It was a delightful sunny afternoon in Skiathos; we were walking through the port when we saw a tiny stray puppy playing at some tourists’ feet. This beautiful honey-coloured creature was trotting around, looking for things to munch on, and grasping for attention. Having heard before that, like many places in Europe, Skiathos has a serious problem with abandoned animals, I simply couldn’t walk away from the puppy. Confused and heart-broken, I ran back and forth between the coast guard offices and the puppy, unsure what to do. Finally I was spotted by a man who sounded British. He assured me that he runs the Skiathos Dog Shelter up the road where they foster stray dogs from all over the island and find nice loving families for them in other countries in Europe. I had read about the Skiathos Dog Shelter before and I had no other option but to trust this man anyway. It is my natural instinct to trust someone with a British accent… I gave him the puppy and spent the rest of my day and night weeping and sniffing, contemplating whether the puppy had a mum somewhere nearby and whether I have now officially become a dognapper? A puppy pincher?
Either way, the puppy was on my mind, and I had to visit her first thing next morning. I am so glad I went! Skiathos Dog Shelter was established in 1995, and has been run by volunteers ever since. It is full of kind and caring people who make animal wellbeing their priority. They do everything they can to find loving homes for the abandoned dogs they rescue from around the island but it is a struggle nevertheless. I fell in love with the puppy; I named her Lola. Sadly, I am unable to adopt her – my full-time job involves lots of travel and my heart breaks every time I have to leave little Dave, my sausage dog, behind. Plus, I do not know how Dave, having grown up as an only pet, would react to having another dog in the house. She is not very sociable with other dogs, and I have a feeling she is rather anti-immigration. Do you know of anyone who can provide a loving home for Lola? Please?