As an animal rescuer, never two days are the same.  Doing the daily feeds, you never know what you will come across.  This particular Thursday morning in August 2016, there was no exception.  We started to drive through the countryside and after having fed three colonies, we started to continue to the largest colony in the open field.  But this morning, we were faced with shock, heartbreak and horror.   As we got closer to the open field, there on the right hand side was an emanciated, starving dog walking pitifully from side to side!!!!!  He was so thin, you could see his bones through his skin.  He had been neglected by someone and dumped in an unfamiliar area.  His eyes were sunken and his face was so sad.  We stopped the car and I jumped out.  I thought that I might be able to get close to this dog, but that was an impossibility.  He wouldn't come anywhere close to me, yet I wanted to hug and cuddle this dog and tell him that he will be safe and everything would be okay for him.  But that was just a dream.  Human reaction was to give him as much food and water as possible, because that is what we thought he needed, but this was a big mistake.  It should have been just a small amount that should have been given, but as people say, "you live and learn".  

The sad thing was that is was a Thursday morning, which was market day in Ermioni. This quiet village road was busy and will have been used by many locals alike, taking the short cut from the town of Kranidi to Ermioni, yet not one person stopped to help this poor animal.  The mission was to try and get this dog to the open field, where we could decide upon the next course of action.  The food that was put down, he ate, he didn't eat slowly either.  He ate quickly, but this might have been the only meal he had had for many days, or even weeks.  People say that as time goes by, you become immune to situations like these.  I can never be immune to cases like this dog or to animal welfare, because I cannot understand how cruel people can be.  Animal welfare in Greece is horrendous and many people are very cruel, as they would rather abandon their domestic animals as soon as they get too sick or grow too old.

We are aware that at this moment there is an economic crisis in the country, with people focused on getting food on their own family table, never mind their animals, but these loyal animals do not choose to be born.  There are ways of preventing unwanted puppies, but most people are totally against castrations or sterilizations, so it becomes a never ending battle.  

After this poor dog had eaten, I don't know whether it was because he was weak or what, but it was easy enough to get him into the back of the car.  Once we got him to the open field, he was put into the coral, where at least he was safe.  This doggy was now away from the main roads, and hopefully there was a chance waiting for him.  Sadly, there was no local vet that could deal with him on this particular day, so medical recovery had to wait.  Once the local cats had been fed, he was left with more dried biscuits and some more wet food and plenty of water.  Then tomorrow morning, he would be taken to an experienced vet operating in Argos.


Next day, it had to be an early morning feed of the cat colonies, as this dog had to be driven for over an hour to the vet.  Haris in Argos is one of the best vets in the Argolida region, but not local, so transfer can be distressing for the strays.  Anyway, upon arrival, the doggie was whisked off for many tests.  It was visible to see what his problems were, but were there any other underlying issues? Only time would tell.  Oh, how hopeful we were, at least he had a chance.  Haris named him KING ARTHUR.  Haris said this was one of the worst cases he had come across, I felt it in my heart that King Arthur was going to make it.  He was left with the vet and it then became a waiting game.  We were given daily updates, which made us think that he was going to make it, which was super news.  However, on the Sunday, we got the most devastating news.  KING ARTHUR lost his fight for life!  He stopped eating and sadly passed away during the night.  This was tragic, I was beside myself, as I so much wanted him to live.  He didn't deserve to die, he deserved a chance but it wasn't meant to be, if only we had found him a few days earlier.  But the moral of this tragic case was that at least KING ARTHUR would have died knowing that he was loved, wanted and being cared for again.  

. . . Dogs leave pawprints on our hearts ~ Author Unknown . . .

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