Posted: May 10, 2010 4:12 PM by Elaine Sheridan
Updated: May 10, 2010 4:12 PM
They roam the streets of Athens unperturbed, a blue collar around their necks indicating that they have been neutered by the city authorities.
Athens' stray dogs naturally seek company. And there's no better place to find lots of it than at one of Athens' many demonstrations.
Photographers have documented the presence of several yellowish dogs at boisterous anti-government protests over the years, barking and baring their teeth at police in what appears to be canine political statements. One, Kanellos (cinnamon in Greek, from its color) used the Athens Polytechnic school as his base and was a constant companion for over a decade to anarchist rioters until he reportedly died, in July 2008. But many believe the similar dogs are one dog and "he" has become the unofficial mascot of the anti-government protestors. Kanellos is so popular he has his own Facebook page, with over 4-thousand fans and a song dedicated to him. His last post "Can't Pay, Won't Pay: Solidarity with the people of Greece!"
Photos of other yellowish dogs at the side of demonstrators have become an online sensation in recent days, with some websites describing them as evidence that a single, highly active dog is a constant presence at protests
The dogs appear to be immune to the effects of tear gas, but are very frightened when riot police use stun grenades. Protesters pet them and police are not unfriendly, either, although the nature of their job does not allow them to give their attention to the animals.