Part of my and Elias dreams when we made plans to start living in Mani in the Peloponnese was to adopt a dog. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to adopt a dog not and to buy one. If you’ve been to Mani in the Peloponnese before, you probably noticed that: there are many homeless dogs and cats here. Little kittens or newborn puppies left in dumps, older dogs being thrown out on the street, cats losing their owners.
I think that in the whole Europe the situation are worse now, after the lockdowns and work-from-home times. It was fun with a puppy but now is time go back to the normal life. And the last reason to be a lone puppy occurred, what we think, our Estia.
Living in Mani, in the Peloponnese: adopt a dog
Having a dog was included in our plans already in 2016, when we still lived in Gothenburg, Sweden. We moved to the Peloponnese on Christmas Day 2017 but Estia is our new family member from November 2021. We waited with this decision until we hade built and moved to our own house. And from September / October 2021 we started watching and following dog presentations shown by MIAO, Mani International Animal Organization.
I think it was a Sunday in November when I asked Elias if he watched the latest video with a puppy at a foster home in Agios Nikolaos. “Shorty” was her name (she was born with a very short tail) and we both fell in love with her at first sight! We booked a time for a visit (hurry, hurry Elias, otherwise someone else will take “our” dog!) and talked to her foster mother.
Shorty sat on one of my shoes during our conversation and flirted with Elias. Smart dog, I thought at this moment, she tried to keep contact with both of us at the same time, haha. During the first visit, Roswitha, her foster mother and volunteer from MIAO, had given us more information about this wonderful 4,5 month old puppy. After a couple of minutes we took Shorty for a short walk. It was very quiet in our car on the way home but we both knew the “yes” decision had been made.
The story of our Estia (Hestia)
Shorty and her brother were found in the beginning of September 2021 by a young couple from Germany. Both puppies were tied up on the parking space near the ferry port in Patras. The puppies (around 3 months old) were terrified, hungry and abandoned but clean, and not shy of contact with humans.
It was obvious that they had a home before and someone who took good care of them. And when it was time to go home, they were no longer needed. A human can sometimes be a ruthless creature. The young German couple also traveled back home in a motorhome and with a newborn baby. It was not possible to keep the puppies but it was completely out of the question to leave them at the roadside.
They decided to keep the puppy boy and try to find some rescue center for the puppy girl. All of those they contacted said that they had no place and couldn´t take care of the puppy. Until they contacted MIAO (thank you my Lord). So they had to turn the car around and go back to Stoupa (about 250 km!) where Shorty was left to Roswitha and her husband.
And then I and Elias came and took her to the Hestia Home in Nomitsi. It was not difficult to find a name for her either. She is the hearth of our family, as Hestia, the ancient Greek goddess of the hearth, family and the home.
Our life ended being simple and uncomplicated because it is a responsibility to take care of a dog and there were a lot that we needed to change in our business and private life. But we get so much unconditional and pure love from Estia every day and it is actually she who takes care of us. We can no longer sit and work as long in the office, hahaha. Elias and I are very, very grateful for the German couple and for all the wonderful people who work as volunteers with MIAO. Below with her best friend: Estia 2!
Mani International Animal Organisation
MIAO, Mani International Animal Organization is animal welfare in the Mani area. MIAO was formed as an animal protection group in late 2012 after some terrible attacks on dogs and cats in Stoupa. It was established under the umbrella of GAIA, the local voluntary environmental protection, fire and rescue group.
“Our aim is to protect all kinds of animals living in our region. For most of them this area has always been their natural home; others were brought here to provide food, protect homes or accompany us and some only ever stay a few weeks of the year on their way to or from warmer areas. We want to preserve the natural habitats of wild animals and to provide good living conditions for domesticated animals”