Sent at last!

A calming episode of The Waltons preceded my bedtime routine. John Walton was accused of stealing valuable items from a house where he was working. The reality was that the once-rich household had fallen upon hard times like many others during the Depression. The son was secretly selling off the family valuables in order to keep the boat afloat however the matriarch was living in a fantasy world where nothing had changed since the death of her husband. John had done something he was uncomfortable with as he’d hocked his wedding ring to pay for some tyres for their truck so that he could continue to work. Naturally, he was seen in Charlottesville near the pawnbroker so was under suspicion as he’d recently worked at the house. John had refused to clarify why he’d been seen in town soon after the items went missing but was not ready to come to terms with telling Olivia, his wife, so remained silent on the matter.

I did have to get up a couple of times in the night but that was more to do with cooler weather and cups of tea! I was involved in a complicated dream so was quite pleased to be woken by the alarm.

Again, we were out before 05:00 and quickly on the road towards the Promontory. A couple of cars were in the beach car park which is hardly surprising for a weekend even during a COVID August. One tent was pitched on the Big Beach near the shore. Some young people were staying there and were romping around at 05:30! Fancy people being out and about so early! They didn’t notice us as we slid by in the distant shadows.

We were in good time when we arrived at the River road so it was just light enough to be able to see Isabella who blends nicely with the landscape. We’d not long set off when Fido produced a long series of barks and it turned out the nice lady and her dog were following behind. I suggested she give us a head-start as we’d turn around after 1,500m or so anyway. She decided to take another route and disappeared.

The dogs were all with me until the end when I put them on the lead as I didn’t want to go down to the sea having treated them only the day before with topical parasite product. It needs a day or two to soak into the skin so as not to be easily washed away. I’m not up for polluting the sea or wasting the product as it’s around €20 per treatment for all of the dogs: about €3/dog.

We were back at the camping early having followed the road and not the seashore so I was able to stash the dogs and go down to the sea. I’d not really intended going far or staying in long but ended up swimming towards Houmas restaurant and then back to my shoes on the beach. I was in the water for around fifty-five minutes. From now on, the sea is likely to get cooler so it makes sense to take advantage whilst I can.

I was quite cold when I got out of the sea so went for an indoor shower to warm up a little. I then got on with dogs and breakfast.

It was soon getting near time for my weekly phone-home but I had time to start fabricating the Doggy Dinners beforehand.

After the call, I finished off the DDs and then answered a few IT support queries for EG. The aroma of cooking cabbage filled the air indicating the DDs were in progress and would soon be done. Part of the process is to leave them to depressurise naturally so that cooking continues even though the pot is switched off. This ensures the chicken quarter is well cooked from frozen and all the bugs are dead.

I chased up the guy in Northwich, (does that town ring a bell?) who is selling the collar. He confessed to not having dispatched the items the previous day having been delayed at work. I replied that I’d be sure to give him positive feedback which would improve his seller standing IF I received my item in a reasonable time. Soon after, notification form eBay announced the item had been shipped and included the international tracking number which I’d requested. Later, Ben, the seller, asked me why I wanted the collar so I sent him a short essay about the Grammeno Dogs’ Home.

Over the years, a number of stray dogs have appeared on my doorstep. Greece is not like England where stray animals are usually cared for and rehomed. Stray cats and dogs roam the streets, dogs sometimes in packs which can become quite frightening for some people. Often the animals starve, become ill, injured or are struck by cars.

Many ex-pats organise groups or assist in caring for and trying to rehome stray animals. I live out of town and help to manage a campsite. The site is animal-friendly so that responsible visitors can bring their pets when they go on holiday. I’ve heard of animals abandoned in the streets whilst their owners go on vacation returning to find them or not…

I’ve rehomed dogs and cats, mostly to Germany, UK or Austria where people look after them and give them a good home. COVID has put paid to this for the time being. I also have a number of dogs which I keep at my home, some available for adoption, some with me permanently.

At present, I walk seven dogs early in the morning. A couple are always on the lead as they cannot be trusted to behave. Others are free to roam as we walk along but there are often sheep or goats nearby which are very tempting for dogs to chase and perhaps kill. Farmers here carry guns and shoot first asking questions later. A lone dog seen near goats or sheep is likely to be shot dead on sight.

You can understand that it’s important for me to have full control over all the dogs in my care. Some of these dogs have been abused or abandoned by previous owners, have developed dangerous habits or have no sense in traffic. By using training collars, I can walk the dogs in almost any situation knowing that they will be responsive to my commands.

This particular collar will go to a Cretan Hound who always runs off to chase goats or sheep. He’s a hunting dog, bred in Crete for hundreds of years. He’s a great dog just not easy to walk off-leash.

I feed the animals and pay for everything from my own pocket.

It seems a pity to waste a promotional opportunity.

The Elephants are cavorting on the decking whilst the other dogs look on sleepily. My man has replied telling me I’m doing a good job!

There are some new neighbours nearby but I shall be surprised if they stay for more than a night. Tuesday is 1 September so next weekend will the last before schools hopefully resume on 7th.

I think I may put together something to eat and adjourn inside.


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