Feeding the ghosts..

by Electra Radioti

Once we came here two things were clear. Nature ran wild· and the animals needing to be fed were substantially more than the humans living in the village.

The house was located at the end of the dirt road, a few hundred meters outside the “village”. No real village here. Just a few people living in their old properties, scattered among the empty half-derelict houses. Remnants of the pogrom, bombing and massacre that still stains the place.

The true villagers were the bony animals, dogs for the most part, crawling around the trash cans and the closed doors.

People are not friendly here. Their faces are harsh, unsmiling and they hardly ever speak. There is no market, not one store or place to buy food, not even the traditional “kafeneio”, the local coffee shop, that everyone gathers to relief the loneliness. No. The roads remain empty, the lights down and the animals starving.

Why did they have to be born? How did they get here? I am guessing the villagers brought them to guard the sheep herds. Or whatever. Why do they leave them starving then? Why not neuter and only keep a few around that they can actually care for? I don’t understand.

We started feeding one, then a second came, then a third, then a mother brought her puppies.. You can imagine how it goes.

I can safely say that these days we are feeding around 20 dogs each day. Of course it is hard. We have 3 of our own. They keep finding holes in the fence and our front balcony has become their home· full of dogs throughout the day, you can’t even walk.

We have to go for supplies quite often. They need so much to eat! But I can’t stand seeing their scrawny little bodies trembling under the subzero temperatures. I have to feed and keep them warm somehow. I have to treat their wounds.

I have managed to bring them to a good condition. They are all healthy and cheerful now. The puppies are growing up nicely and they play in the snow with no care in the world.

They are not crawling anymore. They are not killing each other over a piece of dry bread anymore.

But we didn’t come here to stay. We only came for a while. What is it going to happen to them when I leave?

They keep mating, more puppies are going to be born, suffer and die. A cruel never-ending circle.

I don’t know what to do anymore.



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