On June 10th a new family member arrived at our home…meet Laika the Greek Shepherd!
Laika is about 15 months old and had been previously looked after by a very kind man who does a lot of work for animal safety, rescue and awareness on the island. Unfortunately he couldn’t find a new home for Laika despite trying really hard since fostering her as a puppy. Long story short we wanted another dog and remembered that Laika needed a forever home. Of course there are no shortage of dogs and cats looking for homes on the island and there are some wonderful organisations and charities that re-home, neuter and house strays and unwanted animals…but Laika was difficult to re-home as her breed has a reputation with some for aggression and there are some superstitions and misunderstandings surrounding Greek Shepherd dogs.
Also she’s huge!!!! – already at 40kg and still growing – and powerfully built, strong with intense eyes and a very stubborn nature. Greek Shepherd (Ellinikós Pimenikós) or sheepdogs are bred as livestock guardians for flocks on mountainous terrain. They are considered a large breed, with immense physical strength capable of fighting off predators whilst protecting the stock, with a tendency for independent thinking. They have a serious penetrating stare and a calm look about them but are ready to protect at any cost and are considered loyal and brave. Greek Shepherd dogs were thought to possess healing abilities and magical powers and children were told to look after them as they would transfer strength and health into their souls. Sometimes the right ear of the male dog was chopped off as the owners believed it would improve the dogs hearing and ward off evil spirits. Due to the decline in farming it’s thought that fewer than 3,000 pure bred Greek Shepherds remain. Fortunately Laika has the sweetest nature you could ask for! We have plenty of space and love for Laika, she needs regular and long periods of exercise, grooming, lots of attention and play time. We are half way through a training course with her (with Positive Dog Kefalonia) and despite her stubbornness she’s doing really well. She’s a friendly, well adjusted dog and fits right in at home!
If you are interested in animal welfare on the island, or would like to make a donation the following organisations and groups do wonderful work