To adopt dogs from Crete or from southern Mediterranean countries is similar to adopting an orphan from a distant Third World country. This concerns the feelings as well as the everyday life with them. There are lively discussions whether dogs from the Mediterranean region or Eastern Europe should be placed in Central Europe, where there are proponents and opponents. Due to lack of local experience the latter often misjudge how much worse the dogs are doing here in the Mediterranean than their comrades in Western and Northern Europe.
The dogs are often the mirror image of humans and their society. Therefore, the dogs from Crete are also a reflection of the society of Greece. Central and Western Europe are more densely populated and there is another tradition of living with dogs. Therefore, there are differences, so that the dogs from the south have a clearer body language and a greater desire for freedom. Many of them are anxious, but at the same time very self-confident and independent.
Wolf and human entered into a symbiosis about 20,000 years ago, but the basic behavior of a species together with its genetics takes about one hundred thousand years to change from wolf to dog. Therefore, the correct and successful education of a dog is only possible on the basis of its species behavior and the knowledge of its origin. However, the dog learns its whole life long and adapts also to changed conditions. Therefore, even the wildest stray dog can become a problem-free city dog over time, depending on what his master does for it or not.
Therefore, it is the task of Best Dogs to help with the adoption, mediation, education and training of dogs – and in particular of their fellow dogs – from the south and at the same time to engage ourselves for the animal protection and against cruelty to animals, poisonings or keeping of barrel dogs, in order to improve the lot of their fellow sufferers locally bit by bit.
Particularly if the animal was treated badly in the past, suspended or abandoned because of his problematic behavior, special care and attention is needed against the animal protection dog.
Having taken a whole series of rescue dogs in Crete, I can say without any hesitation, that this was a genuine happiness for both – the dogs and for me. The joy that you feel when an abused, poor creature recovers again, is simply indescribable. I have to admit that it satisfies me deeply, to offer these animals a happy, reliable home that they didn’t have for such a long time.
The trend towards a rescue dog is steadily increasing. Through the Internet, transnational exchanging of information and images of poor dogs are possible, that are most barely escaped a certain death. Not only adult dogs, but also especially puppies pass through an international network of transfer to travel to the people who want to help these four-legged friends to forget the misery they have experienced – or better survived.
In particular, on Crete many puppies are simply abandoned or killed after a short time as many people do not feel able to provide them and there are just a few private animal shelters. The annual number of puppies is great, because only a few dogs are brought to castration or sterilization to the vet and the uncontrolled proliferation is therefore predictable. Many dogs have to life under unimaginable conditions, chained short where they must spend their entire, in these cases especially short dog life. Animal dog attitude, as it is understood in Western Europe, is on Crete unfortunately rarely encountered, when also lately some things have changed to the better way.
Nevertheless, I will not deny at this point that rescue dogs often bring great problems. In my opinion, however, there are no ‘problem-dogs’, but dogs or dog owners with problems. And that rescue dogs usually have more problems than others is probably obvious.
Usually it is not possible to bring a lot of information about the experience of the animals. Often these scanty information is sad, but not meaningful. The new pet owner can indeed understand in what way the dog had found its way to him, but what is really important, he does not know what has really dug deep into the soul of his new protegee in the past. Physical injuries heal much faster than psychological wounds. And above all, you have no chance to recognize this from the outside.
The extent of psychological injuries seen only gradually, as well as the behaviors that your new protegee has acquired as a result. For many rescue dogs you have to expect that the imprinting on humans is not optimal expired, that it is scarcely come into contact with environmental influences that we feel here as commonplace. Substrates, smells, sounds, etc., which are taken for granted can cause great uncertainty with them. Many dogs had to hunt to survive. Many tortured dogs shows problematic behavior when they meet people who remind them of their tormentors. And hiking from hand to hand until it reaches you, was not good for the stability of his inner life, any way.
If such a dog didn’t find a person which is a safe person of authority – in the positive sense – that provides security, so the spiral of fear and compensation behavior continues downward, in which it is trapped. For dog owners, such a dog is a living appeal to his leadership qualities. If the rescue dog comes in a new home where it is being treated humanely, this is the opportunity for it to find out of this vicious circle, gradually confidence in the world that surrounds it and enter into a new life, which also the person wants for his dog since he has looked for the first time in its puppy eyes.
