What do rescuers do when they go on vacation? Oh well, the answer is simply, rescuers basically take their work with them. I’ll explain.
Being a rescuer in Greece means one thing: you live in a more or less protected environment most of the time. You have taken care of the strays in your neighborhood, you know who they are, you feed them, spay them, monitor them etc.
If you are lucky enough to live in the capital city, like I do, things are simple. There are no stray dogs in my neighborhood, because the local charity is working wonders, and this is the case for many neighborhoods in Athens. The outskirts are different, in fact the outskirts is a “don’t go there” zone. And so is the rest of the country.
So if you live in the city and go on vacation, you know for a fact that you are going to a “don’t go there” area. Once you leave the city, strays start popping up. They are everywhere. In the gas stations along the highway, walking next to the highway, on the beaches, in the villages, outside the restaurant where you have lunch and the cafeteria where you are having coffee.
Suddenly you realize how accustomed the locals are to their sight, and how you are the only one imagining every single one of these dogs sleeping in a warm bed, at the house of a loving family. Vacation is the loneliest thing for a rescuer to do. They (the indifferent ones) are so many, and you are so alone.
Once you leave the city, strays start popping up
If you are lucky enough to be travelling with someone who understands you and respects your feelings (that’s the best you can do actually), you might have a shoulder to cry on, and even someone to help you catch a dog, put him in the car and drive away. If not, you are about to get into a fight with your friends, who suddenly seem one of those people who lack the compassion chromosome. They will accuse you of ruining their vacation and you will accuse them of interfering with your business.
Whatever the case, you know that you need to get at least one dog out of there. Or two. You can never afford to rescue more. So you play God, choose your favorite one to bring back, and you leave with him, promising to never to go back to that horrible place that other people find beautiful.
Vacation is the loneliest thing for a rescuer to do
More or less, that’s how I came back from my summer vacation last year with Blue. That’s how I came back this year with Lou, then drove back to get Bozo from the same village. That’s how I came back with Bonnie from my weekend to Mani. And that’s how two SCARS volunteers came back a few days ago from their romantic weekend , with two dogs and a cat in the back of their car.
Despite what most couples do during a romantic weekend, those two did their own thing. They couldn’t choose among the two dogs and the cat – those three were a pack – so they brought all three of them back. How cool is that?