As I have aged in life so have my taste buds in a sense that they have matured and have been open to more varied culinary experiences. Having once thought the word "feta" meant "foot cheese" in Greek, I now find myself asking for extra feta on my Greek salads. Not only do I love this cheese, but I also find my mouth watering with the thought of courgette balls, dolmadakia, gyros, and pastitsios. This list of "Greek loves" would not be complete unless I added the Greek name Cassandra too; which means "shining upon man." After reading this blog, you too will add Cassie to your list of Greek loves and will soon see how she certainly continues to shine among all who meet her.
Have We Met Before?
As beautiful as those curls are on Nicholas so were Cassie's limpid pool eyes. Having never met before, the interaction with each other would certainly lead you to believe otherwise. While Nicholas was digging in the rugged Greece black sand on a 100+ degree day Cassandra appeared and offered some help with digging. OK, maybe she didn't offer to help dig, although this is a skill she does possess, she did offer to help show Nicholas the unconditional love she had to offer. Once Nicholas cleared his face of those adorable curls, he knew that this was no ordinary Woofer, but one that was pleading for a place in his heart and in his life.
Save Me a Chair?
In this story a lounge chair was saved for Cassie in her new home in Middletown NJ, but unfortunately this isn't the case for all strays in Greece. The numbers of stray cats and dogs have soared due to the Greek economic crisis amongst other reasons. Spay and neutering programs have taken place to control the population, fostering does occur but not nearly at the level that is needed, and the spread of disease is a continual threat. The other issue posed in this country is there is no governing entity to address animal welfare which doesn't bode well for change. Luckily, there is this organization that has formed to address these concerns; Friends of The Strays of Greece. Cassie's now adopted family took measures into their own hands as you will soon read. Cassie had a leather collar which leads the family to believe she was abandoned. Unfortunately this theory was also concurred by a restaurant staff who saw her driven down the street by a family and left on the beach. Luckily this story has a happy ending and my hope is so will many more through sharing this story. Whether it be in Greece or in our neighboring towns adoption should always be explored.
Get Behind the Ears
Just have a look at this soapy gal. As tolerant as she was with the soap in her ears so was she for the journey that would soon take place. After a vet check, a bath, a search to be sure an owner wasn't searching for her, the family booked another room in a hotel that was Woofer friendly. Cassie settled in with her new pack as if they have known each other forever with the offering of her belly for some rubs and paw for more treats and table scraps. The very next day, the international passport was obtained and the sedation pills for the long plane ride home were given. Of course, these pills were the only challenge in this process as the new owner had to chase her in the terminal with a wad of peanut butter! The plane took off headed for the States. Cassie's family did not sleep a wink until they landed and knew they would be reunited.
Jersey Girl Through and Through
Although makes for a catchy subtitle Cassie hasn't come into her Jersey ways just yet. It really is amazing to watch her acclimate into her American environment. Here are a few of our observations of Cassie in her new dwellings:
*Not much phases her with the exception of the vacumn cleaner
*She LOVES to dig....probably use to building sand castles:)
*She is always super-alert of any person we pass while on our walk. Makes me wonder if she views them as a possible source of food.
*She doesn't pay much mind to another Woofers passing by, but does notice their prescence when they are behind a fence. Maybe the pet containment concept is a new thing for her?
*Takes treats ever so delicately which leads me to believe she was handfed often.
*Lastly, if given the opportunity, she will scale a wall which shows me she was use to navigating all terrains.
In Greece, for the Woofers that have collars it isn't uncommon to have charms adorn them. If you notice in the picture above, Cassie is wearing an evil eye charm to ward off anything evil headed her way. This charm displays the superstitious ways felt by some Greeks. Cassie's family added to her charm collection a sun to remind them of the day she was found on the beach with the Sun shining upon her. I think we can all agree that a heart would be the next best addition as a symbol of the unconditional love felt between Cassie and her forever family. Some bring home corral necklaces, local t-shirts, and even shells, this local Middletown family brought home the best gift possible; Cassie!!!
Written by: Karen Kane (the original Hoofer)