The island of Ikaria near Mykonos is known as “The Island Where People Forget to Die”, and those that reside there are known to live incredibly long lives. This legacy doesn’t only apply to hoomans. In a very special case, it was proven to be true for litter of pups, where this legacy, plus a little luck, worked in their favor.
While walking home one day from the beach on vacation, I made the discovery of a lifetime. Five young puppies, all in a box, had been placed inside of a retaining wall along the beach path.
After checking up on them for a few days, word began to spread about Levadi Beach’s newest residents. Tourists would stop by with food and water but only for the short while that they were visiting. These sporadic meals, while well-intentioned, were simply not enough to keep these poor puppies alive.
The urgency of the situation became evident when a woman suggested I was wasting my time caring for these little ones, since they would soon be “taken care of” or in another words, poisoned. This broke my heart. I knew I needed to take action to save them before it was too late. I immediately took one of the puppies home with me for the time being, and wrote a Facebook post to share the story in hopes of finding them all furever homes.
I continued to spend my days spreading the word about these adorable beach bums while caring for the puppy I took in. I brought him to the vet right away knowing I needed to have him set up for travel, in case I couldn’t find him a home on the island. When we arrived, the vet informed me I would need to have all of his shots in order, a microchip, an airline-approved carrier, and even a puppy passport. After I bought the necessities, I asked the vet what toys I should buy for him. He looked at me confused and replied in his thick Greek accent “no toys. He’s a dog, he only plays with you.”
Two more weeks quickly went by and four of the puppies found homes! Two were rescued by a family from town, and the other two by tourists visiting from Northern Greece. The puppy I brought home ended up traveling back to New York with me in hopes of finding a furever home. After a few days of “looking” for adoptive families I decided the best home for my new friend was my own.
Today Levi (named after the beach he was found at) is a proud Greek-American. He spends his days tackling his new sister Molly, a 12-year-old Wheaten Terrier mix and chewing anything he can find. He still loves the beach, running like crazy, and of course the occasional plate of baklava.