Thursday, May 21, 2009

Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad

This morning I got a nasty shock when I went outside to silence our dog barking. I admit he is a problem barker, but I was not prepared to find a piece of aluminium foil pushed under the fence containing two biftekia smothered with a rancid smelling blue liquid.

Without having the decency to come and talk to us about our dog's barking being disturbing, or even to leave a note, someone had tried to poison our dog. An animal that is only following its protective instincts. Lately I've been running errands in the mornings before work, and I shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn't been at home to check why he was barking and find him curiously sniffing at the "treat" left for him.

The people in the apartment building opposite saw me and my Greek sister (sister in law) shaking our heads over the poisoned meat and ushered us over. Apparently, someone in the neighbourhood had come to the building opposite ours and given the family's details in an attempt to convince the people in that building to make a complaint about us to the police.

What kind of people are these that would poison an animal without even approaching the owners first? Death by poisoning is a very slow and painful way to die. The animal suffers beyond belief. A dog of mine in the Home Country was poisoned and vomited blood for days before his poor little body could no longer take any more.

Lots of people in our neighbourhood keep dogs, and lots of them bark. One dog in particular yaps all day and all night in the summer. But I feel our dog was particularly targeted because he is a Doberman, and this breed has the mistaken stereotype of being vicious. Anyone who ever had a Doberman as a pet knows what silly, playful and lovable animals they are. Whoever tried to poison him must have thought that he's only being kept as a guard dog and not as a pet, so his death would only be an nuisance and carry no emotional weight for the owners.

Animal poisoning is very common in Greece so I don't know why I was so shaken today. I just had faith that my neighbourhood was populated by people with some decency and values, not barbarians who think its okay to torture another living creature.



mo'ikeha said...

Very interesting blog you call your own. Being from Germany, I moved to Athens five years ago and try to 'survive' nice to read about the dogs giving them a voice!

Sesi said...

Oh, Bolly, find out who it was and sue him, please. He will try again if you don't.
Better yet, install a camera and record what happens in that yard. This is really cheap to do in these days of technology, it can even be a webcam recording to your computer directly, and you even may view what happens at home via your mobile phone.
Meantime, make sure the dog is safe against such attacks in the future.
I thought such stuff only happens in the villages by now. Sad to learn it happens in Athens too:(

bollybutton said...

There is no other choice but to keep our dog in the back of the apartment block, which is what I've done. I would be so upset if they did that again and succeeded this time. some people are unbelievable...

Brionna said...

I am so glad you were home to notice the "treat". I am already sick at how dogs (and cats) are treated here (read "left to fend for themselves and procreate mercilessly), then to know that this kind of thing happens just makes my blood boil!

Psofofeggaro said...

Unfortunately, we don't do much for animal here, no street dogs or cats policy and even if as kids were cheering when Pluto managed to escape from the dog cather's van, I belive many dogs would be happier to live there than the streets today. On a regular day driving from my hometown to Thessaloniki, I can count more than 10 "rags" on the road, sometimes unable to understand if it was a cat or dog. We 're not alert for animals at road, we don't care for animals at streets. Don't wont to remember the insident with the dog showered in hot oil by a student "for fun" recording and desplaying it on youtube. Neither the dog that was burned with toxic.
Pavlina, my mom's apartment block cat, is getting fater and fater by beeing fed from a whole block and even had a brief stay at an apartment last summer and had some vaxines done, but was shaking on doorstep whole winter, not allowed to come in.
We are not a pet nation anymore, unfortunately, so keep that dog sae. Sesi's idea is great about camera. Law alows you to have up to 2 pets in an aprtment, and protect them as long as they're in your private area.

Sesi said...

This thing is part of the list of things that make me feel somewhat ashamed about my country.
Fortunately, newer generations seem to be changing a lot of those old bad habits (like, spitting on the pavement, throwing trash from the balcony, general disregard for everyone else but ourselves).
People from my generation downwards seem to be more civil, both in Athens and in rural areas. Generally more tolerant and accepting towards new nono stuff like homosexuality, exotic strangers like Bolly or single moms or dads.
I am pleased to see a second generation of immigrants growing up in the country, and it brings me great joy to hear people of all color and culture speaking my language as natives. When I look curiously at non-Greeks, it is mostly because I look around them to check out the reaction of other Greeks towards them. And I am happy to announce that the vast majority of my fellow bus riders are less and less obvious in checking them out.
I guess this is my way of apologizing for the weird stuff people of other cultures have to subject themselves to here.
Well, at least we have sun and sea to make up for it.

AL said...

omg... thats so sick! and cowardly! sigh.. my dog has a bad problem with barking all the time too, and thank god we have not had complaint or something like this happen (but it is always in the back of my mind). Makes me angry that people can get away with pulling shit like that! and now you have to live with these fears and change your lifestyle because of them. Justice should be served!!!!!

Παναγιωτης said...

I think I know why the never tried to contact you. They probably thought you were like them. Petty, vicious and small-minded persons. This is the only kind of person that would poison a dog.

Saad said...

"I just had faith that my neighbourhood was populated by people with some decency and values, not barbarians who think its okay to torture another living creature."

Maybe one of your neighbours thought that his neighbourhood was populated by people with some decency and values, not selfish individuals who think it's okay to let their dog torture everyone and his mother's ears by barking like mad? Of course this doesn't warrant so lethal an action as to poison the animal. But what if they came to you and complain about your dog barking all nite and day? What would you have done? Cut its vocal cords? Muzzle him up?

Why would your neighbour have to put up with the barks, wake up due to them or any other ill effects just for your own pleasure of owning an animal, no matter how strong your feelings for that creature are?

Rav said...

@ Saad....

I have the same problem as bollybutton.. I have a dog, she is 10 years old. I work all day. And sometimes leave at night to go for a drink. So naturally, my dog stays at home, in the garden under the appartment building. Some months ago, the landlords decided my dog should be leashed up to a pillar.. reason being they are "fixing" the garden, which just gets muddier and muddier from all the unnecessary sprinkling at night.. anyways, having a house dog, leashed to a pillar for 10 to 12 hours a day.. implies that she will have moments where she will "cry" a little.. not bark.. and the crying would be during day hours..and not for long. Some neighboors actually called the police.. now the thing is, I am covered by law, because she doesnt bark incessantly, but the nerve! I even had comments like "you should shoot your dog" from the neighbors.. Why dont all you ********** complain and threaten the "paliatzis" that drives around his old pickup truck on saturday and sunday, talking over the speaker as loud as hell, or the flower albanians, or that idiot with his accordeon singing in the street on sunday afternoon or all the "alites" on their illegal motorbikes with suped up exhaust pipes which make noises that echo throughout the city? I live in constant fear that someone might try to poison my lovely dog every day while i am at work.. and if that should ever happen, I promise all dog lovers in the world that I shall make the whole neighborhood's life (including all the animal hating giagiades that complain all the time) a living hell by playing the worst music as loud as possible during the "legal hours" every night.