The continuing beautiful story of a stray dog rescued from a beach in Greece to home in the United Kingdom
This third part is kindly republished from here.
Day Three: Wednesday 20th June
by Charlotte Hargreaves
Of Luna, I am quickly learning one thing – she is full of surprises. She walked on the lead like it came naturally and spent the night, confined within four walls, sleeping blissfully. At the same time, I am surprising myself. My new-dog-mum instincts are becoming more refined. During the night, I couldn’t help but keep peering over the sheets to make sure she was content and in the morning, I awoke literally seconds before she did, as if we were already in sync with one another.
At 6:10am, minutes after we had woken, I could tell that she was eager to stretch her legs and so we ventured out together on an early walk. This allowed Oliver some well-deserved rest for he had so patiently waited up throughout most of the night while she drifted into a deep sleep. We managed to trek through the complex, up to the mountain and back without seeing a single soul. The sky was awash with an orange hue and we walked under it in silence, perfectly peaceful
At approximately 7:00am, us three amigos hit the road to Ouranoupolis on foot. We figured that getting Luna away from the hotel was a smart move and a refreshing one at that, it felt good not to be watching over our shoulders. We were just a couple of tourists and their pet. Yes I said it, ‘pet’ (this still doesn’t feel real).
Once in Ouranoupolis, I waited on the beach with Luna while Oliver arranged the rental car and boy did she have a good time. She splashed in the ocean, rolled in the sand and played, or more accurately, flirted with a new canine friend and it was so heart-warming to see. She also made time for a little cuddle on the towel I had laid down for us. It’s the little things that get you.
Oliver returned with a Ford Focus and things had almost gone off without a hitch…until the rental car lady spotted the dog. After some pleading, we convinced her to take an extra 20€ and agreed to keep Luna in the passenger footwell on a towel…which we didn’t…but needs must! She is far too big a pooch to spend two and a half hours between my feet. This was the first leg of Luna’s big journey and we were not going to be defeated at the first hurdle.
After some coaxing into the back seat, Luna soon settled down for the journey and was content to watch the world rushing by past the window. I wondered if her mind could associate the inside of the car with the outside of which she so regularly avoided. Besides the odd speed bump and a few three-point turns which knocked her balance to and fro, the journey went better than we ever could have hoped. I would go as far to say she enjoyed it.
When we arrived at the meeting point, Olga was waiting. She guided us to the Better Dogs Hotel and my first thought was, ‘she’s going to love it here’. The complex has large pens, with thick grass and paddling pools, and the kennels were plentiful. We released Luna into one of the pens, and no surprise, she headed straight for the paddling pool. This dog is most definitely a water baby.
Meanwhile, Olga invited us to her office where we met Ally and Savvas. We had refreshments and spoke for a couple of hours about the incredible work that Olga and the team do. Currently, she has 42 animals boarding with her but during the summer months, she told us it could rise to as many as 60. I will be publishing another blog which will include more information as to the incredible work that Olga and her team do because I cannot simply express in so little words the passion, care and dedication which goes into everything they do.
Olga estimated that Luna was aged between 1-2 years. This surprised us for although she played (and in play, occasionally nipped) like a puppy, she had a few grey hairs within her coat. Olga told us this was most likely her natural colouring and that once she had been properly bathed, they would most likely come up more white.
Olga then brought Luna into the office and she was as happy and lively as ever, exploring the office, playing with the toys, assessing the people. She already looked at home.
She weighed in at 18kg and Olga explained to us that she did not look skinny which reinforced the theory that she is well fed by tourists. This will be interesting to compare with her weight when she leaves as I’m sure she will fatten up some from the genuine dog food (and not hot dogs or mini market ham).
Finally, she collapsed in a ball by the front door, probably exhausted from her big adventure. Then came the hardest part of this whole experience… saying goodbye. We approached her and she rolled straight onto her back, tail wagging, big brown eyes staring up. I told her, ‘be good’, and that was enough to set me off. Soppy Brit.
As we drove away, with promises to keep in touch with Olga for regular updates, I felt happy. I knew in my heart that she would be so loved by Olga and the team, that she was the safest she had probably ever been and hopefully, the happiest. She seemed so at ease, adapting so easily as she has already shown, to new people and new places. I knew we had made the right decision. It was going to be a long wait until July 14th and lots of worries raced round my mind….What if she doesn’t recognise us? What if she’s happier with Olga? What if something goes wrong with the transport? But those worries could wait another day, for now, she is safe and sound, and already so loved by so many.
Speaking of waiting for another day, I am afraid that all of you lovely people will have to wait another day in order to read Day Four!