KOUTSIA - Oct '14

Elaine received an email from an Italian lady, mid September, by the name of Diana, who saw a dog in a very bad way, at the end of June ‘14, somewhere between Nafplio and Argos.  Diana was returning back to the airport with her family, but not on a normal route and saw this pitiful sight. She couldn't do much. Her mother-in-law was an impatient person and to add, was not an animal lover. She stopped the car and just gave it what she had, which was bread. At the time, she looked into the dogs eyes and promised she would save it.  We received Diana’s email through our website, asking for help 16 September ’14.  She had tried many people, but sadly appeared not to have made any progress at all.  We didn't have much to go on either, because she had no pictures of the dog.  All she could tell us, was that it was brown and white, but the main characteristic was a missing back left leg, which had become calcified.  The next day, based on Diana’s instructions, we went to search.  The area was not local to us at all and incorporated a round trip of 3 hours.  Based on the drawings and maps she sent us, we found the shop, place and started to search for this dog.  For us, deep down, we felt the dog was alive, but where?  We searched and really we saw no dogs.  Whether it was alive or not, we had to try.  Maybe, because it was during the day, and being the most hottest part, it would have been the time where most animals slept.  We did many trips and each time came back disheartened.  We covered large distances and found nothing.  We spoke to people as best as we could. They took our details, if they did see this 'phantom dog', they would contact us.

We rang the vets within Nafplio and Argos, asking whether they had had a dog brought in within the last few months, with that description, but sadly nothing.  We rang 2 local charities, within that particular region, to see if they had spotted this dog.  One said, ‘Wait I will ask our President’. The answer came back as being a no.  Then said: ‘the dog will be dead by now, it wouldn't have survived’.  We then communicated with another charity in Argos, who basically said they would notify their members to look out for this dog.  We contacted other important bodies, but no-one got back to us.  We would just have to do what we could.  Diana wanted to fly-in to help the search.  Elaine would be flying back to the UK at some point that month, so it was arranged for that weekend.

We met with Diana yesterday evening and started searching for the dog with a missing left back leg.  The areas that we searched were the wrong ones.  Diane must have spotted the dog somewhere else.  Along the roads we drove, down many agricultural terrains, looking for a house which should have been on the right hand side, was red and newly constructed.  It was like the blind-leading-the-blind.  We found absolutely nothing.  We came to one area where we spoke to some villagers who wanted to give us 2 puppies as gifts.  Sadly, we couldn't take them.  We saw many stray dogs and many puppies roaming the countryside, and where possible, they were fed.  Probably the only meal they had for days and maybe the only meal they would get.  One very fat small dog, was making its nest under the trees, very soon to have its babies.  Sadly, as we tried to feed it, the poor thing ran off.  It was getting dark and we were speaking about meeting up ‘tomorrow’, but very early in the morning. 

Anyway, in pitch darkness, one last attempt was made to try and find the left turn-off Diana had made back in June.  We continued on the main road and turned off left, where we found some life.  We drove into a small village square where in front of us, was an dog sitting in the middle of the road.  Diana put her hand to her mouth and grasped.  It was her dog! . . . but was that possible?  The car was stopped abruptly.  Out we all ran and the animal in the middle of the road, jumped up and became very excited.  Behind the happiness of the dogs face, was the missing back left leg, which was calcified.  It was her dog that Diana saw and befriended back in June.  A miracle to say the least.  Diana knew in her heart that she would find the dog.  I knew following my intuition that the dog was alive, but I honestly didn't know if it could be found.  The locals in the house behind were a little bemused as to what was going on.  Luckily one spoke a little English.  I wanted to know whether this dog was theirs or not.  It wasn't, but they had been feeding it.  The family all came out into the middle of the road and were watching and joined in all the excitement, once they heard and knew the story.  They had named the dog KUTSIA (meaning ‘broken leg’).  Now we had to take her to a vet, but which vet would be available at this late hour.  We rang our vet in Nafplio but she wasn't around, so we rang our vet in Argos.

The earliest he could see us would have been next morning, which would have been too late.  Harris, the vet listened and understood our plight for searching for this dog, so he arranged to open his practice for us that same evening.  Into the car KUTSIA went and cuddled up to us on the back seat, to the shouts of good byes from the village children.  It was pretty emotional, but nice to see that this dog had been looked after, in some way.  It was a nightmare trying to get out of this little village and head to Argos in the darkness.  After what seemed like ages, we arrived.  Harris gave KUTSIA a full examination, did blood tests to see if she had any dangerous diseases and luckily she was clear of these.  The dog is a female and had many problems, but considering, she was in good spirits.  It was suggested not to operate on the affected leg, because it would end up being the same.  She does need two operations, but with the course of antibiotics Harris administered, he is hoping the swelling of one of her lymph nodes reduces in size. She did have puppies recently, so this might have been the time when Diana saw her at the end of June, where she was pathetically thin and looked starved.  It was agreed that evening that KUTSIA was safe to remain at the vets, and mid-week, we would go to collect her, but if surgery is agreed, then we would return for her later.  Then Kutsia will be prepared to travel to Como in Italy, to start her new life.  The vet gave us many contacts in terms of who might be able to help transport her to Italy.  Equally, Diana offered to help us with dogs or puppies that may cross my path in future. 

A wonderful ending to something that really one would have said almost impossible to achieve. You have to believe and hope. Everything is possible. For KUTSIA, this had happened.  Seen briefly at the end of June ’14, for us there was nothing to go on except the fact that she had a missing back left leg.  Honestly, sometimes it felt it was the blind leading the blind, but we didn't give up.  We have been asked to go back to the family who cared for KUTSIA, and give them a contribution for helping.  Equally, the villages who wanted to give us 2 puppies as a gift, we now have to find them, as they will be going too.  Heartbreak and sadness which turned into joy.  What more can we ask for and what better way to spend a Saturday evening. 

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