It's almost been a year since I got a puppy!
If you've been following me on Instagram, you've probably seen millions of photos of Ito, my half - German Shepherd half- Greek Shepherd puppy.
A year ago, I went to Mani to celebrate easter. There is a small taverna we always go to, and there they told me about the puppies.
When I saw that little bear I couldn't stop myself. I had just moved in to my new flat that has a garden and I was thinking of getting a puppy anyway. I wanted to get a smaller dog to be honest, but when I saw him - I definitely fell in love.
I knew he would be given food if he stayed there, however he would live completely free with no one to take care of him, and maybe he would get run over, like many dogs there do. Also except from maybe the two or three first vaccinations I doubt that anyone would take him to the vet for yearly check ups, vaccinations etc.
I went back to Athens but kept thinking about him. So two weeks later, we drove back to that taverna and took him to Athens. It was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made.
So - the name Ito.
I met up with two friends the day before going to get Ito. I still hadn't decided on a name. One of them said "why don't you find a name that has to do with textiles/what you are working on?" I liked the idea, however I couldn't really find a word that would sound nice as a name in Greek or English.
So the same evening I went home and started looking at Japanese words that have to do with textiles, weaving, natural dyeing etc. I love the Japanese language, I really like the sound of their words.
Ito means yarn in Japanese.
I've had him for almost a year now. Training him has definitely been challenging, and still we have some problems. He unfortunately hates cats and pulls me every time we see one on a walk.
We do everything together though, we've been on many adventures and it's great having him around my flat and in the studio. He is naughty and sometimes steals my yarn and he loves sitting under the loom while I weave. We go on long foraging walks both in Athens and Mani.
Having a dog is a joy but it's also a responsibility. I probably wouldn't get a dog at this age if I didn't spend this much time at my studio, we both always have company and that is a gift.
I also really enjoy our daily walks and how I have to pause from everything I am doing, three times a day, to take him out. This happens everyday, doesn't matter if it's raining, if its snowing, if its really hot or freezing. I love having our daily routine, something that we both do every day, no matter what. Having a dog is one of the best ways to improve mental health. It's great to start my day with a walk, walking slowly and planning everything I have to do. When I get frustrated because something doesn't work, I usually take Ito out for a walk, it helps me calm down, think of other things and when I get back I usually can see clearer and I'm much less stressed. Walks cure headaches, stressed hearts and loom back pains. (Of course his face cures all of these things too.)
Especially these days, I am so happy I have an excuse to go out for a walk three times a day. It really helps me stay calm, think things through and see new places around me.
I know this journal post isn't textile or travel related, but Ito is a huge part of my life and I wanted to properly introduce him to all of you!