The first four months of my live I lived in a shelter in Athens, Greece. Me and my brothers and sisters were brought there by a caring human, she had found us newborn and left alone. We struggled to survive and my brother and I succeeded – we were the thoughest of our litter. After four months my brother and I went to Holland, where we both got adopted.
In the shelter I lived in the puppy quarters. A fun place, you can imagine that! We played together for hours. We also played with the grown up dogs, I had some great friends there too. A lot of these older dogs had been stray dogs. They thought me some valuable lessons about living on the streets. When you live on the streets there is only one thing on your mind: survival. In orde to survive you need food and a safe place to sleep. Some of the former strays I met were masters in getting plenty of food. They taught me how it works. There are two rules: 1 – be polite, always and 2 – chase away any canine that comes close to you and your potential source of food.
Both lessons I incorporated, so they come natural to me now. I thought they might be handy, even though I never became a stray dog. I enhanced the first lesson: I am polite, which means I look eager but not too pushy and I keep my distance. It is important to find the right distance: not too close, but not too far away either. You need to be able to catch the food that is thrown to you:
I made some subtle improvements to the second lesson, too. I chase away competitors and I am very good at that:
Over time I developed new ways of getting yummy food. Like this:
Can you see my tactics? I studied a long time on this one, to get it just right. I look longingly at the human, although what I really want lies in front of me. By not looking at this delicious piece of meat I tell the human: “You are the best human in the world! Do you love me as much as I love you? Please give me the meat!” It takes a lot of self control to do this, I can tell you. But it always works, the human I look so lovingly at will give me the delicious food as a reward.
Mind you: one can only use this specific method with humans one knows very well. Otherwise it will be counter productive, because it is a little bit intrusive.
Most of the dogs in my neighborhood know this by now: I am not sociable in the morning. Humans say they are ‘not a morning person’ – I am not a morning dog. When I wake up, there is only one thing on my mind: I want to go to the toilet and that’s it. After that I want food and then I go back to bed again.
So when we go out in the morning, usually I go out with P because M is not a morning person either, I do just that: look for some grass that is suitable to be my toilet. When I meet another dog who wants to sniff me or play with me, I growl. When the other dog persists (some can be such mutts) I snap.
When M gets out of bed, she needs coffee before one can speak to her. I think that would be good for me, too. I think I would be much more friendly if I could have a coffee too. Besides, I am from Greece. All Greeks drink a cup of dark and muddy coffee when they wake up. So why not me? It is not fair that M and P refuse to give me coffee, saying it is not healthy for dogs. Since they persist, they will have to cope with my morning moods. And so do all the dogs in my neighborhood.
Look who I met on the beach again: my look-alike!
She is my friend from Greece, she arrived this year at her new home in Holland. She lived in the shelter in Athens, the same shelter where I grew up. It was nice to meet her again. We gossiped a bit about the shelter back in Athens and then we started to run. After that we investigated our surroundings. We like it in Holland, especially the beaches: they are huge! Great for running.
Look who I met on the beach:
Her name is Filia and she has just arrived in Holland. She looks a bit like me, doesn’t she? She is from the shelter where I grew up, in Athens, Greece! And now she lives in Holland, because a Dutch human adopted her. Which means she is an expat, like me.
Together we explored the beach and tested the water.
When we got warmed up a little, we started sprinting. M and I sometimes do this, but for me that is very easy because M is slow. Sprinting with a dog like Filia is more challenging! Very nice.
Do you see how she is looking at me, asking me to go faster? When she got tired and slowed down a bit, I motivated her to move on:
In the end we both were wet and tired. We had a great time. I hope I will meet her again soon!
Do you want to adopt a gorgeous dog, just like us? Take a look at the website of the shelter. They have awesome dogs and cute puppies as well. If you live in Holland, you can go to the site of Huize Zwerfhond, the Dutch foundation that arranged for Filia and me to come to Holland. Please do, because I’d like to meet more expats like Filia on the beach!
Today is my birthday! Two years ago, I was born in Athens, Greece. I don’t remember any of this, of course. But I guess it was not a happy day for my mother, because we never saw her again – me and my brothers and sisters were found without her and taken to the shelter of Isabella. Me and my brother survived (we are strong!!!) and grew up in the care of Isabella. I liked it there, I had lots of friends to bounce on, but I was glad to find a real home. As I wrote earlier, living in a shelter is not good for dogs who have Ambitions. And I have a lot of Ambitions, as you probably noticed by now.
This is what I looked like, four months old:
In February 2013 I arrived in a freezing cold Holland. It was so cold I had to wear a coat. This was very embarrassing. Cool dogs do not wear clothes! Anyway, I am glad there are no pictures of this. I lived with a foster family for some time (in the picture you see my foster mother. Well, part of her) and then M and P came to adopt me. Now I have a home that is perfectly suited for realizing my Ambitions.
So today is a special day. I hope I will sleep a lot. And eat yummy things. And go to the beach. Maybe to the forest and the beach. And meet some friends to play with. Maybe even catch a pigeon! Oh yeah.
My name is Bubbles and I am a dog. I arrived in Holland about a year ago, from Athens, Greece. I lived with a foster family in Holland for a while before my current human took me to my new home. I looked very cute at the time, a bit too cute to my opinion. People wanted to pat me all the time, saying “oh you are soooo cute”. Horrible. I am happy to say I grew up to be a big strong dog, the fastest on the beach.
Here is a picture of my cute younger self:
Oh, my human called me Bubbles because “everything in life is better with Bubbles”. I guess she is part joking and part serious – I wouldn’t know about that. But I am glad she is happy having me around, because my life here is better than back in Greece. I grew up in a shelter with caring people and a lot of rough friends, but it is not a place to stay for the rest of your life. Besides, I have Ambitions. That is what this blog is about.