Pet Dogs Left Behind To Burn Alive In Massive Fires In The Outskirts Of Athens

Pet dogs (pet being a euphemism actually, but what else can you call them?) are not as important as personal items, clothes and cars – at least not for many of the people who got caught up in the massive fires that burned a huge part of the northern outskirts of Athens last month.




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The Lonely Summer Dogs

The lonely dogs of the endless Greek summer are the ones we see every day on the beach, playing with the waves, discreetly asking for a place to belong, at least for a couple of hours. They are the ones who were abandoned there, or simply ended up on the beach, because they needed to be around people, and that is where people are in the summer.




The lonely summer dogs look happy. They are surrounded by a scenery that could not be more beautiful, more poetic – at least for a couple of months. The lonely summer dogs look like they belong there. They look free, happy. Who doesn’t look free and happy on a beach?

the lonely
Lou

The truth is that for the summer months, those dogs are really happy. They are where they belong – they are among us. Groups of people come and go, some might pet them, some might feed them and photograph them playing in the sand, generously offering Kodak moments for their facebook friends.

for the summer months, those dogs are really happy

The typical lonely summer dog feels like he belongs with every new group that comes to the beach. For a few hours, he is safe. And when that group leaves, there will be another one, and another, and another, until at some point, the last group of people will leave and the next one will never show up, because the summer just ended.

the lonely

Unless you have visited touristic places in wintertime, you can’t fully comprehend the loneliness, the emptiness and the sadness that fall over them like a thick, heavy cloud. Most of us have a tendency to believe that somewhere around those beaches there must be some kind of “life” during winter, but there isn’t.

at some point, the last group of people will leave and the next one will never show up, because the summer just ended

And let’s be frank, the lonely summer dog looks happy because you are there to feed and pet him. But rural Greece is one of the most cruel places to live in, if you are a dog. After the beach bars are closed and the few restaurants in the village that work during winter move their tables indoors, the dog you fed, petted and photographed is bound to starve. And he will starve to the point where he will do anything to find something to satisfy his hunger, which will make him annoying for the locals. And an annoying stray dog usually dies a horrible death, having his inside torn apart by broken glasses carefully hidden in a burger.

the lonely summer dog looks happy because you are there to feed and pet him

Most summer dogs are young animals, and this is their first and last summer. If you visit the same place next summer, and ask around for your favorite dog from last year, you won’t really get a specific answer. Have you seen Hangover 2? Do you remember the answer they were getting every time they asked around for their lost friend? “Bangkok got him”. It’s the same thing with the strays. “The village got him” and you will never see him again.

the lonely

The next summer, you won’t be seeing the same strays you remember from last year, in that picturesque village you spent your vacation in. The village got them, and it’s as simple as that. They were poisoned, ran over, starved or deliberately killed by ways you can’t even imagine. There will be new stays, all young dogs, coming from the never neutered nor spayed “pet” dogs of the ruthless Greek countryside. They too will appear happy, healthy, and free. And so will the ones next year, and the next and the next.

The village got them, and it’s as simple as that

No matter what the locals tell you, no matter how your friends call you a weirdo, no matter what you want to believe about the lonely summer dog who shares the beach with you, the reality s one: you either take him home with you, or you leave him there to die.

the lonely

My summer rescue for last year was Blue. I knew exactly where I rescued her from. I rescued her from my hometown, that I visit every summer. And every summer, in my hometown, the previous summer’s strays are not there. My summer rescue for this year was Lou, not from my hometown, but from a similar place. All villages look alike in Greece. All strays have the same fate, and that’s a fact, it’s not something I just came up with.

the reality s one: you either take him home with you, or you leave him there to die

If you asked Lou what he preferred, to stay on the beach or to be dragged to my car and taken away, he would choose the beach. But Lou could never comprehend the future, I can. And his future there was nothing something that would allow me to sleep at nights. I spent ten days on the beach with him, I petted him, I fed him, I loved him, and I want him to have a long and happy life.

the lonely
They won’t be there next years. Their lives will simply vanish, just like their paw prints on the sand vanish when the water reaches them.

The bottom line is, if you meet and love one of those lonely dogs, take them with you when you leave. They might not look that much in need while you are there, but trust me, they will be once you are gone.

*Lou is now in Athens and he will be up for adoption by SCARS.



Trapped In A World Too Small – Story Of A Senior Dog

Tina’s story was a lesson for all of us that were involved in her rescue or simply followed her progress. Against all odds, she thrived. Against all odds, she beat every single stereotype about senior dogs, about huge dogs, about adoption, about life.




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Mangy Stray Transforms Into A Gorgeous Happy Dog

Eri was rescued from the streets of Greece in 2016 by Save a Greek Stray. She was found wandering alone and scared, in the middle of a busy avenue and would have probably been hit by a car a few minutes later. She suffered from mange, ehrlichia and leishmaniasis – all three diseases quite typical for a stray in Greece.




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Worms Were Eating This Small Dog Alive As He Was Wandering With An Open Wound For Days

Worms are a rescuer’s nightmare, not because the damage they can do is really that bad, but mainly because they are the outcome of days and days of neglect. Rescuing a dog whose open wounds are filled with worms feeding off the rotting flesh paints a pretty good picture of the animal’s ordeal.




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Giant Dog Adopted At 12 Proves That Anything Is Possible

Giant dogs suffer more discrimination that any other. “They need space”, “my house is not big enough”, “they need too much exercise”, “they feel oppressed in an apartment” are some of the erroneous beliefs and stereotypes that follow them, preventing many amazing giants from enjoying the life they deserve.



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Three Month Old Puppy Ran Over On Purpose Is Now Looking For A Forever Home

Three months old, that how old Cindy was when she was ran over by a car on purpose and left on the side of the road to suffer. She was one of the thousands, maybe millions of puppies in Greece that are born on the streets, or end up there once their mother’s owner is fed up and wants to get rid of them.




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Rescue Of A Scared Dog Abandoned On A Highway

It wasn’t me who rescued Basu, it was Marcia. She had adopted Sophie a year ago from Save a Greek Stray, and she visited us from Holland this June. While we were driving to the shelter, I took a wrong turn and there he was, next to the highway, wandering alone next to the cars, lost, sick and scared.




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Flamingo Found Weak And Alone On A Beach In Greece Is Now Safe

Flamingo rescue? Well, why not? On a beach in Antirrio, near the town of Nafpactos in western Greece, various people had spotted a male flamingo, wandering alone. It appeared weak and dehydrated.




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Greek Authorities Illegaly Shut Down Dog Shelter Because They Simply…Felt Like It

Greek ridiculousness has no limits. When the corruption reaches the levels of a sub-Saharan African country (no offense), and when every government official can do whatever he wants to, simply because…he can, the innocent pay the price and the frustration reaches unprecedented levels.



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