I’ve recently returned from spending nearly two weeks in Macedonia where I inevitably met a lot of wonderful dogs – some stray, some looked after, some a bit of both! Spending time observing the dogs, watching how people are around them and talking to the locals, I feel like I’ve learnt a great deal about Balkan dogs.
Our first stop was in Skopje where I was amazed at how street savvy the dogs were. I saw dogs sitting at pedestrian crossings, looking both ways at the traffic and crossing when clear. Then we headed down to Ohrid where there was a much smaller community of dogs – it was the same faces you would see in the different parts of towns and the locals seem to have a good relationship them. Shopkeepers would throw scraps and there was the odd affectionate rub from passers-by. Heading over to Prespa, as the landscape got a bit more rural, the dogs seemed a bit wilder. Driving through one village, a dog stood in the middle of road and would not let us past, after a short while of trying to manoeuvre around it we managed to make a break and accelerate off, the dog however gave chase for a good 500 metres.
Over the couple of weeks spent in Macedonia we met an incredibly diverse range of dogs – from the majestic Šarplaninac wandering up in the hills to the short legged mongrels waiting by the kebab shop in the centre of town, Macedonia truly is a land of amazing dogs!