He came out of nowhere, defended the people, and disappeared again. Those that met him will never forget him. Those that have heard of him realize this is where legends come from.
In 2011, Athens, Greece witnessed the austerity protests that reflected the sentiments of the world Occupy movement. When journalists and press descended on the city, they saw a street dog that appeared to have extrapolated what was transpiring, and chose to take sides. Known as Loukanikos, translation meaning Sausage, he would run between the police line and the protesters, barking and nipping at the shins of the armed authorities to try to tell them to back away from the people of Athens.
He was often in the middle of pepper spray and tear gas attacks. He was also kicked and beaten by the riot police as their shins would bear the brunt of his warnings to back up. The battles took their toll, and Loukanikos died in May of 2014, with the reports just coming out this week.
World leaders have published photos of themselves seated on a majestic horse. Universities and High Schools use animal mascots for team support. One of the world’s largest banks chose the bull as a symbol. Riots ensued following the euthanizing of an ebola patient’s dog, in fear it would carry and transmit the virus. A US tobacco company uses the camel in its’ logo. The list goes on, and we are quite certain you can think of several others yourself.
Animals play an important role in our lives. They contribute to our quality of life through service, companionship or good farming and hunting practices. They also remind us of the fragility of life, and how quickly everything can change.
Do not take these gifts from animals for granted. Think about the favorite pet you’ve had. How was your life enriched because of that bond you had with it? For you to experience the joy that comes in having that pet, that unconditional love you receive from them, you must make the commitment to protect and care for them.
Occupy World Writes salutes all animal lovers and owners who understand the gift they have been given. We believe that Loukanikos was one of those rare, exceptional animals who was a gift to the entire world. May his memory encourage you to think differently about animals you meet in your future.