Please questioning yourself before taking a rescue dog, if you are able to meet your new family member even in difficult situations humanely and not make mistakes from false sense of love for animals. Cuddle loving its head and talk to it doing well when the first sign of insecurity appears, will thereby confirmed its fears and the assumption that the world is an evil. This is the opposite of what a rescue dog needs. It will only helped if the dog finds someone who masterfully shows it how to behave in a situation that it can not handle properly. Leave it to the decision, it will be the same as before. The rescue dog has to take its life in its own four paws, despite its shortcomings, which can lead to behaviors that might exceed your worst expectations.
Many dog owners will then abuts to their own limits and often the whole family is about to surrender. This would mean for the dog to walk back again from hand to hand – and even worse prospects for a family where it can find the place where it flourishes and expand in a positive sense, and show from what it’s made.
Take this challenge and you are aware that these dogs in particularly need a reliable pack leader. Although you must expect that your dog will check you in every particular case, whether you like it too serious about him.
Quality of life for a rescue dog is not only to find a roof over its head, sufficient attention and every day a well-filled bowl, but also to find people who offer its behavioral needs of security that it urgently needs – to leave it mental shadow behind and go on all four paws in a fear-free life.
The rescue dog which you have saved its life will stay its whole life together and loyal to you!
All the time dogs from Crete are looking for a save, lovely new home in Britain or other Western European countries !
Links to Facebook pages for adoption of needy Rescue dogs from Crete:
Animal Foster Community in Crete
Takis Shelter, Ierapetra (Greek/English)
Shirins Lucky Rescues (Private – German/English)
Shirin Firouzgar on Facebook
Ag.Nikolaos crete -Rescue (British)
Ag.Nikolaos crete -Rescue
Crete-Dogs Rescue (English/German)
APAL – Animal Protection and Life Line Finikas (German)
APAL – Animal Protection and Life Line Finikas
Paws Paleohora (Austrian)
Tierschutzverein Ierapetra (German)
Herzpfoetchen in Not (German)
Herzpfoetchen in Not
Four puppies from Malia Strays were fostered by me. They stay here or almost 3 months on the veranda and in the garden. The last two of them could also be found in the house later during the day. All Malia Stray Puppies have found a great home!
The three year-old dog ‘Canella’ survived – unlike two other dogs of her group – a poisoning attempt in Aghios Nikolaos by local fools (in the meantime one to five years imprisonment and 15,000 Euros fine for such offenders).
She was then in my garden and on the porch in safety until she had quickly found a permanent new home also here on Crete.
Once again, two puppies were exposed next to my house (probably from a local shepherd), this time in the garage. There were at this time too many puppies for adoption for abroad, so for ‘Brownie’ and ‘Blackie’ a new home in Crete must be found, which worked out after some time.
Rescue dog Shadow was lying on a road in the mountains with deep wounds after being hit by a car. Fortunately for her, she was found by us and picked up from the road, maintained and treated by veterinarians. Now she is a highly rewarding and beautiful dog.
These abandoned and completely emaciated dog was actually recorded only to take care until she would have found a new home. Therefore, she only became the nickname Du-Da. However, she is so lovely, affectionate and playful that I did not get around it to adopt her eventually.
The extraordinary friendly dog Kasperi had almost spent his entire life on a half yard long chain alone in the mountains close to Elounda – which is actually prohibited by the Greek Animal Welfare Act. He was lucky that I was able to save him and now he lives in Germany and his ex-holders had to ‘enjoy the visit’ of the Swedish curtains of Greece from the inside.
Despite a ban by the Greek Animal Protection Act, Kasperi was kept illegal his past life on a short chain in his ‘cave’ near Elounda.
Please click on the corner bottom left of the black area to start the streaming and playback process of the video (1 min 42 sec) !
The ‘Bandits’ are three puppies who were exposed at Aghios Nikolaos and were taken into care until all of them had found a beautiful home. Each one of them is now with a new family in Eindhoven (Holland), Paris and London.
Goggle has been abandoned by his owner and limped as he was probably hit by a vehicle. He had a long time career on the road in Elounda and survived. He was my first rescue dog on Crete here, which had later the opportunity to travel to Holland. Unfortunately, in the meantime he died there from cancer.