A woman from Athens, Greece, was on vacation one day in a small tourist town near the sea about 100 miles from Athens. She was on the beach with her dogs when she came across a stray dog.
Valia Orfanidou, a self-proclaimed animal lover, is used to seeing a large number of stray dogs and cats. “When you live in Greece as an animal lover, you literally get used to seeing lonely stray dogs running around everywhere,” she said, “and prefer to save the ones who can’t make it on the streets: the sick, emaciated, or injured ones, newborns, and pregnant females.”
But there was something odd about this dog: she seemed to be very young, and she didn’t seem to have any of the urgent needs that made other strays make Valia feel a strong sense of urgency.
“There was something about her that made her life as a stray so precarious. She had seen us from afar and, desperate for companionship, she joined the four of us and tried to blend in,” Valia explained.
When the stray dog got close enough, she rolled over on her back and let Valia pet her belly. She was unique in that she had no one in the world who cared for her, but she always had so much love to offer. Valia explained, “She was desperate for attention.”
Blue (as Valia called her) wasn’t in a bad situation. The puppy was about 7 months old and in good health, so she wasn’t a top priority. However, there was something about the friendly stray that drew Valia’s attention. In her spirit, she could feel the dog was desperate.
She was “desperate for human companionship and a family to which she might belong.”
Valia continued, “She spent the summer chasing people and running behind cars of everyone she encountered on that beach, wagging her tail and asking for something.”
For a few days, Valia kept an eye on the sad stray puppy. Meanwhile, the dog was romping in the sand, chasing passing boats, and following beachgoers. She said, “I couldn’t sleep for two days, trying to figure out how to get her off that beach as soon as possible.” Valia finally arrived and helped her into the car. “I called her Blue after the blue sea that accompanied her for the first few months of her life,” says the owner.
Blue was placed with a foster family, but she also wanted a permanent home.
Meanwhile, in another part of Holland, a family was mourning the loss of one of their puppies. Karin Folkerts told The Dodo, “Abbaio sadly passed away in the summer, leaving us and Rincewind [their other dog] in mourning.”
Abbaio and Rincewind were also service dogs who teamed up to visit nursing homes in the city to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s regain their happiness. Not only did the family miss their puppy, but so did the residents of the nursing home.
Folkerts, on the other hand, falls in love with Blue after seeing a photograph of her. Second Chance Animal Rescue Society is to be commended (SCARS).
Blue was given a thorough cleaning and was then ready for adoption. “We pressed the touch button right away, and before we knew it, we were being called,” Folkerts said.
Valia and Folkerts had a few discussions to see if Blue would be a good fit for the family, which also includes Rincewind the dog and a few cats. Blue was eventually on her way to Holland a week later, thanks to the assistance of Animal Association International (AAI). Folkerts recalled, “A couple on vacation said they should take Blue with them [back to Holland] for us.”
“We picked her up at the airport on October 18th.”
From the beginning, it was a match made in heaven.
“Rincewind, who was with us at the time, fell head over heels in love with her right away,” Folkerts said. “That was very kind of you, and she was very welcome. She and Rincewind are best friends.
Folkerts trained Blue to be a therapy dog, and she made her first visit to the nursing home this month. When they saw her, their faces lit up.
Folkerts said, “She doesn’t have issues with people no matter what they’re doing.” “She is so stable that she isn’t afraid when they talk loudly, get upset, scream, or make a lot of noise.
“It’s hard to believe Blue has only been with us for three months,” Folkerts said. “It feels like she’s been here forever.” The unfortunate stray who has spent her whole life on the beach alone has now found a family and even a future in making others happy. “She was walking on the beach three months ago, offering her assistance, but nobody wanted it,” Folkerts said. “She is now greeted with arms wide opened.”