We are on the beautiful island of Crete for the month of October. The scenery is lovely, and we are enjoying the warm, sunny days, making the most of the fact that we will be plunged back into winter when we return to the UK.
We have been looking after a dog here which its English owners brought from the UK, and is very much loved and looked after. We take her on daily walks along coastal paths, looking out over Sapphire blue waters. She is a keen swimmer and loves retrieving sticks.
We have come across many dogs on Crete who do not have such an idyllic lifestyle. It is fair to say that not all cultures are as dotty over animals as us Brits, but it is very hard to see dogs at best chained up on their own, with no shelter from rain or sun. Sometimes this may be on the side of a family property or in a field with a number of outhouses. We have been warned to watch out for pieces of fish being left about on the shore line, which locals lace with poison, to kill stray dogs. This is rare in the tourist season, but is widespread out of season.
During our stay we have come across many ex pats who have adopted dogs that have been abandoned on building sites when they were puppies, or rescued from people found stoning a poor animal just for fun.
One such case is Foxy. He came to his owner Roger from a friend who found him, and asked if Roger could foster him. He is very shy and very scared of humans. He has been with Roger for 3 months and in that time has learnt to trust him. He will come to be smoothed and is desperate for affection. He will not come into Roger's house, but it is still early days. Foxy in his new safe home.
He is very friendly to other dogs when they come to visit at Roger's house. It is sad to see that whilst other dogs will happily chase a ball and play with toys, Foxy does not know how to do this and if something is thrown to him, he immediately thinks he is going to be hit, and cowers away.
Being a young dog however, he is desperate to play, and curiosity soon gets the better of him with new people, whom he greets wagging his tail, keeping his distance at first, but if you remain quiet and let him come to you, eventually he will let himself be smoothed. It will be a slow process, but he will gradually get more confidence and realise he is safe whilst in the confines of this house and garden.
Foxy is a lucky pup who has been given a new lease of life. Others we have seen have become very 'street wise' hangning around tourist spots, putting on their sad little faces when they spot a tourist eating an ice cream or burger. They beg their bit of food and then they are off to find a spot in the shade to wait for their next bit of food.
Cretan animal welfare group