Moving to a new country, homesickness, adapting to a new international environment can be a serious stress for a student. It is not easy to make new friends, especially considering language and cultural barriers. But what if I tell you that there is a place where you will always be sincerely welcomed, where someone waits for you and understands you without a single word said. It is hard to believe, but such a place exists and it is called Misina Animal Shelter.
Located only half an hour from Pecs, it will amaze you with its picturesque landscape and friendly atmosphere. The inhabitants of the shelter are animals of different kinds: from well-known pets to the very exotic species. You will have a chance to meet some graceful horses, waggish rabbits, fluffy cats, joyful dogs and many-many others.
The nature protection organization does its best to provide these animals decent care and attention.
They rescue, rehabilitate and rehome abandoned, unwanted and mistreated animals and try to find them their forever home.
As soon as you enter the territory of the shelter, you will be welcomed by the cacophony of barking and squealing of a dozen dogs – of different breeds and ages.
Each of them has its own story, and each ended up in this place for different reasons – some were born within the walls of the shelter, some had lost their way home, and some were betrayed by those, who once promised to care and protect – their ex-owners.
Though, these dogs are lucky, as they always have a bowl of food, a roof over their heads, when necessary they receive medical care. But how much do these faithful animals want to frolic in the open, play, explore the world around them, look into the eyes of a person walking nearby, feel a palm on their head!
Unfortunately, the staff of the shelter do not have the opportunity to go outdoors with each of the dogs. Yet, you have.
Absolutely everyone, regardless of nationality, language or age, can take a shelter dog for a walk.
And believe me, the emotions that these walks can bring you are truly worth it. Just iImagine: the beautiful landscape around, some physical activity after hard workdays and the most understanding and faithful shaggy companion. A comrade who does not care about your grades, exams, and other worries, they are just happy to be next to you.
My first visit to Misina was organized for me and other freshman students by an amazing team of ESN Pécs back in 2017. And ever since, these trips have become regular for me and my friends.
Recently I went there again with a group of new students. And just like the first time, I was amazed to notice how people are changing while visiting a shelter. Anxiety and uncertainty give way to joy and enthusiasm, tiredness recedes.
At first, many students are embarrassed by loud barking, someone does not quite know how to behave with animals.
But finally, with the help of the shelters staff, dogs, considering their size and temperament, are picked for everyone, and the adventure may begin.
For some, friendship arises rapidly and swiftly, while others need a little more time to trust. Some choose active games and others prefer a quiet, leisurely walk. Several students with their dogs merge into a big rejoicing group while others keep a little distant, enjoying the solitude. And everyone is united by a common feeling of astonishing happiness and tranquility. A few hours fly by in a flash, and many of us cannot hold back the tears while saying goodbye to the friends. Tired, but inspired, charged with emotions, we go back to the bus. And I’m more than sure that many of us will come back here more than once.
Certainly, such events are extremely important, both for the pets of the shelter, and for the students themselves. But if you missed this ESN trip, don't worry.
The shelter's doors are open to all comers, and buses from Pecs run regularly, a few times per hour.
Dog walking can be a perfect option if you are missing your pet back at home, or maybe preparing to take the dog to your family, or perhaps you just want to get away and spend your day off doing something valuable. It can also be a great idea for hanging out with friends.
The shelter visits are completely free, however do not forget that there are plenty of good boys and girls with wagging tails and wet noses, waiting for you there, and for sure they will not mind some little treats.
Written by Ekaterina Denisova
International Relations BA
University of Pécs, Faculty of Humanities
Source: PTE EHÖK (http://pteehok.hu/hirek/)