicine to get rid of the worms. I took the dog home and gave her a thorough bath. Her fur was extremely matted and stuck together in clumps by dirt and other mysterious grime. I also came up with a fitting name for this strong and memorable dog that same night: MuLan.

After a few months of twists and turns, I was able to find MuLan a family in Germany. When I rang the doorbell of the family’s home, a mother and a daughter rushed out to greet MuLan and I with tears in their eyes. I thought my interactions with MuLan ended then and there when I handed her to the adopters; however, the following day I received a phone call from the mother. She seemed frantic and I immediately assumed that something terrible had happened. Scenarios quickly began churning in my head. Did MuLan run away? Did she bite one of the children? Did she poop on their expensive couch? These paranoid thoughts were interrupted by the mother who exclaimed that MuLan was born on the exact same day their previous dog had passed away on: August 1st. The two even looked alike. Finally meeting MuLan confirmed the family’s belief that she was meant to be apart of their household.” 

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