Unwanted Dogs Being Abandoned…
I live on the Greek island of Zakynthos and here as well as all over Greece there is a major problem with dogs being abandoned on the street, litters of unwanted puppies being dumped in bins/fields/up mountains – basically in the middle of nowhere and left to die. Even old dogs that were once loyal pets are taken to the hills and left to die of starvation rather than being given the love and respect they deserve in their final days.
It may make disturbing reading, but as sad and heart breaking as it is to read it is even worse to witness.
The Good News Is That There Are People Trying To Help…
Luckily there are people – Doggy Ladies – who take the time to feed homeless dogs, and to raise money to get bitches spayed and fostered until they are well enough to be released back onto the streets where they were picked up or re-homed when possible. These Ladies do their utmost to find forever homes for stray and abandoned dogs, but sadly there are far more dogs than homes.
The majority of the stray dogs that do get re-homed go abroad to countries like England, Germany and Holland, where they live out their days happily in forever homes. The dogs are put on flights or are driven through Europe being dropped off by volunteers and picked up by their new owners. So at least some of the stray and abandoned dog stories have happy endings, but not nearly enough.
The Only Real Solution For The Problem Of Stray Dogs…
The real answer to the problem of stray dogs is to educate people on how to look after their pets and not to even consider dumping unwanted animals like rubbish. Unfortunately some Greek people consider spaying and neutering their dogs as ‘unnatural’, so won’t have it done. It’s a crazy and irresponsible attitude to rather dump unwanted dogs than to prevent dogs getting pregnant. I’ll never understand it.
Saying that, not everyone has that attitude and since living here I have noticed a definite increase of people looking after their dogs properly and treating them as a pet should be treated. When I walk our dogs in town we see plenty of dogs being walked as they should be.
But there are still far too many ignorant people around.
The Happy Story Of Flossy, The Dumped Dog…
The story of Flossy started about two months ago, when she suddenly appeared outside a nearby shop. She was a lovely little dog, that had no collar and was desperate for love and attention. Luckily the lady in the shop and people who lived nearby made sure she was fed and watered, but living at the side of a main road is no place for a dog.
She barely moved from the shop front and was so sheepishly happy when she saw a person it was heartbreaking to watch. If you stopped to stroke her she would roll over for a belly stroke and pee herself with nerves and excitement. She was also flea ridden and grubby.
The Doggy Ladies were aware of her, but there was little they could do for her at the time and as she was being fed and watered she was considered reasonably safe.
Just over two weeks ago the doggy ladies were able to take her to be spayed; spaying street dogs is one way of keeping numbers down, until the cruel people who dump dogs are no more.
The Ladies asked us if we would foster her for two weeks after her spaying, until a new home could be found for her or she was fit enough to be put back outside the shop again. And we agreed, even though we already have four dogs, just as long as she fitted in with our other dogs.
We Agreed To Take Her, For Two Weeks Only…
The day she was spayed she was bought to us to look after and we set up a nice cushioned bed outside for her, with hot water bottles to keep her warm after her operation. Our other dogs had a good sniff at her and accepted her with no problem. But that night when all the other dogs were inside I did feel bad leaving her outside, even though she was well snuggled and probably more comfortable than she had ever been in her life. But she was fine.
It didn’t take her long to make herself at home, she tried to play with the other dogs even though she was supposed to be recovering from her spaying. She was fed proper food twice a day and became very attached to all of us, especially our son.
When the vet checked her over he thought her to be around 18 months old and she has obviously been outside for quite awhile as her claws are worn down and her pads are dry and hard.
She Wormed Her Way In…
After a few days it was my husband, Neal, who suggested that we give Gregs, our son, the opportunity to keep her as his own dog. Our son is 17 and even though we have four other dogs, none are what he can call his own. Gregs is different than most boys his age and we thought that having a dog of his own, to teach, love and look after would be good for him.
He was given a week to really think about what he was taking on – with our help of course! – and after a few days of serious decision making he decided that he was up for the responsibility – to be honest I don’t think she would have been going anywhere regardless!
The small abandoned dog has officially found her forever home and she now goes by the name of Flossy. She is treated exactly the same as the other dogs and is now an indoor dog with full access to the garden. She gets combed, loved, feed and now that she has had her injections she is walked.
What I find Sad About Flossy’s Story…
We think that Flossy knew what it was like to be loved once, she seems familiar with being indoors and knows to play with the dog toys and not anything else. She happily curls up on the sofa and falls into a deep contented sleep, she even snores!
We can tell from certain things that she was abused to a degree, she doesn’t like raised voices and if we push her away she cows down, which is only if she is trying to muscle in on another dogs treat – they all have treats and she must learn to wait her turn! She is very uncertain getting into the car, which is probably because she remembers being dumped out of the back of a car.
Strangely she has learned how to sit and lie very quickly and walks nicely on a lead. Which may indicate that someone cared for her enough to train and walk her at some point.
I am really happy to think she is officially part of our family, but I would love to know her story and I know that we never will. But at least now she is safe, happy and very much wanted.
Why anyone would want to dump such a small and sweet dog is beyond me, but as far as I am concerned it is their loss and our gain!
Do you have a happy story about an abandoned animal?
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