GINA - May '15

I had just come back from an Italian trip, having taken 4 stray dogs to Ancona by boat.  The lucky rescued dogs had been found a new home by Lake Como.  On getting back home, I sat down with my computer to check my emails. Was I surprised to find an email from an American tourist?  Yes I was, because I didn't expect this so soon, having just taken 4 rescued stray dogs to Italy.  But I couldn't ignore this email.  I read it and turned round to my husband and said:  "We are on a mission tomorrow".  The tourist in question was called Gina.  She wrote asking for help, as she was travelling 20+ kms out of Ermioni, Gina came across a very emanciated dog.  This dog was a female and must have had puppies at one time, Gina wanted this doggy rescued.  I knew the area, but it would have been easier for Gina to have contacted an animal rescue organisation in Galatas or Poros, something she had done, but had got nowhere with.  So between our on-going communications, I got a better understanding of where the search should start.  Day one, there was no sign of any dog which matched the description Gina had described.  Instead, another dog was found in the same area, in bad condition, it was a male and not the one we were looking for.  But this male couldn't be put back, he was rescued and eventually went to a new home in the UK.  Day 1 proved non-eventful in finding the emanciated female dog, which was pretty sad, but the search would contine.  

Day 2 started in a more positive frame of mind.  This particular dog had to be found. Gina gave explicit instructions as to where this dog could be located, so effectively it should have been an easy task, but it wasn't.  Being 23 kms out of Ermioni, meant this poor doggie could have been hiding anywhere, especially as the weather was still hot. We scoured the main road looking both sides, to see if the doggy was somewhere within this area.  No joy.  Then we stopped at one of the taverna's which was on the roadside.  In our best Greek, we asked about this dog.  Interestingly they knew about this dog and pointed ahead in the opposite direction.  Gosh, if this doggy was in such a bad way, and these taverna people knew about its condition, why on earth didn't they help this poor animal?  Sadly in Greece most people do not care about animal welfare.  

So the car was turned around and we set off in the opposite direction.  I jumped out of the car and started to walk.  My husband continued to drive and stopped at some point at the bottom of a hill.   After a few minutes, I heard a shout . . . "I've found her".  I ran ahead and could not believe what I saw.  Honestly, my heart just broke.  How on earth could anyone ignore the plight of this poor girl.  She was just skin and bone.  The collar around her neck was hanging off, so that just showed how emanciated and starved she was.  I cried.  I wrapped her in a towel and into the car she went.  But then what?  It was a Sunday and no vets were available.  So the gamble was that she was taken to the coral in the open field, given water and food, and hopefully the next day she would be taken to the vet.  The stray cats rallied round to see this strange looking new arrival. 

The next day, she was taken to the vet.  It was interesting as the vet thought she was only just over 2 years of age.  It was identified that she had calazar.  She needed the much needed drug, which wasn't available in Greece.  Our local vet was very limited in resources, so we took her further, to a specialist vet in Argos.  Here she had all her blood tests.  She appeared to be on the border line of Calazar, but the vet thought she was more likely to be in the region of 5 years old.  I decided to call her GINA, after the American tourist.    Effectively she was given the all clear in more ways than one.  With this, I had to find a safe place for her to go. So I contacted my good friend in Athens.  Together with her husband, they agreed to give GINA the much needed love and care she needed.  I didn't have this opportunity to offer GINA as we have no suitable facilities, however, I found a solution to help her.


Following on from this, I had to find her a permanent home.  I was lucky as a friend who helped me with other rescues, offered to give GINA a home in Germany.  This was the best news I had been waiting for.  So when GINA was finally given the all clear and had completed all her medications, I flew with her to Germany.  I met Melanie for the first time and I knew in my heart that GINA's new life would be just amazing.  Her home and lifestyle would be something that I could never match.  But again, I found it very interesting that the German vets put GINA'S age as over 12 years of age, which to me felt more realitstic.  Melanie keeps me updated with GINA's progress and when I flew with her to Germany, I enjoyed the best few days together with her.  

. . . The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog - M.K. Clinton . . . 

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