This is a slightly different type of story….. The story of Zeus
In the summer of 2019, A young lady named Hannah Jane Petts, and her boyfriend Josh, where on holiday in Heraklion, Crete. They spent most of the time relaxing at the beach, as you do when your on holiday…
This is where they met Zeus! He was very very shy at first, and they just saw him from a distance… But slowly slowly he gathered his nerve and approached them….. Little did either of them know that their lives would be forever changed!
Over the process of the 2 weeks that they were on holiday, both Hannah and Josh fell in love with this gentle giant, they were feeding him daily with food they snuck out from the hotel buffet, and of course the occasional icecream!
This is where things got a little tricky…. They made the decision that they would adopt Zeus, and take him home to England with them… Seeing as they were on holiday, they had no idea how they could do this…. who could help them?
They took to social media and the internet and searched everywhere, everyone they reached out to, was already full to the brim….. the days ticked past,, and they were more in love with Zeus than ever, he had started to trust them, and was waiting for them every morning at the beach…. But their departure day was growing close….
In one last attempt the took to twitter, where they found us….. And what can we say, their story touched our hearts…… of course we would do whatever we could to help them take this big man home…..
The day after they messaged we arranged one of our volunteers to drive up to heraklion and collect Zeus, and bring him back to the shelter.
At this point i would like to say, before agreeing to help Hannah and Josh, we did have long talks with them about adopting a stray, especially one who is not a puppy (as we put Zeus age at around 4 years old) they were both aware that it would not be easy, and would cost them quite a bit to have him delivered to England (as he is big) but they were sure they wanted to give him the life he deserved. And also upon arriving at Heraklion, our volunteer stopped at a couple of local tavernas and beach bars, near to where Zeus was found, just to check he did not have a owner or family, they all said the same thing, he had appeared that summer out of nowhere, and was very very shy and timid.
So our volunteer met with Hannah and Josh, down at the beach, where a very skeptical Zeus was waiting…. he knew something was going to happen, and was not sure at all if it was a good or bad thing….. So we ended up taking the travel crate down the beach, and carrying him back to the van, inside the crate!
Zeus was at first put into a separate area of the shelter, due to fact we had no idea ow he would get on with the other dogs, and also he needed to have his vaccinations, and flea treatments etc, so that is would be safe for his and our other dogs health. As soon as it was safe we put him in a large enclosure with 6 other dogs, here he had companions to play with, and he thrived…….
he was checked for a microchip (none found) and measured, weighed and fully checked out by the vet… apart from being under weight, he was in great shape.
Now the next hurdle would be, how to get such a big dog to England, the cheapest and most stress free way… this is where we bring the brilliant Tracee Walton (of Ambers hope) came into the picture….. This woman is amazing, and without her help we would be lost. She was on holiday when we messaged her, but that did not stop her for one minute putting the wheels in motion, and by the end of the week we had booked his seat on a transport van to drive over to England!!!!
We had to wait just over a month for his departure day….. so that we could make sure all his paper work was in order, and all his vaccinations were done…. then he left us, on a over night ferry to Athens where he would start the next phase of his journey. This is the bitter sweet moment…. as happy as we are that he is going to a new home, we would miss our gentle giant… who was always sitting like a gentleman waiting for you to go inside and give him a back rub.
He stayed with Tracee for just over a week, so that she could make sure his paper work and passport were all up to scratch.
Then one Monday morning, he met the wonderful people from Zouis Pet travel….. He would be traveling in their amazing van, in a large cage with blankets, plenty of loo breaks and pit stops…. these amazing people kept us all up to date, with constant photos and videos, not just of Zeus but of the others they were bringing with him, who were also off to start their new lives in England.
After travelling for 4 days, Zeus and his fellow passengers reached England….
Hannah and josh met Zeus at the pick up point and took the big boy home…. Hannahs home already has a rescue boxer, so they had done some research on how to introduce 2 new dogs to each other, and went to a neutral piece of land… and all was good.
When they got home, things were not quite as plain sailing….. Zeus did not want to come inside…. at all! and yet he would cry out side, like he wanted to come inside but was scared too, he was a little bit snappy with his new brother Harvey, and a few more issues…….
Due to the fact that none of us knew anything about Zeus history or what he had been through, it is hard to be ready for how he will be in a home…… And this is always the hard part of rescuing a dog from the streets, you have no way of knowing what their life has been like before they met you, they could have been abused, or traumatised, a number of things could have happened to them, and they have no way of telling you, this is why you always need to be prepared for a lot of work and patience with your new friend.
Hannah and her family have worked wonders with this big boy… Their time and patience has already made a huge difference in this gentle giant, he now comes inside and enjoys sleeping in front of the fire, and licks his brother Harveys ears.
He still has a long road ahead of him, with many small little issues to overcome and work on, but we are all sure that with the love and support of his new family he will overcome them all.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Tracee Walton and to Zounis Pet Transport for helping getting this big man to his new home.
Here he is in his new life!