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Hungry dog ​​rescued on Amazon to watch TV documentary about his life from couch in Antrim

Hungry dog ​​rescued on Amazon to watch TV documentary about his life from couch in Antrim

When Northern Irishman David Foster finds a stray dog ​​on an Amazonian island, he is barely alive and in dire need of help.

Four years in Negrita living in Co Antrim after an incredible rescue that spanned 6,000 miles and took six months to complete, and rehabilitation that continues to this day.

Now eight years old, Negrita is an outstanding example of the determination and instinct to survive and the dedication and affection of his family that has allowed him to thrive.

And next week she’ll be starring in an ITV documentary detailing the twists and turns of life that gave her the one chance she needed – a random encounter with a Northern Irish dog lover on a bucket list vacation in Brazil.

Dog-father David, 40, said: “It really was the right time, the right place. We were just meant to be together.

“Shortly before I met Negrita, I founded a small charity called Play for Strays to bring positive enrichment to animal rescue centers around the world, and I started bringing toys for vacations and work trips to the Far East.



Negrita is depicted on the day David found her

“When I met Negrita, I had already dropped the toys off at the rescue center in San Paulo, and I turned to them a few days later in an attempt to help save his life.

“From the moment I saw Negrita, I knew I needed to help her, I wanted to help her. He was just a bag of bones and he was alone, starving and covered in wounds and fleas. At times I travel with strangers on boat trips and I assume they probably feel the same way I do. My instinct was to give this poor dog some food and take him to safety on the boat.

“But no one other than the cook, feels the same way. I know if we leave without him we will sentence him to death and it won’t be long. He is very thin and weak.”

David took video footage of his first encounter with Negrita and has been documenting his journey with him ever since.

He said: “I think he may have been a guard dog on a fishing boat in the Amazon and fell or was kicked. He had a puppy and he was about four years old when I first saw him.

“I had lost my dog ​​Freeda nine years earlier and was so heartbroken that I swore I would never own a dog again, I just couldn’t get over the trauma of losing it.



David with his dog Freeda

“I missed her so much that I took her ashes to Los Angeles and mixed them in ink and got her picture tattooed on my back. I needed to somehow hold onto her and this was the best I could do.

“But then Negrita happened and now we are together for life. I never looked back and neither did he. It’s just meant to be.”



The ink used to tattoo Freeda’s image, contains some of the ashes

Negrita’s path from starving Amazonian wrecks to couch surfers Co Antrim isn’t easy.

David faces a battle to get permission from staff and other passengers to allow the stray dog ​​aboard.

Then he discovered that he had been removed from the boat at dawn before leaving for the day.

David said: “I heard the boat start and decided to get up to take some early morning photos and I saw Negrita sitting on the beach watching us sail.

“I can’t believe it. There’s just no mercy for him. All I want to do is take him to a city where he has a chance to survive.

“After a lot of talking with bad emotions I made the boat back and brought Negrita back to the boat and she has been sleeping in my cabin ever since so I know she will be safe. I don’t want him to mysteriously disappear again.



Country today

“After a few days we got off the boat and were ready to go on to the next part of the holiday, a week-long trek in the jungle. The others went ahead and I started my journey to get help for Negrita. He needs dog food and proper veterinary care, he needs love and attention, he just needs a chance.

“He was checked for Leishmaniasis and I was told if he carried this parasitic disease he would be put to sleep immediately. It was a tough 24 hours waiting for the test to return, but luckily he was clear.

“He was treated for fleas, ticks and worms and given a rabies shot and then he went up to the vet’s kennel for a while while I was looking for a way to find a safe place for him.

“At this stage I knew he was coming home with me, I just needed to figure out how. So there I was in Brazil with a big skinny dog, going to face the end of my holiday knowing I couldn’t just leave.”



Negrita performs on the side of David’s charity van for Play For Strays

David contacted the animal charity he had previously left his toys with in San Paulo and explained his predicament.

He said: “I knew it was a long shot. I needed a place for Negrita to quarantine for six months where he would be safe, fed, watered and cared for, before I even had time to think about flying him home.

“I was worried about the lack of compassion he had shown on the boat but when I got to the charity he was taken and just joined their family.

“There’s no question not to help her – and I know in that moment, I’ve met people who feel the way I do, people who know that compassion doesn’t cost anything.”

And suddenly David was alone again in Brazil, waiting to catch a plane home and six months waiting to take Negrita to Northern Ireland.

The charity kept in touch, sending her video and photo updates and when the time came to pick up Negrita from Dublin Airport, she felt like she knew this beautiful dog.



Past and present

He said: “He cleared the rabies and quarantine checks and was placed in a crate and taken on a flight from San Paulo to Frankfurt and then from Frankfurt to Dublin. The crate was taken off the plane in a forklift truck and placed on the snow on the ground.

“No confession, he doesn’t know who I am, so no tears and laughter, no chasing. Now I have a petrified dog in a foreign country, full of strange smells and sounds.

“He didn’t understand English, he didn’t know my voice and he panicked which made the situation quite dangerous for him and me. All I could do was load the crate in the car and drive from Dublin to Antrim.



Negrita is enjoying her showbiz life

“By the time I got home he was still freaking out and I just had to take the crate to the back garden and open the door and get away from him. He ran out and had the biggest pee and then we started again.

“Negrita is at home and we are finally together. I promised him the best life I could give him and today, four years on, he’s been amazing.

“But his previous trauma has left him with some quirks. He was never any different to me than the day I met him on the beach in Brazil, he was goofy and fun and affectionate. He liked and trusted my dad Hillard, but other than that he wasn’t very interested. socialize.



Negrita with her rescue and dog dad, David

“He has a problem with barriers and will allow people into our house beside him, but he definitely won’t let anyone in if he’s in the doorway first.

“He’s muzzled all the time in public and I’m taking every precaution to make sure he stays safe and we all stay safe around him.

“Negrita was let down by humans, she was abandoned and neglected, she suffered, she starved and she almost died. So I understand that he’s not interested in strangers, and I think it’s acceptable that he has some trust issues.

“The people who helped her, the people at the charity, me and my dad were enough for Negrita. She is our girl and she will have everything she needs for the rest of her life.



David and Negrita

“I’m thrilled that ITV featured him in their incredible rescue documentary. It was amazing and I feel humbled to be in his life, to be able to help save his life.

“I often wonder what the people on the boat will think when they see it on TV, the skinny dog ​​they don’t want to help, the bag of skin and bones they left behind.

“His life was so precious and he came to ask for help. I’m just grateful I was there at that time, in that place, at that moment, I’m just grateful he allowed me to be the one.”

If you would like to donate to David’s charity Play For Strays, you can click here.



Negrita and David will appear in the ITV documentary about the incredible rescue

Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera will premiere on Tuesday, September 28 on ITV1 at 9 p.m.

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Tags: Amazon Antrim couch documentary dog Hungry life rescued watch

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