Heyshott man rescues Greek dog

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A Heyshott forester and conservator has rescued a dog from a Greek island and brought it home with him.

Giles Cripps, 52, fell in love with Skilly, a brown-and-white mongrel that foraged for food around his Corfu beach front villa and was always sitting on rocks looking wistfully out to sea.

“We would take a boat out for the day and when we came back there she’d be, sitting on a rock, waiting for us,” said Giles. “All her stomach was bitten to bits by wasps but she had a charming nature. We named her ‘Skilly’ because that’s what the Greek maids called her—I think it just means ‘dog.’

“She somehow managed to get behind the protective barriers surrounding the villas and broke through our defences as well. We started to feed her up. She’s very, very intelligent, but there you have to be to survive on a Greek beach.”

Giles was on holiday with his two sisters, their husbands and children. When he went home other members of the family continued to adopt Skilly.

“Then I got a call from one of my brothers-in-law, Hugo Richardson, a solicitor, suggesting we should all adopt her and bring her home to Heyshott. He went into all the legal hassle involved in registering ownership and somehow managed to get her quarantined over there for six months.

“Then last month we flew her back to Gatwick and brought her back here. She’s settling in beautifully, but she’s having to learn English commands.”

Giles and his partner Rose have always taken in Battersea Dogs’ Home rescue dogs and have two, Spoddie and Jim, who’s 18.

“Skilly will fill a hole for us because one of my old ones, Battersea Bill, died earlier this year,” he said.