Boomer, our dog from Crete
By Marianne Miltenburg
It was in August of this year (2006) that a new creature came into my life. A personality with a sweet character and beautiful bright, brown eyes… I looked into these eyes in a small city on the isle of Crete, and it was love at first sight between a four months old dog and me.
As he was sitting on a small court behind a fence, surrounded by rubbish, glass splinters and oil leaking machines, I knew for sure this dog would end up as a stray dog of which we had seen so many. So, we (my husband and two young adult sons) bought it from the owner – who was not interested in the dog at all – and took him with us to the Netherlands.
Boomer quickly learned how to understand Dutch instead of Greek (did you know that the Greek ne is yes in Dutch and óchi is ‘nee’ (no) in our language?!).
As we had to see our animal doctor for follow-up vaccinations, we also asked him to have a look at Boomers left paw, which was pointing to the left a little.
“Because of this leg”, the doctor explained, “I am sure your dog was taken away from his mother too early, so he missed the best food a pup can get: his mother’s milk. Besides that, it is very important for a puppy to stay with his mother for minimal 8 weeks, to get socialized with other dogs by playing with his brothers and sisters. On top of that it is obvious that he did not get good food in the next period. In some countries it is still very common that people feed their dogs with what is left from their own dinner. Not knowing that dogs have other needs. The same goes for the people’s attitude in these countries towards their animals: they simply never learned how to do it right”.
That answered my inner question about the amount of stray dogs, as I could not match the warm-hearted Greeks with this… On the other hand it is known that in Greek archaeological finds, as well as in writing, the good qualities of dogs and their loyalty were praised mostly by the Greek ancestors.
I would like to intercede for the dog. Because, as you will agree, we people are often the creators of most of our dog problems, and withdrawing them from our society is not the solution.
In the next coming columns I would like to inform you why a dog thinks you are a three-headed creature, how to teach a dog good behaviour, how to communicate, to annoy barking, why male dogs are so macho and some female dogs such dominant bitches, and a lot more.
To improve their chances and, maybe even, finding them a new home…
In Greece I learned the words eros and agape (together these words mean: all including love from within). Dogs also have a need for these emotions…
- Our Cretan Dog
- Your dog sees you as a dog
- Leishmania Leishmaniasis
- My Greek friend Anna and her puppies
- House Training your puppy
- Dogs: About diarrhoea and fireworks
- Learning Dog Language
- Dog Language – Part 2
- Spaying and Neutering Dogs
- Having a dog is good for your health
- Teaching your dog not to cry when left alone