I have received an e-mail from Vesna Jones of GAR telling me that, in December, I wrongly described GAR as Greek Animal Welfare when, in fact it should have been Greek Animal Rescue. I am sorry to have caused concern - it was not deliberate. Vesna also did not approve of my mention of the two Old English Sheepdogs going to dog shows, seeing dog shows as a "parade of human egos". Maybe she is right and all sport could be seen as, "a parade of human egos", but this column is called "Animal Talk" and I do try to include all aspects of animal news on Paros.
In December I was shocked to hear from Mr. Lambrou (our resident vet) that he was returning to Athens for a holiday during Christmas. Of course he deserves and needs a holiday, but I was horrified to realize that Paros was to be without a vet for several weeks! I checked my veterinary supplies, which had not been touched since Mr. Lambrou's arrival, and offered up a prayer that nothing would happen to an animal that was beyond our ability to help.
Someone must have listened because all went relatively quietly. Patricia Clarkson managed to nurse two separate dogs that had been involved in road accidents. Both recovered fully despite having some horrific injuries and returned to their street friends in Paroikia as though they had never been away.
We now have 12 street dogs in Paroikia which Marlies Lade religiously feeds every morning. I am sure that this helps to keep them out of trouble and certainly keeps them healthy. The committee of PAWS will arrange to sterilize these dogs and hopefully this will stop their numbers increasing.
Unfortunately, there are a number of privately-owned pregnant bitches around and I fear that some of the offspring will be dumped on the street. We know that some of the 12 dogs were left behind by visitors to the island - we really don't know how to stop this practice. We still have no accommodation for post-operative animals which we must have, especially during the winter.
It seems that Emma's court case against a man who was seen poisoning her dogs and cats is to be heard sooner rather than later. The same man also threatened her, but she was much encouraged by the support of several notable Greeks who visited the Chief of Police on her behalf.
At PAWS’ Annual General Meeting we discussed the problem of poisoning at length, with Emma telling us the full details of her struggle to ensure that this man is brought to justice. It must have been painful for her to relive her experiences and we are grateful to her for sharing them with us.
We now have some posters highlighting the horrors of poisoning which we will be putting up round the island. We need a person who would be willing to put up posters on the east side of the island, so if you can help please ring.
We have had a surprising turn of events - two street dogs were recently adopted individually into homes that I would classify as genuine, loving, warm and comfortable, yet each of these dogs left their new homes, walked back to Paroikia and rejoined their friends on the street! One of them returns to his rejected home every couple of weeks, stays several days, eats like a horse, sleeps in his bed and then returns to Paroikia! If I didn't personally know each home I may not have been so surprised but perhaps this just goes to show that we cannot always impose our standards on animals!
We need more rain, this morning the sky is grey and it looks hopeful, even Jack refused to go out to his field, opting to stay in his donkey house with a large supply of hay to keep him going. This is very unusual, he loves his field and greets me with donkey glee when I go to take him out in the morning.
I see that the cats are all indoors too............. we may be lucky - let us hope.