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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 36

Tales from Crete | 36

It has been discussed for many years whether dogs understand what we say or whether it is the intonation, i.e. the way we say it and the emphasis that they understand. I don't have to be smart about that, but I still have an opinion about it, just like I have about everything else (which I probably don't understand either).

In autumn 2015 we got a "new" dog. We have had lots of dogs and bred several German Shepherds for working dogs, so we were not completely unfamiliar with having to have a dog again. We chose to acquire a Greek dog, which we got through one of the voluntary organizations that mediate this sort of thing, and which also do a great job to provide shelter, food and medical care for the many street dogs that are still in Greece, although the number has been considerably reduced in recent years.

We had to pick up "Raki", as our dog is called, at Copenhagen Airport, and it went very well. Inside the transport box, she sat quietly and waited, and all things considered, it all went very well. Even the trip in the car back to Skive, after a 3-hour long flight, went without problems. Now "Raki" had to be integrated into Danish society. The only thing we knew beforehand about her was that she had been handed over to a dog boarding house by her previous owners, that they had paid for a 14-day stay, but had never come to pick her up, which is why she had to sit in the dog boarding house for a lame year time before you had the legal authority to forward her. It is not easy when you, like "Raki", are not wildly enthusiastic about other dogs and it takes a long time to find trust in strangers.

I tried the best I have learned to find the things in "Raki" that she is good at and happy about, but it was a bit of an uphill battle. She didn't know much and didn't understand a word of what I said, no matter how I tried to emphasize my words and very quickly it fortunately became clear that she could not be trained in anything at all in the same way as I have previously trained German shepherd dogs.

One day when I was out walking with her, she suddenly found that there was something on the other side of the road that she needed to study more closely, and as she was not used to traffic of any kind, she was in a now traveling across the road during rush hour. I don't know what just happened, but instead of pulling the leash or saying stop in Danish, it came out of my mouth "Stási" (stop in Greek) I shouted worried that she would run out into the road, and vupti – she stopped immediately and sat down. And when I was now doing the Greek and I had come to her, I continued in Greek and said "Pame" (we are going) and she got up and walked nicely on with me, after which she was of course praised to the skies .

Since then I have continued to use some Greek words instead of Danish, and it still works better than saying the same things in Danish with the same Greek intonation. I don't think it's because Raki is particularly clever or has an ear for languages, but she is VERY Greek in the best sense of the word. She likes to relax, loves good food and enjoys lying in the sun. It must be more than very warm before she retreats into the shade and the good food should preferably be eaten in cozy company with the rest of us. She doesn't beg at the table like some dogs do, but settles nicely on the floor next to her and waits for her turn to have a bite or two and she is always ready to help when it comes to taking off the table, provided there are some extra goodies lying around. If she doesn't, she is clearly offended and goes and lies down where she can cause the most trouble and everyone can see that she has been passed over to that extent. Well, what can I say….Raki is a true Greek, no doubt about it.

Have a nice weekend and go for a nice long walk with the dog if you have one. Otherwise, you are welcome to borrow Raki if you remember to speak Greek to her ;-)

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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