This is a woman that had me in awe the first time I visited her, about a year and a half ago, when I was asked to photograph some of her dogs for adoption. I have been wanting to make a video on her for so long, and finally I get to show some of her work – actually presenting what she really does would make a two hour documentary.
Abir lives in the outskirts of Athens, Greece and she cares for more than 70 dogs. Most of them are her own rescues, which she found in terrible condition, sick and injured on the streets of Greece.
Now sit back for a moment and think. How many pet dogs do you have? One? Three? Ten? I have three of my own, and foster a fourth or a fifth one from time to time, and I devote approximately three to four hours a day to satisfy their basic needs only (exercise, food) + quality time that is never enough (petting, training etc).
Now imagine what it means to care for seventy of them. Day in, day out, no vacation, no days off, no breaks. In all weather conditions, under heavy rain, snow or (worst of the worst) the unbearable 40 degree temperatures we get here in Greece all summer long.
Abir’s dogs get their daily routine, their exercise, and their ten minutes of cuddle every single day. Last year, when very sick with pneumonia, she didn’t take a day off. When her car broke down, she carried food for 70 dogs on her shoulders. When she goes on vacation (I am joking, she doesn’t do vacation)
Last Sunday, when I was there again, I chatted with her for just a few minutes (that’s all the time you can get with her). She said that if she was born again, she would do the exact same thing. And I believe her. If you ask other rescuers like her, they would tell you the same thing. Because what they do is not a hobby, or a situation they found themselves caught up in. It’s a vocation.