rescue dog Greece
Petri living a dog's life  


We all hear and read about dire situations involving animals that are so heart wrenching they practically require a hanky. While the efforts put forth on the part of rescuers are promising, many of them don’t always end well. That’s why it’s nice to run across a story that has an uplifting outcome, where survivors turn into thrivers, and everyone’s actually happy in the end. This is one of those stories.

Athens, Greece

Our story begins on a mountaintop in Greece — but it’s not really our story, it’s Petri’s story. Petri is the survivor at the center of this saga. He was born to a stray near a busy suburb of Athens. There are many such strays roaming the mountains in the area, all of them living the life of a wild animal. Many of these feral dogs have never had contact with humans before, which was said to be Petri’s situation when he was finally rescued.

SPAZ Animal Rescue

One of the problems with rescuing these poor lambs is that they don’t always transition well to domestic life. They are left frightened and confused by all of the attention and the relative lack of freedom, as they had experienced before. That was the concern with Petri. Even though he was still a puppy at only three months old, if his rehabilitation was approached the wrong way he could be facing a lifetime of unhappiness and constant fear.


feral dogs in Greece
Petri undergoing treatment  

Stray Dogs

When Petri was found he had been living a miserable existence and was afraid of everything. Up until that point, he had nothing to base anything on besides life in the foothills and mountains. In essence, he needed to be introduced to the world beyond, but in the right way. He couldn’t be forced or rushed. He needed plenty of time to acclimate on his own. But before that could happen he needed to be treated.

Veterinary Medicine

First off, Petri had to recover from severe mange, malnutrition and ehrlichia, a genus of rickettsiales bacteria transmitted by the brown dog tick and the Lone Star tick, which can lead to death. Devoid of hair, he was extremely ill and needed constant care for the first month. During this time, his rescuers tried slowly introducing him to being touched and petted, but you can see from the video he didn’t know what to make of it and appears sad and frightened.

Pet Foster Care

After a full month in a clinic receiving medication, fluids and proper nutrition, much of the scale that had formerly been Petri’s skin had flaked off and he had started to regrow soft, fuzzy hair. That’s when he was transferred to foster care, where he found himself under the expert supervision of a kind, patient and loving dog trainer. It was this foster mom who helped Petri gradually overcome his fears.


stray dogs in Greece
Petri was a very sad & frightened pup   

A Whole New World

With the help of two other small dogs in his new foster mom’s home and a whole lot of latitude, Petri slowly began to crawl out of his shell and explore his new surroundings. It took a lot of time and patience, but eventually Petri even began to slowly and rather tentatively wag his tail. But it was a start. Today he has been adopted into a forever home and he's a happy, healthy social pup full of energy whose history you would never guess unless it was told to you.

If you can afford to volunteer or contribute to reputable animal rescues, please do so. Animals like Petri desperately need our help.