I wrote the text one morning, about a month ago. I was just scrolling down my Facebook wall, and the number of dogs in need of a home were so many, that I just felt helpless. When you follow Greek animal welfare pages and rescue groups, you are just overwhelmed. New rescues and adoption albums keep popping up every minute; you don’t know what to share, where to help and how to make things better.
That day I just came up with this “letter” form a shelter dog, posted it in my blog and forgot about it. I never thought much of it, maybe because it was too personal, or too sad. But it has been shared more than 8.000 times so far (thanks to Bettina who was the first to notice the power of those words), that I figured it’s worth a video. Greece is a not kill country. The worst thing that can happen to a dog is that it never makes it to the rescue on time. The second worst thing is that it never is adopted, and spends its final days at a shelter.
So, since my friend Esmeralda was visiting from Holland last week, I figured she would be great acting as the “mum”. Esmeralda is an animal lover and she has adopted her rescue dog from Greece. She visits this weird country of ours every year, but instead of spending her days sunbathing on a beach and visiting the islands, she prefers a different kind of tourism. Esmeralda does “shelter tourism”, going around from one shelter to another, accompanying us, the volunteers, on our daily chores, and she loves that.
That Wednesday we visited the Save a Greek Stray shelter. I had my “mum”, now I needed the dog. I have been volunteering there for about a year now, I know most of the dogs, and of course I have my favorite ones. Daya is one of my favorite ones, and on of the most adoptable dogs we have. Apart from that, Daya is a fast learner and a very easygoing dog. When she is not exercising, she just lays in her cage, being lazy, sunbathing, and relaxing.
All that footage of her in the kennel we filmed that Wednesday. A few people were there that day, doing different things, including Esmeralda and me. Although many of the dogs we curious, others barking or asking to be let out, Daya would just sleep. She didn’t mind me being there, in front of her kennel, filming her, she didn’t mind Esmeralda going from one kennel to another petting the dogs, she didn’t mind anything at all.
Eventually, we took her out. She already had her daily exercise, so another walk on a leash around the fields was something like a treat. After the first excitement of leaving the kennel, Daya is excellent on a lead, obedient and happy. That day was the best day of her life, and since this video is more than sad, I just don’t want people to end up feeling sorry for her. Daya is a happy dog, and I want people to know her as the happy dog she really is.
We took a walk around the property and then stopped at the lake, where we stayed for about 15 minutes – my beloved, one and only Petra accompanied us – as she always does. We let Days roll on the grass, all happy sweet, and then we headed back, for the shelter’s office, where we had sit next to Esmeralda. For the video, I needed her to lay down, looking at Esmeralda, and that was very easy to accomplish. Just a few treats made Daya sit, then lay down and then stay, until I had my footage. After she proved once more the clever dog that she is – a very very fast learner – we took her back to her kennel (that she shares with one of her sons) and she went back to sunbathing and dozing off.
Daya has a good life. All dogs at the Save a Greek Stray shelter do. Their kennels are big and cozy, with an indoor space and a patio, they get a lot of exercise every day, the best food and a lot of attention. It is a good life, but still, it is not a home. The more dogs are adopted, the more we can save. It is time for Daya to be adopted. She is one smart, healthy, happy dog, with little to none behavioral issues and I believe that she is being overlooked simply because she is too ordinary-looking (a ridiculous reason in my opinion).
Daya was rescued about a year ago. She had given birth on the street to ten puppies. The entire family was fostered until the puppies were two months old, and then were taken to the shelter, where most of them live until today. If you wish to adopt her (or one of her off springs), please contact the shelter at: email@example.com or message their Facebook page. Donations are always more than welcome (PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org)