Eugene Petrus was an advertisement specialist before his wife Kristina Masalova and he started to travel. She used to be an Egyptologist, who wrote a Ph.D. thesis, but their lives changed for the better in 2017 during a half-year tour through Southeast Asia.
The duo began their journey from Kochi, Kerala, where they found a dying puppy right on the second day of their journey. “We realised that she was lost and had no other chances to survive except with our help. We were told that no veterinary clinics are open at night, so we took her to our hotel and did everything we could by ourselves,” recalls Kristina.
They spent the whole night helping the puppy fight overheating, dehydration and starvation. “In the morning, we realised she had many more problems: Dermatitis, fleas, ticks, worms and joint dislocation on her leg. We spent a few more days in Fort Kochi, visiting veterinarians and thinking on what to do next,” she adds.
After her husband and she had understood that the puppy was beginning to feel better and they had all the necessary medications with them, they decided to move forward. She says, “At the moment, I’m not sure why but by the time we reached our next stop — Varkala — I was sure that this dog was ours.”
When asked how they came up with the name ‘Chapati’ for the Indian Pariah Dog, they smile, “Spending our time on the beaches and eating chapatis each day brought the idea of her name. She had the same tan colour and was as thin. When locals heard this name they all started to laugh. We really liked this reaction and wanted this pup to bring only positive emotions.”
Chapati is an Instagram star and has travelled to many countries with Kristina and Eugene by her side. The photographs they click of the fun they have together can melt hearts. “Our life with Chapati is full of adventures; every time I look into her eyes, I start to cry because I understand how random and incredible our meeting was. If I was asked to pick a favourite memory with our girl, my personal best was when we went to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso in Italy. After a few hours of walking, it began raining heavily and we didn’t have an umbrella or any raincoats. Chapati is not a big fan of rain but all three of us continued walking together and saw such beautiful places. We had a sense of unity and our own pack,” she narrates.
The happy dog now lives with her pet parents in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Kristina concludes, “I realised that I want to dedicate my life to helping dogs. My personal dream since childhood has been to open the perfect dog shelter and now I know that I’m on the right way.”