I had never heard of Stray Paws from Greece while I was trolling through the "Adopt-a-Pet" website one Saturday evening this past winter. My previous rescue dog of 9 years had succumbed to a horrid cancer and I was just totally despaired and at a complete loss without my loyal companion. I saw a dog on the Adopt-a-Pet website that appealed to me and after scanning the details I noticed some contact information. I did not feel like typing an email message so I dialed the telephone number listed figuring that I would leave a message and maybe get a response by mid-week. Well to my amazement someone answered! It was the founder, herself, Tasoula, who in her passionate and unique way talked about the organization and how the adoption process worked and asked specific questions about me and my life situation and past and current pets (I have a beloved 16-year old cat). We had a good exchange and we spoke of her visiting my home in the near future. The whole experience left me impressed with their process, thoroughness, compassion and personal responsibility towards the dogs from Greece that they adopt into new families in Canada.
Not too long after our initial conversation Tasoula visited my home.. She was extremely patient, professional and knowledgeable about all the dogs for adoption that she showed me. Through her thorough due diligence of me, my home, my needs she immediately singled out a few dogs that she felt would be a "match" for me, understanding my environment and lifestyle and the personality and needs of the dogs. I immediately fell in love with one of the dogs she showed me and Tasoula spoke in great detail about him and his personality and behaviour. I had a strong desire to have a female dog this time around and Tasoula mentioned that the male dog I selected to adopt was rescued with a female companion. I expressed some interest but was not completely sure. Tasoula soon afterwards sent me video of the female and I was completely smitten and made arrangements to adopt the two rescued hounds. However, there would be a three-month waiting period before they arrived in Canada by airplane at Pearson International Airport. That did not deter me, instead it picked up my energy and renewed my interest in life and preparations were made to get mentally, physically and emotionally and environmentally ready for my new adoptive companions from Greece. The waiting time allowed me to heal, prepare, renew my life force and rest for the bounding energy that was about to enter my life.
Prior to connecting with Stray Paws from Greece I was very disappointed with the adoption agencies in the Toronto area that I had contacted. I did not find the selection of dogs to be of a good quality and the selection was poor. Furthermore, the attitudes of the people overseeing these organizations was even worse! This was not the case with Stray Paws from Greece. Stray Paws from Greece was up-front about everything. Tasoula was respectful, enthusiastic, careful, thorough and had a complete intimate understanding of the dogs under her care and explained her reasoning always.
The day my dogs arrived at the airport was a milestone event for me as far as life experiences are concerned. It was a very moving and rewarding, and emotionally overwhelming (but in the best possible way). It was one of the most significant events I have experienced in a long, long time. I cannot find suitable words to describe the event well enough, but trust me. It was AMAZING!
The guidance and support that I received from Stray Paws from Greece throughout the entire dog adoption process and afterwards was outstanding. Tasoula and her volunteers are caring, compassionate, professional and completely devoted to what they do and especially the dogs. This was demonstrated repeated by every meeting, telephone call, message and e-mail. I have always adopted my dogs from various charitable dog rescues however, the experience working to adopt my dogs through Stray Paws from Greece was by far the best! Tasoula's devotion, energy, enthusiasm, knowledge...I could keep going...is exemplary to say the least. Tasoula is always available and continues to be available long after the dogs has been adopted. It is very personal for her and she is passionate about what she is doing by rescuing and vetting these most deserving and lucky dogs. Tasoula has many extended family members in her family tree as a result of the adoptions she has successfully overseen and completed. It is a very personal experience for all participating in the adoption process through Stray Paws from Greece and one in which friendships and kinship can develop and flourish. It is rewarding and enriching not only for Tasoula but also for the new families that she has connected with these remarkable dogs from Greece.
Now, I just want to mention quickly about the exceptional personalities of these noble dogs from Greece! I have looked at the photos, the videos and experienced my own personal connection with my newly adopted dogs from Stray Paws from Greece. In one word....AMAZING! Tasoula likes this word too for describing her new families for her pups! Even though the beginning of their lives might not have been the best, these dogs rally and demonstrate resilience, not to mention an excellent understanding of English commands! For this part of their journey my pups are remarkably well-balanced, beautiful, loving, happy and fun dogs! I would be remiss if I did not give much credit for my dogs' and other dogs' extraordinary personalities to the wonderful foster homes in Greece where all the Stray Paws from Greece dogs were initially homed, cared for and lovingly nurtured. The initial love and care given in Greece by the foster families to these dogs when they were first rescued speaks volumes of the well-balanced behaviour and exuberant and confident personalities that these dogs display. For sure, it is a direct result of the wonderful foster care received while in Greece. The foster family deserves much credit for my happy dogs! The AMAZING care, love and devotion my dogs were given by their foster family definitely made a difference in their overall development once rescued from the streets of Greece.
I could go on for many more pages, but Stray Paws from Greece is AMAZING! Spread the word to anyone exploring the adoption route in finding a dog companion! And, if you are able to give back in any way to keep the organization thriving I know they would be most grateful.
To anyone out there reading this who has adopted from Stray Paws from Greece, may everyone have many, many AMAZING years and wonderful memories together. I am so grateful to Stray Paws from Greece, for brightening my life with my new dogs.
(devoted parent to Ella and Rudi)