Most people bring a bottle of Ouzo back as a memento of a week in Skiathos.
But Allison and Neil Cain fell in love with a little dog they met on the beach and went on a mission to find out if she had a home.
When it transpired she was a stray, they adopted her and arranged with the Skiathos Dog Shelter for her to come to live here in the UK!
Her story appeared in Love It magazine and the Sunday People.
WHEN Allison and Neil Cain went on holiday to Skiathos, they came back with an unusual souvenir – a dog they found on the beach!
The couple from Bolton were still coming to terms with the loss of their cocker spaniel, Sally, who had passed away earlier in the year when they jetted to the Greek island in September.
On the last day of their trip, a little terrier joined them on the beach and refused to leave their side.
They put out an appeal to find her owner, then, when it turned out she’d been abandoned, they arranged for her to start a new life with them!
Allison, 51, said: “We were at Xanemos beach and this little dog popped out from nowhere while Neil was taking some photos. She stayed with us all day.
“She sheltered under our sun lounger and joined us for lunch, and even ran alongside us for 3km as we cycled back to our hotel in Skiathos town to pack.
“We were frantic as we didn’t want to leave her, so we went in a bar and the staff told us about a Facebook page for ex-pats called Old Boomerangers so we were on there and asked if anyone knew who owned her.
“But we had no other choice than to leave her there in the bar that night, curled up on a chair, so we could fly back home.”
People replied to the post, saying they had seen the little dog down at the beach and even at the airport on the day the couple left but after a day or so it went quiet and the couple assumed she’d gone back home.
Then, a week later, Allison got a message from a woman named Maria who’d spotted the Facebook appeal telling her she’d found the dog tied up in the mountains, shivering in the rain.
Allison said: “I was distraught. That’s when we knew we had to rescue her. We got in touch with Skiathos Dog Shelter and they said they would help with transporting her to the UK.
“Maria cared for the dog, who she told us was known as Lucy, and the shelter arranged for her to have the necessary treatment and got her a pet passport.
“After six weeks she was ready to travel and she set off from Skiathos to Knutsford services, where we picked her up.
“When she arrived she was like a bag of bones, so we gave her a big plate of chicken and soon she was cuddling up to us on the sofa.”
Lucy, who is two years old and a cross between a Jack Russel and a Yorkshire Terrier, is now settling into life in Bolton.
And Allison and Neil, 47, are forever grateful to the people who responded to their plea on Facebook.
Allison said: “Whenever we tell people her story, they are just blown away. It’s so lovely. We just wanted to make sure she got home that day.
“When we heard she’d been at the airport the day we left, it was like she was looking for us. It just felt like it was meant to be, and now she finally has a forever home here with us.
“We can’t thank Maria and the shelter staff enough for what they did and Lucy is so happy. We’ll never let her out of our sight again!”
To find out more about the Skiathos Dog Shelter, visit greekanimalrescue.com and quote Skiathos.