Dog Who Turned To Stone Never Knew She Could Be Loved So Much
In April 2015, a woman spotted a stray dog from a distance outside Athens, Greece, whose face had completely hardened.
Petra, Greek for “stone,” had seemingly never interacted with people before, causing her to be terrified of them. Approaching her was nearly impossible – she would run away if anyone came too close. Rescuing her was extremely difficult, but everyone refused to give up.
After she was finally captured, she was brought to the Save a Greek Stray shelter in Oropos, Greece. Valia Orfanidou, who has helped rehabilitate many dogs, met Petra and knew she had to help her.
“I think she’s always been a stray because she looked like she had never been around people,” Orfanidou told The Dodo. “Even dogs in that condition, if they’ve been around people are more friendly. Petra looked like she had never been touched.”
Petra was in extremely poor condition, and was treated for virtually everything, from mange, a skin infection causing painful scabs and leisons, to leishamiasis, an infection spread by bugs that can be deadly if left untreated. In fact, the severe mange diagnosis was the culprit behind Petra’s stone-like appearance.
“The problem is she still didn’t trust anybody,” Orfanidou said. “She never wanted to leave her cage; she would hide every time she was approached and growl at the other dogs at the shelter.”
The first time Orfanidou tried to approach Petra, the dog was so scared she went to the bathroom in her cage – but Orfanidou refused to give up on her.
“The second time it took us one whole hour to walk just a few meters from her cage,” Orfanidou said. “She would make three or four steps, and then stop. I’d pull her slightly and then a few more steps.”
Every week Petra got a little bit braver. She became more and more willing to leave her cage, and slowly started to tolerate people touching and interacting with her. Orfanidou never gave up on Petra, and it paid off – because soon, she was a completely different dog.