Emaciated, sick, and desperate dogs are wondering almost every street of rural Greece. They are the ghosts that nobody cares about, and that everyone pretends they are not there. They just roam around, and the sicker they get, the more rejected they are. Eventually, after they are left untreated for too long, they end up looking like Mahi. And there is no place for dogs like Mahi in city centers or villages. If they survive poisoning, the more gruesome they are to look at, the more they are driven away, because people simply don’t want to look at them.
the more gruesome they are to look at, the more they are driven away, because people simply don’t want to look at them.
Mahi’s rescue story
Mahi was one of those dogs. And, as it happens with most dogs like her, it is impossible to know where she came from and how she ended up being so sick and emaciated. She was found in Trikala, a small town in the middle of the country. Very fearful and reluctant, she was rescued by volunteers who gained her trust and managed to catch her. Like Petra, Monty and many other dogs like her, actually catching them is one difficult task. Mahi had spend so much time being rejected, that she only saw people as enemies, not friends.
Mahi was brought to the Save a Greek Stray shelter, a place where dogs get a second chance. Save a Greek Stray has a huge experience in treating severely sick and injured dogs – she spent her last days in the best hands and got the care she needed.
Mahi fighting for her life
Dogs like Mahi get lucky, provided that they are rescued in time. Although emaciated and starving, a dog looking like her means a number of diseases and parasites are eating her alive. Most common are mange (gruesome but easily treatable), ehrichia (caused by infected tick bites) and the king of Mediterranean diseases (and every volunteer’s nightmare), leishmaniasis – caused by a parasite transmitted by infected sandflies (tiny mosquito like insects).
It was uncertain whether Mahi (which is Greek for “struggle” or “battle”) would make it or not. As long as she kept fighting, the volunteers kept fighting for her.
Mahi was blood tested and the results were disappointing. However, after seeing dogs like Billy and Petra recover from much worse, volunteers are always optimistic. Mahi started her tretament immediately, but unfortunately she didn’t seem to respond to the treatment very well. Her organism had started shutting down, she had lost her appetite, and she was on IV due to hypothermia. It was uncertain whether Mahi (which is Greek for “struggle” or “battle”) would make it or not. As long as she kept fighting, the volunteers kept fighting for her.
Why not simply let a dog “rest” instead of going through unnecessary expenses and unsuccessful treatments?
Well, first of all, most dogs like her make an amazing comeback. Literally amazing. Living in a country like Greece, where emaciated and sick dogs like Mahi are rescued every day, our vets, and the volunteers in animal welfare have a huge experience in treating cases like this one. And, as unbelievable as it may sound, most of them make it. Billy made it, Petra did, Evita did.
She might die, but she will have a name, and a story about her with her name in the title.
Apart from being optimistic based on experience, there’s always another issue. We just can’t let a dog that has suffered so much, has been in unbelievable pain, rejection and hunger, cross the rainbow bridge without a fight. He do our best to help them heal because putting them to sleep is against everything we believe in. Had Mahi been put down, the final days of her life would be in the misery and loneliness of being a castaway. She did eventually die, but she died after she had known the love, after she had someone fight for her, after we had done our best to make her story reach as many people as possible. She did die, but she had a name, and a story about her with her name in the title. She deserved that much.
Mahi lost the battle today. Would she make it if we had rescued her earlier? Probably. Unfortunately she was found too late. The only comfort is that she spent her final days enjoying everything she was deprived off before.