This is Mr. Bags (short for Bagsoulas. He’s Greek!)
When you look at him you probably think, yes, that’s a normal looking dog. Content, and as shown in this picture also very happy and a little cheeky:
However, what you don’t see in these images is that this is a dog who is very ill as he had a spinal stroke and can’t actually walk. In fact, he can only sit like seen in the first image for a couple of minutes until he literally falls over because he can’t support himself. It is quite a sad story which I would like to share with you as Mr. Bags’ owner, Greek born Anthi Valavani is a good friend of mine.
This is how Mr. Bags is spending most of his days now. In a pram, having to be wheeled around everywhere he has to go:
Greek born, Anthi is an architect focussing on sustainability in buildings and she has been living in London for several years. At first Mr. Bags stayed behind in Greece but eventually, Anthi managed to bring him over.
I met Anthi through a mutual friend as they were playing in a band together. Anthi plays the bass and my friend (my best friend of 20+ years and best man at my wedding!) is a pro drummer. The band is not around anymore but you can still listen to them here:
Mr. Bags is 14 years and a few months old. This means the bond Anthi has with him runs very deep as they have gone through thick and thin together. She would do anything for him (and she does). Imagine the devastation when Mr. Bags had the spinal stroke. All of sudden unable to move and in pain…
The question is: What to do?
Of course you take him to a vet to find out what happened and to then establish a course of treatment. Mr. Bags is receiving all that treatment at the moment but you can imagine that is very difficult as Anthi is working full time and the insurance doesn’t cover many of the treatments he need to literally get back on his feet. She is currently fund-raising to help offset the cost of treatment. You can find the fundraiser here:
There is also an issue with the social convention of treating an old dog so extensively… Most people probably think: He should be put down. He’s old, there is no point or that it is not fair on the dog as he is suffering.
From my conversations with Anthi, this is also what shines through when she is dealing with vets and physios who should really be unbiased when it comes to treating animals.
I will not judge and will leave this for you to decide but I believe, the love between a dog and their owner is unconditional and vice versa. Dogs are not just pets to be discarded when things don’t go to plan. They are sentient, living beings with their own character and joy for life.
As Anthi is a friend, I can only offer support if she needs it and having known Mr. Bags for a while now, I am sure he will recover as he is very resilient and won’t give up.
Here are some more images of Mr. Bags and Anthi: