Monday, 19 February 2007

Whisky on the run

Today is Clean Monday, or, as they call it here in Greece, Kathara Deftera. It's the final day of the carnival and the start of Lent. Today the carnival parade will pass through Molyvos. This year the theme is the mayor. Not as colourful as prevoius years, but no doubt the creative minds will make something good out of it.

Greek families are gathering to celebrate this day and they will just eat vegetables and shell fish. Products from animals which have a blood system are not allowed.

Today the cold North Eastern wind doesn't show his anger. Good, because the temperature will rise to fine spring levels and the people on the carnival wagons will not turn blue from the cold. On the other hand it will cause the children problems to get their kites in the air, an old tradition still very popular on Kathara Deftera.

Worries about the dry winter can be put aside on this joyful day. We will see how the summer fares with so little rains. However, my worries are not so easily put aside every time I hear barking coming from the garden. Deserted Eftalou is full of life this weekend, because all the Greeks came to their holiday houses and even the hotel is having guests.

The dogs have to get used to hearing voices around again: crying and laughing children, screaming adults, women who pass by to pick chorta. And then our dog team is reinforced with an old member of the gang: Whisky.

Yes, sorry about the name. But when she came to our house last winter, her black & white fur immediately made me think of Black & White whisky. Although she is not a black & white Scottish terrier, she is more like an English sheepdog, a border collie, who like a well trained sheepdog, can drive Greek donkeys out of your garden.

So, Whisky didn't get her name because I like whisky. Well, I like the dog, but not the drink. Last year, we had too many dogs. So we were very happy when in May a friend of ours wanted to adopt Whisky. I thought that Whisky needed a home. A place of her own to sleep and a lot of attention, something I have no time to give with 15 cats and 4 dogs. So Whisky went to Plomari where she became a real dog lady. I thought she was happy there.

But I was wrong.

Last week our friend from Plomari phoned me to tell me that Whisky had disappeared. He left his front door slightly open and for some unknown reason, Whisky went on the run.

You know that here on Lesvos cats and dogs disappear all the time. It's even very difficult to remember who lost a pet or not. Last week a friend told me that his dog was poisoned in the centre of Kaloni. And the stories about a bunch of cats all poisoned in one day are too many to tell.

For days our friend in Plomari looked for Whisky. But understandably we soon thought she was a victim of poisoning, or had a road accident, or ran into hunters who always think that dogs are foxes in disguise. I really thought Whisky was already in heaven.

Six days later we came home late at night in Eftalou and I could not believe my eyes: amongst all the dogs running to the car, there was Whisky, as if she'd never been away. How the hell did Whisky travel from Plomari to Eftalou?

When I looked at her feet she seemed to have walked quite a bit. I don't know how many kilometres it is from Plomari to Eftalou but for sure I know it's about a 1.5 to 2 hours drive. In one way or other Whisky managed to find her way to her old home. Over the mountains to Kaloni and then again over the mountains to Petra, Molyvos and Eftalou. How did she do that? I don't suppose she hitchhiked...

So we think that Whisky was a little homesick for her old house where she had the freedom to run all day and play with her pals. She prefers her freedom to all the attention she got in Plomari.

I was very happy that Whisky was alive and well. On the other hand we still have too many dogs. So it makes me laugh and cry at the same time. I don't want all these animals! What canwe do with such a smart dog who clearly showed what she wants? We will not send her back to Plomari. What else can we do?!

Copyright © Smitaki 2007

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