Since arriving in Greece back in June, Beans hasn’t done a whole lot of traveling but finally, we have around a week outside of Nea Ionia, Athens planned. August is generally the month Greeks take vacation time, and August 15th is a big holiday known as “Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.” We had planned to be in the village of Exarchos and left on the 13th.
The drive is fairly quick on the Greek National highway, and this trip was no exception (but you do need to watch to make sure you are getting the correct change at the toll booths – we found ourselves being the victim of a “skimmer” who short-changed us a Euro).
Beans has never done well in the car on longer drives – he wants to be “up close and personal” as much as he can, and I’ve not really had the chance to train him much while driving in vehicles, to stay down on the back seat. So on longer trips, as much as I hate to do it, into the crate he goes, which is in the back seat. The crate is large enough for him to stand, move around comfortably, and lay down, so he’s fine in there. But on warm days, he can get a little anxious which comes through with some extra heavy breathing that sounds like he is a hoarse singer that has lost their voice.
The trip north and north west up the national highway was uneventful for the most part, although we did have some gorgeous views of the sun in vivid reds and oranges as an enormous cloud of smoke from a large forest fire on the island of Evia had settled in the sky on the horizon. While it appeared as a gorgeous sunset, indeed the beauty was caused by the destruction of forest by fire, and the smoke causing the sun to appear in brilliant reds, crimsons, and orange shades.
When we arrived at Atalanti, which is where we exit from the Greek national highway, it was time to make sure Beans was hydrated and able to relieve himself. The photo above shows a pretty happy dog after getting some water and a little exercise.
Then, another half or so drive westward then south to Exarchos. How would Beans handle that? A new home for the next week… in an old Greek small village?
This is his second day, and he’s done marvelously! In Greece, Boston terriers are extremely uncommon and few have ever seen one. Even though Beans is pretty small, many people react with fear when seeing him, thinking he might be a Pit Bull, and many here have the same biases against dogs of that breed as in North America. But when people get to know Beans, he wins their hearts over when they realize they are more likely to be “licked to death” by him than even a slight nip.
Beans really is a great dog and just wants to make friends with everybody! We went for a walk this evening and came across a group of young teenage boys – some were a little anxious about Beans, while a few of the brave ones decided to try to pet and play with him. Beans showed them pretty quickly just how friendly he was, and in the end there was much delighted laughing at this “strange” dog, that is confused at times with being a pit bull (or sometimes, a French bulldog).
So, Beans is now traveling even more – who knew 8 years ago, this great little dog would one day, end up in Greece, and enjoying the treats of Greek table scraps (that are so yummy), and smelling the smells of Greece?
He’s a Champion!