|Magnificent giant hobbled by pain|
While preparing for our trip from the Greek island of Kefalonia to Athens, where my foster girl Diamandi would depart for her new life in Denmark thanks to rescue group Graeske Hunde, I had thrown some extra dog food into the car, just in case we met someone like the tall, good-looking, and malnourished dog who was now pleading for it.
Handsome looked astonished when I emptied a can onto a paper plate and set it down for him. For a couple of seconds he just blinked at me, then he glanced at Diamandi, as if asking for permission.
When neither of us objected, he dove in and within seconds had tucked away every last morsel.
A patron of the gas station sipped coffee at an outdoor table nearby, looking almost as astonished as the dog. Funny foreigners, I could hear him thinking.
But anyone who rescues animals is completely accustomed to being stared at in gaping surprise—you’ll often have an audience—so that was nothing new.
In a giant's shadow
By now 25 minutes had passed since Diamandi and I had arrived at the gas station, and I could hear a clock ticking in my head, warning that we still had a long drive to Athens.
Just as I opened the car door for Diamandi to get in, a shadow fell over her. The source was a tall, white body—even taller than Handsome’s. He walked by cautiously, just a couple of meters away, hobbling in obvious pain.
I hurried Diamandi into the car and shut the door, unsure of what the new dog might do. But it soon became clear that he wasn’t going to do anything. He looked too hungry, and too injured.
A big bald patch of skin on his hip told a disturbing tale about this dog’s past and condition. But I couldn’t know what that tale was.
|Bald patch of skin on gorgeous Gigantas|
And next in line…
Just as I decided to go into the gas station building to ask about Gigantas (Giant), as I’d named him, and his companion Handsome, in the background behind them a third one slid into view.
A terrier mix, she looked so much like a white version of Sophia, one of my own girls at home in California, that my breath caught.
It’s hard enough to see dogs in need, but when they remind you of your own, it’s brutal.
Aspri Sophia (White Sophia) had full teats and a haggard look, making me suspect there might be a litter of puppies nearby.
Of all the gas stations to pick, having tried so hard to avoid those with dogs hanging around, I seemed to have chosen the one with the highest number of them, offering the highest potential for heartbreak.
Please check this page again soon for more about Handsome, Gigantas, and Aspri Sophia, along with other dogs and assorted humans.
PLEASE NOTE: The place where I saw Handsome and his companions is an "Aegean" gas station on the main highway between Kyllini and Patras, near the turn-off for the village of Varda, in Greece. If you're in the area or know someone who is and who might be able to help, please contact me at youadopteddogATyahooDOTcom.
ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT BY KATERINA LORENZATOS MAKRIS (unless otherwise noted)