Stray dogs are probably millions in Greece, and given the fact that the mentality here will not be changing anytime soon, there will be millions more to come in the next years. My Blue was one of the million strays out there, when I first saw her in August 2016.
I was on vacation in a small village by the sea, about 150 km from Athens – and being on vacation in the countryside is not easy, – you either have to turn a blind eye of come back home with a dozen of rescue dogs. Every afternoon, I walked my dogs by the sea – the people were gone by sunset, and they had the entire beach (all 16 km of it) to themselves.
It was one afternoon when I first saw her, coming towards us, wagging her tail. She had spotted us from a distance, and since she was looking desperately for company, she joined the four of us, and tried to fit in.
I panicked. When you are an animal lover living in Greece, you simply get used to lonely stray dogs wandering around everywhere, and choose to rescue the ones that can’t make it on the streets: the sick, emaciated or hurt ones, the newborns, and the pregnant females. Blue was neither of the above (she was already about 6-7 months old and healthy), which meant that she should not be a priority.
But Blue had something else, that made her life as a stray extremely vulnerable: she was desperate – desperate for attention, for human company, for a family where she would feel like she belonged. Before I decided to rescue her, I watched her behavior for a couple of days. She didn’t just follow my pack and me that afternoon, she followed everybody.
She would spend her day on the beach, going from one person to another, wagging her tail and begging for attention. She would follow people home and run behind cars driving by. She only needed one look from you, and she would come to you and stay beside you, as if this was where she belonged.
I couldn’t sleep for two days, trying to find a way to take her off that beach as soon as possible. Rescue is about a decision you make today – a few seconds later might mean a few seconds too late. So one morning, I drove to the beach, found Blue, put her in the car, and drove to Athens. I took her straight to the vet and then to a friend’s house, where she would be fostered until my dogs and I returned to Athens permanently.
My Blue turned out to be one of the luckiest dogs ever. She didn’t even have to wait too long, because her dream home was waiting for her a few months later in Holland. Since the day she arrived, her family has been working so much with her, posting photos and videos of her and trying their best to keep her happy, that it’s difficult for me to keep track of Blue’s progress and happiness.
She finally has the pack she always wanted, friends to play with, a warm bed to sleep in and everything she ever dreamed of, right there for her. She finally belongs, and nobody will be driving her away anymore, for being an annoying stray puppy on a beach. She won’t have to feed off leftovers and garbage anymore, nor beg for attention and love. All the love in the world is there for her, to enjoy every day, for the rest of her life.
I could go on forever, but the photos speak for themselves. Besides, my Blue even has her own Facebook page now, where her everyday life is there for you to take a glimpse at. It is definitely worth scrolling down her page, not because I say so, but because it is one very good example of how much of a treasure can be considered a dog, who spent the first months of its life as an outcast, rejected by everyone.
A huge thanks to Blue’s family, for everything, to the rest of the pack accepting her as a member, and especially to Rincewind, her best friend, for looking after my sweet, gorgeous girl.
Rescue is determined by that split second, when you make the decision to open you car door, and let them in – if you really want to, you will figure out the rest later. So don’t hesitate – if I had hesitated, Blue would not be there the next summer, and I would have never forgiven myself.
Blue’s medical bills were covered by SCARS. If you wish, you can donate to the organization via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Make sure to take a look at Blue’s Facebook page!