Valia Orfanidou volunteers at a several different animal rescue organizations in Greece. There’s a lot of work to do: it’s a country where the importance of animal welfare isn’t widely recognized. There are literally millions of stray dogs.
One summer, Valia was vacationing at a small seaside village. That sounds wonderful, but for her, it can be very difficult. In rural Greece, stray dogs are everywhere and as she says, “You either have to turn a blind eye or come back home with a dozen rescue dogs.” Late in the afternoon each day, Valia would go for a stroll along the beach with her own dogs. By sunset, the people were gone, but the beach, all 16 miles of it, literally went to the dogs, taken over by countless local strays.
It was during one of those late afternoon walks that Valia noticed that one of those stray dogs was taking a liking to her. This actually made her panic: “When you are an animal lover living in Greece, you simply get used to lonely stray dogs wandering around everywhere, and choose to rescue the ones that can’t make it on the streets: the sick, emaciated or hurt ones, the newborns, and the pregnant females.” This friendly dog didn’t fall into any of those categories so if she went by her usual rules, Valia wouldn’t even consider rescuing her. And yet… This particular dog just didn’t look like she was cut out for life as a stray: too trusting, too eager for attention. So, Valia made an exception. Blue, as she named the dog, came back home with her when the vacation came to an end.
Happily, Blue didn’t have to wait long for a forever home. Within a couple of months, she was adopted by a family in Holland. They’ve found a perfect job for gentle and friendly Blue: therapy dog!
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