The death of Loukanikos, the Greek “riot” or “protest” dog that so fascinated the world’s media for his antics during austerity-fuelled disturbances in Athens city centre, has been announced.
Breaking the news, Avgi, a daily newspaper affiliated with Syriza, said the dog had died peacefully, some months ago, in the home of a man who has cared for him over the years.
So great was the celebrity canine’s fame that he was included in Time magazine’s top 100 personalities of 2011.
The dog, who was found wandering the streets at a young age, was named “Thodoros” by the person who took him in.
Meaning “sausage”, the Loukanikos label later stuck, as “Greece’s front-line riot dog” (BBC) took part in all the major demonstrations against troika-imposed austerity, always on the side of the people.
According to Avgi journalist Petros Katsakos, the dog’s health was adversely affected by tear gas and from being kicked by police, forcing him to “retire” from active protest about two years ago.
“He was on the couch sleeping, when suddenly his heart stopped beating,” Loukanikos’ carer told Avgi.
The dog was believed to have been ten years of age when he died on May 21.
The four-legged revolutionary was laid to rest under a tree on a hill in the centre of the city.
In a 2011 song, American indie singer/songwriter Davis Rovics saluted “this brave dog’s fight for justice in the economic turmoil that has hit Greece”.