December 20, 2017
Have you ever noticed the sheer number of stray dogs roaming around the resort you are currently staying at or the number of lonely faces while walking through the town center? These animals are only looking for a bit of attention, a meal not scavenged from a trash can or a friendly pet on the head. You grant their request and give them the love and attention they are seeking but the night ends and you have to retreat back to your room or head out for a night of fun because you are on vacation.
So what happens then? These lonely animals are then given the run of the resort, tired and without a home to call their own.
Canadian photographer Sergio Beristain recently caught a glimpse of the life these dogs lead when the sun goes down and the resort becomes a ghost town, while on vacation at a Greek Island resort located in Santorini. He stumbled across a tired dog sleeping on a beach chair and all this poor boy done was stare and return to his slumber, storing energy for the tiring day ahead.
Santorini is the locale numerous street dogs call home, as are many other locations world-wide, but unlike these other locations the local residents’ band together to give year-round care to these wandering souls. According to the local citizens Beristain spoke to, food and water are left daily on the street for these dogs and care is offered to those truly in need. Tourists have also gotten in on the action, donating supplies before their stay at the resort is over.
While as heart-warming as these acts of kindness are, something about it can still tug at the heartstrings of even the non-animal lovers. The sadness comes from the thought that while food and water are definitely a priority for these majestic creatures, it cannot compare to a loving home with attention and affection on a daily basis. It is a lonely road for these dogs and a long road at times. The sad truth is while the street dogs of Santorini are granted a better lot in life, the majority of strays world-wide are in far worse conditions.
If you find yourself wanting to help these animals and other animals globally, there are numerous rescue groups whose sole purpose is to bring dogs from exotic locations to the U.S. and Canada to find their forever home. Donations are deeply appreciated and those who volunteer are a blessing. Some of the organizations fighting to make a difference in the lives of these innocent souls are Compassion Without Borders and Soi Dog Foundation.
Until the forever home for these beautiful creatures are found, give thanks a higher power that there is still humanity left somewhere in this world. Such as the humanity and grace exhibited by the residents of Santorini who continue to do whatever they can to alleviate the stress and suffering of these beach dogs. With any luck, someday this world will not have a need for a shelter or rescue organization and instead a dog is loved and wanted.