Pet dogs (pet being a euphemism actually, but what else can you call them?) are not as important as personal items, clothes and cars – at least not for many of the people who got caught up in the massive fires that burned a huge part of the northern outskirts of Athens last month.
Every summer in Greece, fires burn half the country to ashes, and by the time they are set “under control”, the ecologic disaster is huge. Apart from the wildlife (what’s left of it anyway) and the strays that have nobody to care for them, this year the pet dogs paid the price too.
As the typical Greek mentality dictates, being a dog owner means keeping the animal chained in the garden or the yard – it’s not that they are going to escape or anything, but we don’t want out garden pooped and dug up, do we? So let’s have a dog live in its feces in a corner somewhere, while we keep the lawn clean for our fat asses to enjoy.
And if you are the kind of person who keeps a dog in these conditions, when you are caught up in a fire that threatens you precious little pathetic life, you flee taking with you what’s most valuable: personal items, clothes and cars (they are worth more after all).
So this year, besides he huge ecological disaster, we Greeks are also mourning our horrible fate, that has us live among people like them, who leave their dogs behind to burn alive.
Volunteers rescued as many stray and pet dogs as they could. They spent time and risked their lives to save other people’s frightened, disorientated, and half-burned dogs. This is who we Greeks are, we are the ones who leave their dogs behind to burn, and we are also the ones who run into the fire to rescue them.