Simple Ways To Make A Dog Rescuer Lose A Good Night’s Sleep

If you are a dog rescuer living in a country like Greece, you can never really get a good night’s sleep, because you know for a fact that right this moment, when you rescues are safe and sound in the shelter or a foster home, there are about a million others out there, dying helpless, being poisoned and giving birth on the streets to puppies bound to be ran over by a truck once they are old enough to start walking but that old to know the dangers.

We all know the reality out there and that is the main reason we avoid talking about it, unless we are about to rescue one of them. But the thing is that when you are a rescuer, you don’t only deal with rescuers, but with all sorts of people, eager to share any kind of story with you, no matter how horrific it sounds, as long as it involves dogs, because “Valia is all about dogs, so hey, let’s engage in a conversation with her about dogs, and tell her a heartwarming story about a stray we met and never rescued. That will make her day!”

Yeah right. If you are Valia (me), you usually stop those kinds of people with a rude: “I don’t wanna hear about it“. But sometimes the “I don’t wanna hear about it” comes too late, and there you are, being told a story you never wanted to hear in the first place and the random person goes on and on, while all you wanna do is punch him in the face and shout: “AND YOU FU$^^%#@ LEFT THE DOG THERE?”

Here’s the story I was told today, by someone believing that -of all people- I was the “go to” person for it:

Back in my hometown, where I rescued Blue from and where strays thrive for a few months before being poisoned, there is a dog that has given birth. And the people were in the local cafe on the beach, and then she appeared, tail mutilated and breasts pumped up, reluctantly trying to lick a few drops of water from a hole on the street.

And the good people around left a bowl of water for her. She drank some of it and then ran away, only to come back later with a bunch of puppies, guiding them to where the water was. This was so sweet; she is a very good mother etc etc. And the puppies drank like there’s no tomorrow while cars were going by and everyone was looking at them but no one bothered to offered them any kind of help.

And the mum started heading back, leading her puppies among the cars and being as cautious as can be. “They will surely be run over soon”. End of story.


And there I am, helpless, furious and in shock, hugging my foster dog, Tina and wishing that this “I don’t wanna hear about it” had come in the right time. Because the “who the fu@#$%^ told you that I was the right person to go to with such a story?” was even less polite, and because tonight I will simply not sleep.

Rescuers are completely unprotected. Apart from everything else we do, we serve as a recycle bin for random people’s “too much to handle” emotions (“Hey, I’ll just throw the feeling into Valia’s rubbish dump of a heart and be done with it). Every single story involving dogs, coming from all sorts of people you have nothing in common with, is believed to be a story for a rescuer to hear and to engage in a conversation about. BUT IT ISN’T. Because we are already going crazy, and because for us, there is only one way of doing things, and stories about stuff being done the way we do it are very much shareable. The rest are just stories to tell yourself when you look in the mirror.


I mean, give me a break! I spend sleepless nights thinking about all the ones I couldn’t rescue myself, their faces are haunting my dreams, making me feel like I am the most horrible person in the world, and on top of all that, you go and add your “cute, heartwarming story” about some family of strays, hoping that we bonded after that. Well, guess what, WE DIDN’T AND I HATE YOU!

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