There is a huge problem with stray cats and dogs on Crete. In response to this rather unpleasant problem, many ex-patriots, have undertaken to set up shelters and animal aid associations. Assisted by Greeks and often, understanding town mayors, these shelters offer a very valuable life-line for otherwise unwanted strays. Some make their way to other European countries to their forever homes, and others are taken in by the many animal lovers here on Crete. Most of us do what we can to help the situation, but one particular incident remains a favourite of mine.
Our good friends Mark and Liz bought an old house in Neapoli to renovate. After their retirement, they came down to live in their Cretan home. Amongst the many strays in the area, one in particular had caught Liz`s eye.
One day, armed with a small, paper wrapped package of meat, she set off around the general area where she had previously seen the stray. After wandering the shady, picturesque alleys with the parcel of meat, she was unable to locate her stray. Determination, however, drove her on, until she suddenly became aware that the quiet alley was reverberating with heavy breathing and footsteps!
She tentatively turned her head and peeked over her shoulder, to see no less than five hungry dogs following her every step, saliva dripping from their muzzles, in anticipation of the raw meat Liz was now clutching to her chest. She quickened her step, still glancing behind her, she saw the dogs quicken theirs, to keep pace, her mind awhirl with various scenarios, where she imagined the headlines in the local newspaper “Pack of Hungry, Stray Dogs Eat British Animal Lover, Limb By Limb ”.
Disturbed by how “out of control” she felt the situation had become, she decided there was nothing left but to run for it. Throwing the parcel of tasty Neapoli meat down to the ground, she shot off up the alley, not daring to look back to where the dogs were inevitably devouring their treat!
(Names changed to protect the innocent!)