Tag Archives: stray dogs

The Lonely Summer Dogs

The lonely dogs of the endless Greek summer are the ones we see every day on the beach, playing with the waves, discreetly asking for a place to belong, at least for a couple of hours. They are the ones who were abandoned there, or simply ended up on the beach, because they needed to be around people, and that is where people are in the summer.




The lonely summer dogs look happy. They are surrounded by a scenery that could not be more beautiful, more poetic – at least for a couple of months. The lonely summer dogs look like they belong there. They look free, happy. Who doesn’t look free and happy on a beach?

the lonely
Lou

The truth is that for the summer months, those dogs are really happy. They are where they belong – they are among us. Groups of people come and go, some might pet them, some might feed them and photograph them playing in the sand, generously offering Kodak moments for their facebook friends.

for the summer months, those dogs are really happy

The typical lonely summer dog feels like he belongs with every new group that comes to the beach. For a few hours, he is safe. And when that group leaves, there will be another one, and another, and another, until at some point, the last group of people will leave and the next one will never show up, because the summer just ended.

the lonely

Unless you have visited touristic places in wintertime, you can’t fully comprehend the loneliness, the emptiness and the sadness that fall over them like a thick, heavy cloud. Most of us have a tendency to believe that somewhere around those beaches there must be some kind of “life” during winter, but there isn’t.

at some point, the last group of people will leave and the next one will never show up, because the summer just ended

And let’s be frank, the lonely summer dog looks happy because you are there to feed and pet him. But rural Greece is one of the most cruel places to live in, if you are a dog. After the beach bars are closed and the few restaurants in the village that work during winter move their tables indoors, the dog you fed, petted and photographed is bound to starve. And he will starve to the point where he will do anything to find something to satisfy his hunger, which will make him annoying for the locals. And an annoying stray dog usually dies a horrible death, having his inside torn apart by broken glasses carefully hidden in a burger.

the lonely summer dog looks happy because you are there to feed and pet him

Most summer dogs are young animals, and this is their first and last summer. If you visit the same place next summer, and ask around for your favorite dog from last year, you won’t really get a specific answer. Have you seen Hangover 2? Do you remember the answer they were getting every time they asked around for their lost friend? “Bangkok got him”. It’s the same thing with the strays. “The village got him” and you will never see him again.

the lonely

The next summer, you won’t be seeing the same strays you remember from last year, in that picturesque village you spent your vacation in. The village got them, and it’s as simple as that. They were poisoned, ran over, starved or deliberately killed by ways you can’t even imagine. There will be new stays, all young dogs, coming from the never neutered nor spayed “pet” dogs of the ruthless Greek countryside. They too will appear happy, healthy, and free. And so will the ones next year, and the next and the next.

The village got them, and it’s as simple as that

No matter what the locals tell you, no matter how your friends call you a weirdo, no matter what you want to believe about the lonely summer dog who shares the beach with you, the reality s one: you either take him home with you, or you leave him there to die.

the lonely

My summer rescue for last year was Blue. I knew exactly where I rescued her from. I rescued her from my hometown, that I visit every summer. And every summer, in my hometown, the previous summer’s strays are not there. My summer rescue for this year was Lou, not from my hometown, but from a similar place. All villages look alike in Greece. All strays have the same fate, and that’s a fact, it’s not something I just came up with.

the reality s one: you either take him home with you, or you leave him there to die

If you asked Lou what he preferred, to stay on the beach or to be dragged to my car and taken away, he would choose the beach. But Lou could never comprehend the future, I can. And his future there was nothing something that would allow me to sleep at nights. I spent ten days on the beach with him, I petted him, I fed him, I loved him, and I want him to have a long and happy life.

the lonely
They won’t be there next years. Their lives will simply vanish, just like their paw prints on the sand vanish when the water reaches them.

The bottom line is, if you meet and love one of those lonely dogs, take them with you when you leave. They might not look that much in need while you are there, but trust me, they will be once you are gone.

*Lou is now in Athens and he will be up for adoption by SCARS.



Greek Authorities Illegaly Shut Down Dog Shelter Because They Simply…Felt Like It

Greek ridiculousness has no limits. When the corruption reaches the levels of a sub-Saharan African country (no offense), and when every government official can do whatever he wants to, simply because…he can, the innocent pay the price and the frustration reaches unprecedented levels.



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The Rescue Story You Would Not Watch

The rescue story you would not watch is the one that will not have a shocking thumbnail that will make you go “wow”. It will not have a dramatic title, in capital letters and exclamation marks. It will not contain shocking words like “mange”, “neglect” and “starved”.




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Local Reporter Justifies The Horrific Murders Of Stray Dogs In Zante

Local reporters are…local reporters. I mean, nobody is expecting “Huffington Post like” articles, especially by someone who lives in an island somewhere in Greece. But there is a limit to stupidity, and the limit is one: common sense.




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Burnt Alive, Poisoned And Tortured – Take Action For Zante Stray Dogs

Burnt, poisoned, tortured, decimated… Can you really grasp the meaning of those words? Language is an amazing thing, able to capture meanings, feelings and events too complicated, and yet, the actual “essence” of some events seems to be bubbling over the word itself.




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Greek Dogs And Cats On “Death Row”

Greek animal welfare is no-kill. The way things usually work here is: you rescue a stray, you treat it and  you place it in a foster home or a shelter until a forever home comes along – “until” meaning keeping it safe, healthy, well fed and taken care of for months, years or even its entire life.




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Meet The Woman Who Dedicates Her Life To Rescuing Strays

Meet Linda, the woman I have been wanting to “introduce” to the world for months. No video or post could even do her any justice, but this is the least I could do for her. Linda is originally from South Africa. She came to Greece in 2001 for three months, and has been living here since.



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Greek DA Defies The Animal Welfare Law Simply Because She Feels Like It

Greek animal welfare is like…what Rubik’s cube is to most people: it’s obvious that it can be done, and once you are almost there, a piece (of shit) comes along and spoils the whole structure, obliging you to take the whole thing apart again. Continue reading Greek DA Defies The Animal Welfare Law Simply Because She Feels Like It

Penny Marathon – From Australia To Greece

I could say that the Penny Marathon is just another animal welfare non-profit organization, but it’s a lot more. The Penny Marathon is a chance for all of us to go out there once a year, among the public, and speak for all companion animals that keep waiting in shelter kennels or out on the streets – waiting for a chance. Once a year, instead of hiding behind heartbreaking Facebook posts and cries for help through online fundraising campaigns, we run a Marathon, wearing our Penny Marathon T-shirts, hoping to get the attention of people who might never had heard of what rescuing is actually about and might never had come across an animal welfare Facebook page or website. The Penny Marathon barely makes it to the eight o’clock news – but at least we make it to the streets, and that’s awesome. Continue reading Penny Marathon – From Australia To Greece