Who are they? There are so many abandoned dogs in Greece every single day, that you can’t help but wonder: who are they? How many of them are there? What is wrong with the people here? The numbers are so crazy that it almost looks fake.
I wish I could tell you it’s just a couple of monsters, who neglect a dog, watch it get sick, and abandon it afterwards instead of seeking medical help. But there are no monsters really, there are just people trapped in a mentality dating back to the 1950s.
The average person who abandons his sick dog is a nice family guy
The average person who abandons his sick dog in the middle of nowhere, with a bowl of food and water is our next door neighbor, our uncle, our friend’s cousin/ father/ best man. It’s the nice family guy you meet at a gas station or at a grocery store. You look at him and you think that he can’t be one of them, but the truth is that he is.
I come from the countryside, and the things I have heard over the years from family and friends, from people I trust and believe in and love would make you believe that I am just exaggerating and that it can’t be like that, but it is.
it is our next door neighbor, our uncle, our friend
I’m only going to share the latest story I heard from a distant uncle, a good father to his four children, a kind husband to his wife and a hard working citizen of a small town. A person who invited me, my husband, and our three dogs to spend the next holiday in his house. A person who has a pet dog he sleeps with – it’s one of those small, fluffy ones of course, but still. A man who, according to all family members (and you know how big Greek families can get in Greece) “knows” about dogs.
there are no monsters really
He had a German Shepherd. A female one. She used to live for years in the yard of his shop, go in and out of the shop as she pleased and generally had a good life – well, for the Greek standards. She got sick. And as much as I insisted, I never got him to tell me exactly what was wrong with her – he probably never knew actually.
there are just people trapped in a mentality dating back to the 1950s
The dog started losing hair, and she smelled bad. All that sounds like mange, which is 100% treatable with a couple of shots and a good bath. He took her to the vet and asked him to have her put to sleep, the vet refused (and if you continue reading you might wish he hadn’t). The smelly, sick dog, used to go in and out of the shop was annoying for the customers, and since she could not be confined because she had lived all her life free (it’s not that she couldn’t, it’s that it was too much work probably), my distant uncle, the good father and husband and dog lover (according to him) put her in the car, drove to the mountain and left her there.
those “nice people” don’t really believe that they have any other option
According to him, he cried for her. When I asked him all ironic and paranoid why didn’t he just shoot her, he replied that he doesn’t kill dogs. But the truth is that he did kill her, he just chose a painful death for her, of hunger, loneliness and betrayal.
it is a practice they grew up with.
The problem is that those “nice people” we are surrounded by don’t really believe that they have any other option. Abandoning their old, sick or pregnant dog on a mountain is a practice they grew up with. Their fathers did it, the grand fathers did it, and most probably, their kids will do it too.
Their fathers did it, the grand fathers did it, and most probably, their kids will do it to.
The most hilarious thing of all is that after that, we got into a conversation about how things are not working in Greece, how behind we are and how central Europe is far more organized and better. We talked about how things can get better for Greece if and if and if… A conversation full of ifs, that don’t really make any sense. Because civilization is not just about infrastructure and good wages, it’s also about other things, and those other things are still unmarked territory for most of us here.