A stray dog rescue story, from a beach in Greece to home in the United Kingdom.
Part One was yesterday.
Part Two is kindly republished from here.
Day Two: Tuesday 19th June 2018
by Charlotte Hargreaves
I awoke at 6:15am and immediately checked Luna’s spot beneath the balcony but of course she had already gone. She was undoubtedly an early riser, a being who rose and set with the sun. I wondered what her life must be like, a nomad who roams freely, a life so alien to that which we know.
The plan for the day began with a trip into Ouranoupolis for supplies for the journey ahead. After a LOT of being re-directed from mini market to mini market like some deluded scavenger hunt, we finally managed to acquire a small brown leather collar, a variety of meats and a small bowl for water and lead.
On route back to the apartment, I also managed to sneak a purse full of some of the restaurant’s hotdogs which I know she likes.
Before we began to climb Mount Everest aka the path to our apartment (although we can’t complain, the views of the bay were spectacular), we decided it was worthwhile to check in with the barman at the beach who was familiar with our hunt for Luna. Unfortunately, we were disappointed to learn that she had not shown up down there all day. This made me anxious. We thought we had figured out a rough idea of her routine; beach/main road/village in the daytime, retreat to the hotel and mountains when it gets dark so this seemed out of character.
After another call with Olga, who by this point is saved in my contacts with a dog emoji besides her name, we had agreed to bring Luna to Thessaloniki on Thursday in an animal-friendly taxi. Luckily, Better Dogs is situated by the airport and so we could drop Luna and head straight for the flight. With this potential journey only days away, we needed to be sure we could track and locate her when needed and so this irregularity in her routine had me concerned. But, after all, a stray is called a stray for good reason, they are wanderers, governed by their individual desires. Although, I must admit that I secretly hoped that as we begun the ascent to our apartment, we might find her relaxing in the pool on a lilo…no luck.
Later that evening, things went from bad to worse as we learnt that the animal-friendly taxi had cancelled on us after having second-thoughts about transporting a stray without a travel box. This left us with two options…
- Olga sends transport to collect Luna.
- We hire a car and drive to Thessaloniki ourselves
Option 2 won, primarily because we wanted to meet Olga personally, visit the kennels for ourselves and rather selfishly, prolong our time with her.
Hiring the car would need to happen on Wednesday which meant we would need Luna in the apartment THIS evening to ensure a smooth, early and most importantly, undetected departure in the morning. We needed to find her and fast!
After roughly half an hour of searching across the complex, from the beach to the hills, lead and hotdog in hand, we finally spotted our Luna trotting along down the main road behind some fellow tourists. She crossed the road confidently and once on the same side, we called out to her. Instantly she recognised us and came bounding over, back in the dirt, legs in the air and that tongue lolling out of the mouth, such a comedic pose.
Getting the lead on was relatively easy, her nose fixated on her favourite treat – hotdogs. Once on, she had a momentary panic but was soon trotting along beside us, the perfect image of domestication…if strays are anything, it’s adaptable!
Then, stealth mode was activated. The three of us sticking to the shadows as we ventured across the complex towards our room. Other than a few passers by, we got to the room pretty much unnoticed and with some encouragement (and more hotdogs), she was safely inside.
After a few minutes of stationary uncertainty, her curiosity got the better of her and she began her exploration.
Long black legs tip-toeing into the shower, a twitching nose tracing every surface, wide eyed and reassuringly, waggy-tailed. Her only reservation was the other dog in the room who got a little growl…aka her own reflection in the mirror.
Soon enough, she was settled on her makeshift bed of towels, cushions and with her collar, water bowl and hotdog beside her, she was beginning to look the part and our family felt complete.
Part Three of this wonderful story of love and caring for a stray dog appears tomorrow.