This story is very close to my heart, as it was myself and my cousin Kalliopi Metaxaki who actually found little Fiongo.
One morning, when i went next door for a coffee to kallipoi’s house, i noticed something strange in her dogs house…. upon further investigation, there was a tiny little puppy! now her dog is a male! so no chance he had given birth over night! Unfortunately people quite often dump dogs and puppies up where we live, as we are surrounded by olive trees….
Because i am still learning Greek, i had actually just learned the word ‘fiongo’ and it just stuck….
For the next couple of weeks, we tried to find out where he had come from, and track down any possible owners…… none where to be found.
So we contacted the shelter, and as he had not had any vaccinations or treatments for fleas or ticks, we took him to the vets for a check up, and then kept him at Kallipoi’s house (as we didn’t want to risk him given any disease to the puppies at the shelter or vise versa)
When it was time, he came to the shelter and was introduced to the other puppies around the same age as him…. To start with he was very shy and quiet with the other puppies….. but that didn’t last long, and he showed us what a cheeky playful puppy he was.
Once Fiongo had had all his vaccinations, and was at the right age…. it was time for his debut to the world…..
And so his photo and information was put here on our website…. And this is where 2 very special people enter the picture…… Layla Wingate and her boyfriend Josh Bidgood…… Who after just having finished renovating their home, where just checking out the site…. not with the intention of adopting right now (plan was for a little bit in the future) but when they lay eyes on little fiongo they fell madly in love, and knew straight away that he was the one for them!
So the wheels were set in motion……. We owe a massive thank you to Tracee Walton (of Ambers Hope) who helped us massively, she was the one who organised his whole trip to England, and anyone who has transported a animal into the U knows, there is a lot of paper work, and small print that needs to be fixed 100% correctly. She was able to book his travel with Thompson Pet Transport who we can not recommend enough… the level of care they show to the animals that they are transporting is amazing, they have regular stops, with walks and play time, and they make daily photos and videos so that everyone waiting can see exactly how there precious cargo is getting on.
So Fiongo had to be in Athens (with Tracee) before he would leave, so that she could make sure all his paper work was in order, and make his papers for travelling to England….
So one evening, we took him to Heraklion to catch the over night ferry to Athens…. this little boy, travelled like a star… when you think that he had never been in a travel crate or a van before! he just lay down and slept the whole way… in fact when we arrived at Heraklion, i tried to get him out for a walk…. he just lifted his head and looked at me… as if to say… really?
The next morning he arrived safe and sound in Athens, and met the wonderful Tracee….. And i don’t think she will mind if i tell you, this little man stole a piece of her heart… He was such a special little boy, who wanted nothing more than to snuggle and cuddle!
At this point i would like to mention something that a lot of people do not realise…. whilst fiongo was at the shelter with us, he was always very aloof…. he was not one of these puppies that would come running up to you like the others….. no! he would make you work for his attention…. and would much rather be running around playing. I am saying this as a lot of the time, when a dog is in the shelter he may show or act different to how he will in a real home…. we can never know for sure how he or she will react in a home environment….. and like in this case, who was a very shy boy in the shelter… as soon as he was in a home, was a completely different dog!
Tracee looked after this little angel for 2 weeks…. and in the time he was with her, he started to learn what it would be like to be in a real home, surrounded by love! and he liked it…… a lot!!! It was not all cuddles, he did some lead training and other important stuff as well….. but a lot of cuddles where had….
It took Fiongo a week to travel over land to England… we choose this way to bring him to England, firstly as it is the most stress free… Thompson Pet Transport have a DEFRA approved travel van, with special cages with blankets and toys in, and they treat each animal they are transporting as if it were there own… and secondly, the price, To fly in England is very very expensive….
Every day, me, Kalliopi, Tracee, Layla and Josh would be sent new photos and videos of how he was getting on, and we found out that this little man seems to touch the hearts of everyone he meets! everyone who has met him, says how sweet and loving he is.
After what seemed like eternity (as i believe it has now been a month since we set the ball rolling) Layla and Josh were waking up to go and collect their new family member……. They had decided to travel up the night before, and so they could be there bright and early the morning of the pick up….
What a beautiful moment!! Little fiongo…… who will now be named Bear! Who started his life thrown away like a piece of trash, unloved and unwanted, Had his photo seen from a little town in Cornwall…. and was now finally meeting the 2 people who would love him more than anything in the world……
From day one Bear has settled right into his new home….. not shy, not hiding….. but straight in for cuddles and love, as if he has always been there. There will be the usual hurdles now to over come…. house training, and general training…. But we are sure that Bear is going to have the best possible life, He has 2 very special people who love him to bits, and lots of extended family with other dogs for him to play with, and run around in the large fields that surround his home.
We want to say a huge thank you to:
Tracee Walton, without her help this would have not been anywhere as easy to sort out, or smooth.
Thompson Pet Transport: For taking such good care of Bear, and all the other animals they transport. (again…… really cant recommend these guys enough!!)
Nikos Pandermalis: for taking the amazing photo that caught Layla and Josh’s eye.
And everyone else who played a part in making this happy end happen…..