Let barking dogs lie…

There is one thing that will not be missed when we return from Greece, that is the dogs. Especially the barking dogs. Especially the loud, really loud barking dogs. I don’t know where they find them, but they can be so loud that it is not possible to hear normal conversation because of them.

Greeks are particularly fond of dogs. They are numerous and usually kept in the small, cramped apartments typical of Greek city life. Dogs are by nature gregarious pack animals. Yet they are most often left alone when their owners are gone, in a yard, on the ubiquitous balconies. One near us was kept on a rooftop.

We once had a dog, a cairn terrier, inevitably named Toto. He was a good dog but nervous. Once when we went camping, we tried to leave him outside our tent. In the pleasant summer weather, it seemed a reasonable thing to do. It quickly became obvious that our nervous little dog was afraid of the dark. He began barking continuously and the only thing we could do was bring him inside our tent. It was not unlike the plight of many dogs left by themselves by busy owners.

Neighbors can do little about this, other than to pass suggestions or complaints to the owners. This is true in Greece and anywhere else. Dogs left alone are lonely and nervous and express their anxieties by barking. As long as people keep dogs, this will be so.


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