celebrating the street dogs of the Balkans

My first experience of Balkan Dogs…

Croatia was one of the countries of the Balkans that I first fell in love with the dogs there, unfortunately I didn’t have a camera on me to capture the experiences I had then. My first visit to Croatia, was in 2005 when me and a friend hitchhiked from Budapest, down through Croatia, then onwards to Istanbul (as you do when you’re 19 and have no money…). We were sleeping in a park in Dubrovnik (on the advice of some locals that is was a fine thing to do), and was awoken in the middle of the night by a pack of stray dogs barking and growling. At first we scared as we imagined the dogs were angered by our presence on their territory, but we soon noticed that the dogs weren’t barking at us but at a man who had entered into the park. The stranger quickly ran off after being set on by the dogs, and the dogs then retreated back towards our camp and settled down a few metres away from us. I’m not sure if we were in any danger that night, but I felt we had these dogs looking out for us. We stayed a second night in the park and again the dogs returned at night, although this night there were no disturbances. This was my first encounter with Balkan dogs, and since then have been enchanted with them.

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