Rufus appeared in an almost deserted village in Eastern Crete and looked like a pure bred German wirehaired pointer. Only two local residents lived in the village but we were involved in the renovation of my son’s property and were helping to feed the feral cats, so in the absence of a local shelter, we found him a small abandoned block building and provided him with a clean warm bed and fed him every day because we were unable to home him due to our circumstances. He had suffered a broken back leg in the past which left him with a limp, but otherwise he was fit and healthy with a lovely temperament. With the arrival of an Arche-Noah Vet to the Sitia Animal Welfare we had him neutered and checked over and once the renovations were complete, my son and his wife fed him when they were in the village with us filling in when they were away. Rufus was free to wander in the area but he always returned for his food and shelter at night. This continued for about five years until his work forced them to return to the UK.
Whilst Rufus missed them and their dog he continued to live his free life style whilst living in the kennel beside their house with us going every day to feed him through the worst days of the winter until one morning Ray found him limping towards him with the same damaged leg hanging in the air. The xray showed a bad brake close to the joint and an operation to repair the fracture had only a limited chance of success. A different way of dealing with this kind of fracture, entailing making a half plaster caste and pressure bandaging the leg every day, was used to repair the damage whilst Rufus endeared himself to the veterinary staff who agreed with us that at his mature age it was not possible to return him to the village. With the aid of Arche Noah he found his forever home in the residence of a German volunteer who loves and adopts these large dogs with similar health problems.
Arriving in winter and coming from the relative heat of Crete, Rufus goes into the house to be introduced to the other dogs and immediately chooses the dog bed closest to the radiator and subsequent photos sent to us have shown him running and playing with the other dogs in the owners lovely garden.
Written by Joy Hodson