Dogs like Lela are such a common thing here, that unfortunately for most of us, she looks like just another one “of these”. “These” are the uncountable dogs suffering from mange on the streets of Greece, and every time (every day) we see yet another one, we just…ehmm… we just go numb.
When you rescue the first dog like her, you are so overwhelmed with feelings and thought and…everything, that it competes you and gives you purpose and keeps you going for about a year. It’s what happened with me and Billy.
But after having seen so many, and treated, and bathed and held in your arms and watched them come back to life, that first feeling of excitement is gone. Of course you love them just as much, and help them and foster and rehome them, and of course they are all special. Lela is special, but she just fades away in our hearts because she becomes a number.
It’s just that it’s too many. Too many. They suffer for months, unable to sleep because of the horrible itch. They starve because the sight of them is so unbearable that they are chased away from all the places dogs can find food, and disappear in the margins of our cities and our villages, hoping to die.
They have to live with themselves, day in day out, 24/7, with that horrible smell that makes us humans chill, imagine them, who have 215.000.000 more olfactory receptors than we do and the sense of smell is what defines them. And all that, because of a microscopic, silly parasite, that mates and digs up in their skin to lay its eggs, and that it is 100% curable with a couple of shots and a good bath.
Anyway. Lela is one of those dogs, and we have seen too many. But that does not make her any less special. She deserves to be admired, and shared and well known, just as the ones before her and the ones after her.
She was rescued by Save a Greek Stray from a military camp, along with her sister, who is black and just as sick. She arrived to the shelter in the bottom of a bucket, and all she does so far is sleep. Yesterday she took her firth therapeutic bath, and she stayed there, still, fragile and yet so gentle, so proud.
You can follow her recovery at the shelter’s Facebook page – she will recover, she will make an awe-inspiring before after story and she will thrive, like the luckiest of them do.