“Having lost my cat Mimi to cancer last year I don’t feel ready yet to adopt but my home is always full of fosters.” That’s Eliza Damian for you, an animal empath who specialises in delighting every paw she meets and their humans too. As a child her love for animals even made her steal milk from home to feed it to dogs and cats who she regularly rescued. “I wanted to be a veterinary doctor, you know,” Eliza said. “Although that career path didn’t work out, I’m happy to have chosen a job that allows me to still be surrounded my dogs [and cats]. Even on a bad day when everything feels blah, they manage to cheer me up.”
What do you like the most about your job at Raw Cut?
Eliza: “Oh, I love everything about my job at Raw Cut. But most of all, the opportunity to be surrounded by dogs, cats and many other pets every day. I also get to meet wonderful pet parents and learn something from each one of them. Every morning when I wake up, I don’t even know where the day will take me [in a good way of course]. So, even though I wanted to be a veterinary doctor that didn’t work out, I’m very pleased with where I am.
Did you grow up with dogs? What are your earliest memories of having pets at home?
Eliza: I’m from Romania where almost everyone has a dog. In the countryside everyone has a lot of other pets too. For as long as I can remember, perhaps from the age of 5-6, I’ve been rescuing dogs and cats from the streets. I’d keep them in the basement of the building. And I’d feed them milk that I’d steal from home until my parents found out and took them for vet checks. Since my parents didn’t allow me to have a dog at that age, I had a parrot called Max and a hamster called Johnny. But during my summer vacations that I spent in the countryside with my grandmother I used to do my shenanigans.
I remember one day I heard that a sheep passed by the village and left behind a puppy. Obviously, I brought that puppy home, leaving my grandmother with no option but to adopt him. We called him Labus and he was the best dog ever. My grandmother loved him so much that when he passed away, she was not able to adopt another dog. Until I rescued a puppy and we decided to call him Puffy. My grandmother and Puffy passed away the same year. It was incredibly hard to come to terms with the huge loss.
Also read: A dog groomer’s tale
Tell us a bit about what brought you to the UAE?
Eliza: I’ve been living in the UAE since 2009. It’s a long story! A dream come true in many ways. After finishing university, I was working in a big media group but always dreamed of living in the land of magic lamps and flying carpets. So, when a friend offered me a job in her company I couldn’t refuse. My family was unwilling to let me move abroad all by myself. I had only option, take my brother along. While my brother moved back after three months, I fell in love with the UAE and stayed on, a country that I now call home.
We know the Eliza who delights paws and humans of paws. Is there another side of you that we don’t know?
Eliza: Not many would know that I’m passionate about art and writing. Lately I’ve been painting too. And of course, I love any outdoor activities like diving and hiking that bring me close to nature and animals.
What is the craziest thing that you’d do for the love of dogs?
Eliza: Over the past four years I’ve heard a lot of stories about crazy things that humans do out of their love for dogs. One family got an extra television for their dog in the living room because he used to watch only one channel. He knew how to use the remote so whenever they would change the channel, he would change it back. Regardless of what show was, he only loved one channel. So, they got him his own television so they could watch other channels 😉 Someday if I’ve a dog who loves to watch the television, I’d also want to get him/her their own TV.
Eliza Damian is the Manager at Raw Cut.