29 May 2015 I sadly regret to let you all know that Ranger has passed away peacefully today. The last few months Ranger has been struggling with walking and unfortunately the last few days it's come closer to his time. Ranger was in a lot of pain and could no longer move or even get up. Diane & Tony made the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye today and he passed peacefully knowing love in his heart with the Rowles family all around him giving him peace. RIP beautiful boy we will miss you so much. You are the one that started a legacy in saving so many dogs and cats lives and are the very reason RSDR started. We will never forget you. You have left a pawprint on our hearts xxxooo RIP. Rangers storyRanger was one of the many hungry and abused street dogs in Bulgaria. At some stage in his life, he had received a horrific head injury which has left him with an odd shaped skull and his face is paralysed down one side. My youngest son, Luke would see him when he went to the town centre. He told me about the dog and how he had been told by his friends that someone had caused the dogs head injury by hitting him over the head with a large stone. The dog was very wary and would have nothing to do with people. Luke was told to keep away from him in case he got bitten. However he carried on talking to the dog and throwing him bits of food and before long, the dog was following him everywhere and waiting outside all night for him, sometimes in the pouring rain. We told Luke not to encourage him as there would be fighting with our other dogs but despite trying to send him away, he would not go.
Neighbours were not happy about a street dog hanging about. Many times, old ladies would beat him badly with large sticks, children would throw stones at him and shoot him with air rifles. One day, children were being cruel to him and he turned and jumped at one of them. Although she wasn?t bitten, the girl was shocked and her father came after Ranger with a shotgun, firing it at him outside the house while Liam and Luke were trying to get him in the garden. The police then came to the house and we explained that he wasn?t our dog, he was a street dog, but if people weren?t cruel to him, there wasn?t a problem. We were still told that if we didn?t keep him on a chain, we would have to take him to be put down. We tried to keep him on a chain but because of his odd shaped head, he could slip a collar. One day he escaped for no longer than five minutes. He had a run about with Liam and Luke trying to catch him then ran straight back. He never bothered anyone. Minutes later, I saw a man at the gate and went out to see what he wanted. He started shouting and waving a handgun at me . At this point I just wanted to be back in the UK where people couldn?t get away with such cruelty or wave a handgun at a woman.
The police told us it would be best if Ranger was put to sleep. As we had just recently moved there, we were slightly intimidated and never thought to question the legal rights of it all. The police told my husband Tony to take the dog to a town 25kms away, meet the guy, pay him and Ranger would be put down. Tony took Ranger to be put down. We were all heartbroken, especially Luke who blamed himself for making friends with the dog in the first place. Four nights later, I couldn?t sleep. I kept thinking Ranger is somehow alive and trying to find his way back. The next morning, there he was at the doorstep, hungry and exhausted. . We realised after Ranger came back the whole thing wasn?t quite right and no way would we let him go again without a battle. We never found out what happened to him in those few days and didn?t pursue it. My guess is that instead of putting him down, the guy sold him as a guard dog and he escaped. Despite being locked up, Ranger came back to where he would be fed and cared for and to a young boy who probably showed him the first bit of kindness in his life.