On January 12, 2015, we got a late call about a dog tied to a tree somewhere in the mountain of Immitos, in Athens, Greece. I was volunteering at ZEIL back then, so another volunteer and I took the car and followed the directions, looking for him. It was 3:00 am and freezing cold, and we driving in the middle of nowhere for about an hour when we spotted him.
A white spot in the middle of the darkness, not moving, not making a sound. We could have easily passed him by, had Georgia not noticed him. There he was, tied with a rope, skinny and freezing, not knowing what had happened or why he was there. A male pointer (that’s what we thought), looking at us through his huge, beautiful eyes. We picked him up and took him to a small shelter, where he could spend the night.
I was so angry. So very angry. Many volunteers have a soft spot for hunting dogs, and I am one of them. They suffer too much here in Greece and are abandoned per hundreds every year. I named him Tool – ironic, meant make a statement about how hunters treat their loyal friends.
So, Tool spent a few months with us. The first few weeks he looked so confused. A lonely, sad dog, that’s what he was. Skinny and lost in his thoughts, he even walked funny, as if he was hunchbacked, as if he was trying to hide from the world. He’d spend his days sitting still in a dog house on the shelter’s yard, gazing at the mountain. Just gazing at it. Not moving, not making any noise, not willing to do anything else.
Tool started recovering mentally after the first two -three weeks. His test results were fine – kind of unexpected for a hunting dog. So, he was more or less healthy, which means he was probably abandoned due to his age. And we knew exactly how old he was, because Tool was microchipped and registered. We contacted the person whose name was registered as Tool’s owner, and we found out everything we needed to know about him.
Tool was not a Pointer after all. He was a Pyrenees Braque (or something like that) and his real name was Tobby. His owner had spent a lot of money getting him for abroad nine years ago. When Tool was about three or four, he was given away to a fellow hunter – a typical technique of hounds changing hands among hunters. And when Tool grew old, he was tied to a tree by his late guardian and abandoned for us to find. And this was the best present Tool had ever received.
On March 15, Tool and Cosette, an abandoned pointer and Tool’s companion at the shelter, travelled with their mum to Germany, and have been living in their forever home for a year and a half now. And there are so many things I could say about this particular adoption, but I think I should let the photos speak for themselves. Maybe Tool’s adoption needs an entire post, and maybe that’s not enough either.
Tool is about 10 and a half years old now, and he looks ten years younger than when we picked him up from the mountain. Watching their life every day, them sleeping on the couch cuddling and running in the woods all happy, healthy and free makes want to be a rescue pointer myself. Tool was a very special dog for me, and I simply adore him. Their mum has managed to turn him into one of the most lucky and happiest dogs in the world, and I could never thank her enough. Through her camera, I have managed to “steal” some of their special moments and make them mine. I sometimes even scroll down her Facebook profile, just to smile every time I have a bad day.
So, I just want to end this post with a huge thank you. To Tool, for spending a few months with me and for having the kindest manners I had ever seen in a dog and the softest fur ever (God, he is soft like a baby!!), to Lone, for making him and Cosette the amazing dogs they are today, and – last but not least – to the man who tied him to a tree that night for us to find. If it wasn’t for that, Tool would not have Lone today and I would not enjoy Kodak moments every day, popping up in my Facebook wall every day, like precious jewels.
PS: Lone I love you, I will visit one day, and I will sleep on that couch between them two!!! (thanks for the photos, it was a random selection cause they are just too many!!)
🙂 (= happy, happy face!)