“Humans would do well to study the character of dogs” – Diogenes
This quotation is the opening slide of the documentary Dogs of Democracy, by Mary Zournazi, which was released in 2016. I’ve just watched the film on Doc Play, the app where it is available in New Zealand.
The film portrays the many stray dogs who live in Athens and the people who take care of them. It’s set at a time when citizens of Greece had been protesting against years of austerity measures that depressed the economy and its people.
One dog, Loukanikos, participated in many of the anti-austerity marches and his story is told posthumously by the people who knew him best. I particularly liked when Loukanikos is described a symbol of revolt and purity.
If you like dogs, you’ll like this 57-minute film. And if you follow news about economies and world economics as well as being a dog lover, you’ll have an even better appreciation for the timing and subject matter of the film.
For me, well – I’d like to go to Athens when this pandemic is over and give every one of those strays a good massage while visiting the birthplace of democracy.
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
Last week, a Georgia man named Michael Hammons spotted a Yorkie-type dog inside a hot car parked at a Athens, Georgia shopping mall. He broke the window to rescue the dog.
When the dog’s owner returned, she was angry that he had damaged her vehicle and insisted that police charge him. His and the dog’s story have gone viral in what I consider a welcome debate about animal welfare and the rights of individuals who step in to intervene.
It seems that Georgia isn’t one of the 16 US states that prohibits leaving animals in cars in unsafe conditions. Advocates are now using this latest situation as evidence as to why the law needs changing.
Last year, I saw a couple leave their dog parked in the full sun at a local shopping mall with a large breed Lab cross in the back seat. I phoned the police on 111 (New Zealand’s version of 911) and then waited by the car until they arrived. I monitored the dog closely to see if he was showing signs of heat stress.
The police, followed by the SPCA, responded to my call quite quickly and the policeman took my details should I be needed as a witness. And then he encouraged me to leave the scene since they would take care of the situation and wait for the people to come back to speak with them.
Have you ever helped rescue a dog from a hot car? How were you treated?
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand