An East Lothian woman has spoken of her devastation at losing her beloved Losza – a four-year-old Borzoi – after he died suddenly last weekend.
Magda Nowak, 51, from Musselburgh, rescued Losza from Poland in the summer of 2020 and the pair grew to love each other as best friends.
But at around 6pm on Sunday May 22, Losza began to howl and became unresponsive, later dying of what was suspected to be a stroke or potential aneurysm.
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The dog was “everything” to Magda and a “part of the family” along with cat Masza, and was described as a loving and intelligent dog.
What shocked the Queen Margaret University administrator most was that he was only four at the time of his death and was an extremely happy as well as healthy pooch.
Paying tribute to her four legged family member, Magda said: “He passed away on Sunday, May 22, at 6.00pm. We both had an afternoon nap but suddenly he started howling for a few seconds and when I tried to help him to wake up, there was no reaction from him.
“It is believed that it was a stroke or a potential aneurysm.
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“I am deeply devastated. It was my beloved dog, part of my family, just me, him and my cat Masza. He was everything to me, a very special, calm dog. Super intelligent.”
A Borzoi was always Magda’s dream dog, so when she found him on the International portal for animal rescue, she immediately started the procedure of adoption and transport documentation so that he could come live with her in the UK.
She added: “Losza came to me from Poland in July 2020. He was a two-year boy who was very timid and sensitive. It was a long way for him to travel but eventually he came to live with me.
“In the beginning he was very scared as everything was new to him. But from the very first day, he aroused great interest in the community, people would ask about him and would try to pet him.
“But he did not like it and struggled to accept their affection. At first he only walked on a leash which lasted around a month.
“He reacted strongly to unknown sounds. Acclimatisation was slow. But felt good at home, he had his own space but he slowly began to lie on the sofa with me.
“Borzois are dogs that like comfort. He accepted me quickly, but only me. He only had a few people on the Promenade from whom he took treats, but even then he would not allow them to pet him.
“All my life I really wanted to have a borzoi. I thought when I got him that it was a dream come true.
“I also thought – in vain – about its appearance, and how much others would like it.
“When he came to me, he turned out to be a super affectionate, sensitive and gentle friend.
“Losza was always close to me, giving me gentle signs when he wasn’t happy with something.
“He was a large dog that stood behind me when he did not want to pose for a photo. He would also rub against me when he wanted to go home. He showed me all his character and I love him the most in the world.”
Borzois, Magda says, have a friendly disposition and are sensitive, balanced, calm and very devoted to their owner.
Despite their large size she says, they are very obedient, affectionate and devoted dogs.
She adds that they are well suited to families with children and are characterised by calmness and tolerance towards younger family members.
However they can often show suspicion and distrust towards strangers and are not suited to sedentary lifestyles.
Borzois are also known to like to chase small furry animals and do require a lot of training, firmness and patience – meaning they can be tricky for inexperienced owners.
Magda paid tribute to her best friend by saying: “Losza was an exceptional dog, beautiful, dignified, calm and gentle. He had a few best buddies with whom he enjoyed running around.
“Losza was not a fussy eater, but was on a raw meat diet, with an addiction to excellent quality dry food. He was the perfect weight for a Borzoi adult male.
“He had many admirers whom he simply ignored at times. They ran from the distance to say hello or make noises around him to be noticed.
“I will always remember him running with a happy face and a free spirit, around the beach before coming back to me for some treats.
“He was a one-person dog. I was that person. He was my life, and I really don’t know what can replace it now.”