Dog rescue comes in all forms and, in Greece, heartbreaking stories keep competing against one another every day. I am not sure what was it that made Petra’s story go viral. We rescue dogs like her every day, so it is not because she was found is such terrible condition. So maybe it was those breathtaking first photos of hers, maybe it was the video, or maybe it was that she is simply too special.
she was the very first dog to arrive at the brand new shelter, which is today home for more than 50 dogs.
Petra was spotted in Oropos, a small town near Athens, Greece back in April 2015. Very sick and not friendly at all, she had to be sedated, because catching her was simply impossible. She was taken to the Save a Greek Stray shelter – in fact, she was the very first dog to arrive at the brand new shelter, which is today home for more than 50 dogs.
although Petra had received all the love and attention she needed, she remained a fearful dog
Retra suffered form ehrichia, leishmaniasis and mange – which is what had given her that “turned to stone” look. She received treatment and recovered in a few months. But in rescue, the wounds of the soul are always the hardest to heal, and although Petra had received all the love and attention she needed, she remained a fearful dog, who never left her cage and kept hiding every time she was approached.
I just couldn’t get her off my mind
My first encounter with Petra
I was not volunteering at the shelter when Petra was rescued. But I did follow their Facebook page, and that first photo of her stroke me came like an arrow through my heart. I just couldn’t get her off my mind, and when I visited the shelter for the first time, I only wanted to meet her, see her, touch her and verify that she is real, that she actually exists.
I fell in love from the very first second I laid eyes on her
I fell in love from the very first second I laid eyes on her. There she was, in her kennel, looking at me with that suspicious look on her face. It took us about 15 minutes to take her out and have take just a few steps on a lead. I want back home completely crushed and madly in love.
I started volunteering there the same week. The shelter is about an hour drive from where I live, so I could only make it there once a week. I was determined to have Petra realize that there is much more to life than hiding in a corner and waiting for people to simply ignore your existence.
You can see all the steps of her rehabilitation in the video
You can see all the steps of her rehabilitation in the video. It took me about a month to have her leave her cage without being frightened to death, and more than two months to pet her. I loved her so much and yet I knew that petting a frightened dog is the worst thing you can do. She started being more eager to leave her cage, bolder on a lead, more and more friendly to other dogs and me.
I don’t think I ever did anything in my life as successful as helping Petra become who she is today
Until one day, she was just ready. I hadn’t seen her in two weeks, and I remember that day when I entered the shelter and saw her running around all happy and excited as if it was yesterday. I don’t think I have ever been happier in my life. I don’t think I ever did anything in my life as successful as helping Petra become who she is today: a happy, healthy dog.
Her story has been shared thousands of times, her video has more than a million views (…) and yet she has no home.
Today, Petra is the happy dog you see in the end of the video. She is confident, social, loving, and stable. She has a good life there, and she is still my first priority when I visit the shelter. I adore her, I admire her and I try to spend time with her every Wednesday. But it has been a year since I first took her out on a walk, and she is still there. Her story has been shared thousands of times, her video has more than a million views, every animal lover has seen a picture of her somewhere on a website or a Facebook page, and yet she has no home.
I am very angry about that. So angry that at some point, I just hated people and considered every single person out there simply too little for a dog like Petra. The reason I had come up with for her not being adopted was that she is simply too special for most people, including me.
I have fantasized about adopting her myself a million times
I have fantasized about adopting her myself a million times. Sometimes I think I’m daydreaming, because I actually see her in my apartment, laying in her bed, looking at me with those beautiful eyes of hers. If you are wondering why don’t I adopt her, I simply can’t, and this is as much I want to discuss it.
I do get panic attacks every time I imagine her being adopted, which means I won’t be seeing her anymore – and she is the one and only dog so far that has made me feel this way. But as long as she is there, I simply can’t give all I can give to any other dog but her, and this bothers me too.
So, if you are interested in adopting my gorgeous, beloved one and only, please contact the shelter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or message their Facebook page. The shelter has rescued and keeps rescuing dogs like her every single day, so if you wish to donate, it will be money well spent (PayPal: email@example.com)