What do you do when the sky turns orange and you have nowhere to go? Over the past month my facebook feed had been swarmed by people cradling their dogs tightly in their arms.
They feared that the terror of the on coming blaze would send their beloved companions in to frenzy and the last thing you want to see when you are struggling to escape one of Greece’s largest fires to date is your beloved dog running mindlessly towards it. Poor things. Labradors , huskies, Dobermans…massive dogs that where way pass the stage of being held like a babies where being hurried on the lifeboats in the weary, exhausted arms of their beloved humans.
I have a first hand knowledge of how sensitive dogs are to their owners emotions. Wolf, my dog, is equipped with a literal antenna on his head and he is in constant look out for the sudden, unexpected fluctuation in his owners mood. He is so quick that it is almost comical. Being a German shepherd he is naturally inquisitive and he was always swift to console me whenever I sat close to him and pretended to sob and cry. Not to mention how eager he is to join in on the celebration whenever something joyous occurs.
Now imagine if I started running franticly around the house. Screaming on the phone with despair painted on my face. Those beautiful brown eyes of his would dart left and right, following me, trying to deduce what all this meant and how he was supposed to react. There is all this chaotic energy escaping your body. So much stress, fear and uncertainty and the harder your dog is trying to figure out what’s going on the more confused it ends up getting.
''Is it something I did?''
There is no doubt all the dogs in Evvoia had that thought when they saw their elderly owners crying in desperation.
No little one. It’s really not your fault. But it’s time to go now.
A farmer tugging on a goat’s horns with his thick, calloused hands while the forest around him had turned in to a blackened tinderbox. Somewhere in the distance an olive tree is shining with orange hues as it burns from the inside out.
God bless the volunteers. They really do not get the credit they deserve. We are talking about Greece’s largest environmental catastrophe and they handled with such grace and professionalism. They did not hesitate a moment and they heroically rushed towards the blazing forest fire to save, not just dogs and cats, but farm animals, domesticated, strays and wildlife.
‘’The saddening image of dogs being abandoned inside the yards while still on a leash is a cry for help. Some people fled and left them to die. There is a need for adoption right now as most of the rescued animals need a home, otherwise they must return to their natural environment which is gone and destroyed’’ said Christina Pappi, a volunteer.
As a Greek that lives abroad I found it so touching to witness everyone coming together and help out their country in this time of crisis. Restaurants packed food in styrofoam boxes which where promptly delivered to the survivors and people came forward and eagerly volunteered to shelter the innocent animals that had fallen victims of this terrible tragedy. Many of whom already had dogs and cats of their own.
Even my mum called me one day to tell me that, while visiting one of the local makeshift shelters that where hurriedly put together, she came across a lovely female dog that she really wanted to adopt. My mom that has been moaning and groaning for the past two years because she has had to take care of my dog, now wanted to adopt a dog of her own. It was a pleasant surprise and we where both upset when we found out that the person in charge of the shelter ended up adopting her for his own.