Ridiculousness of the Greek reality when it comes to animal welfare doesn’t only include having pet dogs being chained for life, living in balconies or rooftops (I am not joking) and irresponsible breeding, with litters of puppies abandoned every day. It also extends to responsible dog owners being harassed every day for being responsible.
I have three pet dogs; they live in my apartment, I love them and I walk them twice a day. Daily harassment on the street includes various ridiculous quotes, spit to your face by strangers who are simply annoyed by your existence:
“This park is for people only” (NOT)
“Don’t walk your dog in front of my house” (?)
“Don’t use the garbage bin in front of my house to throw your dog’s shit” (garbage bins are public)
“Don’t walk by here again, it makes the balcony and roof dogs bark and annoy the residents” (nope, not a joke)
“The sidewalk is not for dogs” (??)
“Pass by my house again and you’ll … (various threats)”
Harassment does not stay on the streets, but can also affect you in your own home. I live in 5 apartment building and I was the only pet owner there, until about a month ago. Being seen as a weirdo – especially because they don’t understand why all those foster dogs come and go (I can’t even imagine what they think about what’s going on in the house), I get harassed by the rest of the tenants every day for various reasons, most of them based on lies:
because the dogs shed (ok, they do)
because they bark (mine never bark, BECAUSE THE GET A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF EXERCISE EVERY DAY)
because they pee and poo in the building (also a lie – actually Apollo needs to walk at least three blocks to do it)
because they exist (unfortunately for them, the law protects me in that)
A month ago, two girls moved in the apartment on the ground floor. They have a dog. They keep her in the balcony 24/7, and unfortunately they are in their twenties (off goes the future of a nation).
Last Monday, we had a building meeting, where all the residents were present. I got harassed again, for the obvious reasons. The girl’s mother was present, and she explained how their dog is an “outdoor” one, used to living IN THE F@#$% BALCONY. She described all that as if it was something worth praising, and actually, she did get praised by the rest of the residents, except myself. “Good for you” one of them said, and she smiled timidly and whispered a modest “thank you”.
I didn’t say anything. I was surrounded. I still am.
(I have been collecting dog hair for about a year now. I brush my dogs and keep the hair in a plastic bag. So I am looking for innovative ideas on how to use it eventually as a harmless weapon against ridiculousness. Any ideas?)