Political Animals: Why Some Stray Dogs Have Joined the Greek Riots
The protesters want change; dogs are designed to help them.
Harry Truman said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." In modern Athens, though, some of the dogs themselves have become political animals.
In the Greek capital, any dogs found roaming the streets are taken in, neutered, and given vaccinations. Then they're outfitted with a blue collar, denoting their "stray" status, and released back into the city where they sleep peacefully on the streets, sidewalks, and even at the Parthenon, where they've become something of a tourist attraction.
Greece has been rocked recently by violent protests over the government's "austerity program1." And some of the city's stray dogs have now seemingly joined the rioters, perhaps in a show of solidarity.
The AP reports: "Photographers have documented the presence of several yellowish dogs at boisterous anti-government protests over the years, barking and baring their teeth at police in what appears to be canine political statements. One, Kanellos ... was a constant companion for over a decade to anarchist rioters until he died, in July 2008."
Kanellos still has his own Facebook page, with 10,000+ fans and a song dedicated to him. According to the New York Post, one fan asked, "What brings him to the riots? Does he believe in the overthrow of private ownership? Does he see the rioters as his pack?"