The War of the Stray Dog: How Far Would You Go For Your Pet?


Dogs rest in the sunshine on the Acropolis adjacent to the 'Odeum of Herodes Atticus' on February 19, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Oli Scarff / Getty Images

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, it didn't take the newly-independent nations of Greece and Bulgaria long to begin bickering over their borders. Throughout the early 1920s, small bands of peasants from both countries routinely crossed the border to steal livestock, damage property and harass locals. This untenable situation reached a breaking point in 1925, when a Greek border guard was fatally shot while crossing into Bulgaria to retrieve his dog (who had strayed away on dog business). This single incident sparked a cavalcade of chaos that eventually caught the attention of the League of Nations.