Since 2008, Greek rioters have had a canine companion named Loukanikos
Youths are pictured during thier protest against the police on December 12, 2008 in Athens. Greece has experienced seven days of riots, as thousands demonstrated in Athens and Thessaloniki to protest the death of a 15-year-old pupil at the hands of Greek police.
June 23rd, 2011
11:18 AM ET

Since 2008, Greek rioters have had a canine companion named Loukanikos

By Everett Rosenfeld, TIME

Loukanikos hates Greece's austerity measures, corrupt politicians and the plight of the Greek everyman. And, as a dedicated protestor, he is willing to brave riot police and tear gas for his beliefs.

Either that, or Athens's most famous stray dog just likes the food and the attention afforded him by Greek demonstrators.

Whatever the cause for his loyalty, Loukanikos (which translates to "Sausage" in English) has barked and marched alongside the protesters since demonstrations in December 2008.

Almost three years later, the stray with a penchant for protests was seen in action again at the latest rounds protests in Athens last week.(PHOTOS: Canines in Combat)

Media reports over the past three years show that protesters – many of whom have camped out in Syntagma Square – have taken to petting and feeding the dog who they assumed is allied with their cause.

In fact, popular adoration has gone so far that Loukanikos boasts his own Twitter feed, Tumblr site, YouTube channel, Facebook page and blog.

In addition to dominating social media, Loukanikos is also a regular in the mainstream media. Nearly every Greek protest is followed by new photos and videos of the rebellious stray. Some of his appearances from 2008 to 2010 can be found here.

Watch a video of this canine over at TIME.

Louk sits in the street during a student demonstration in central Athens on December 10, 2009. Hundreds of students demonstrated in Athens to protest against a plan for policing at universities after a rector was injured in a violent protest over the weekend.

Tear gas floats around a protestor and Louk during an education demonstration on January 9, 2009. Some 3,000 students and teachers protesting against the Greek government clashed in Athens with police who fired tear gas and charged at demonstrators. The march was organised on the anniversary of the 1991 murder of Nikos Temponeras, a professor who was bludgeoned to death by a right-wing unionist.

A demonstrator rises his fist in front of riot policemen blocking the entrance to the finance ministry, in Athens on April 29, 2010. Greek police fired tear gas today at hundreds of demonstrators trying to approach the finance ministry in a protest against austerity cuts to tackle the country's debt crisis, police said. The protest was called by the left-wing Syriza party after union leaders said the government was about to adopt additional austerity measures to clinch a huge bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Loukanikos on December 8, 2010. Athens was without public transport on this day as unions staged a 24-hour strike against a government restructuring plan to save money in the face of a deep financial crisis.

Protesters clash with riot police officers during a general strike against government austerity plans in Athens on June 15, 2011. Thousands of Greek protesters surrounded the parliament building as a general strike paralysed the country and the prime minister held emergency talks on a controversial reform package.

Protestors escape tear gas during massive clashes at the central Athens Syntagma square on June 15, 2011. Thousands of protesters ringed the Greek parliament building as the government tried to push through its emergency package inside and a general strike paralysed the country.

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Topics: Culture • Economy • Europe • Youth

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soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. lmk

    That dog is having a BLAST!! (no pun intended) He's got lots of little boys to romp with all day, lots of action and always something to get into. He is totally in touch with his inner canine.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  2. Reisen

    Is December 2008 to June 2011 "almost" three years? It seems 2 years and 11 months, or 2 years and 10 months is "almost three years". 2 years and six months is "two and a half years".

    June 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  3. WXVZ

    Most of protests are Staged and very well Orchestrated, they pretend fighting but do not hurt each other. This is worth it to get hundreds of billions from EU. Greeks are very smart; the deception started with the Trojan Horse and is going on with very well orchestrated “PROTESTS”. If you want Greece to be paid off, for the Enormous Army, Universal Free Health Care, Lucrative Pensions, and Taxes that they never Pay, then you pay them by yourself, PAY THEM OFF, BY YOUR OWN POCKET.

    June 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • danae

      You're expessing this view because you've participated in these demonstrations or you're just judging, being thousand klm away?

      June 24, 2011 at 10:30 am | Reply
  4. sam

    Please do not hurt this dog....please do not use this dog as a human shield...please do not exploit this dog. That would really hurt me a lot. He is proving to be "Mans best friend" and humans need to realize that and protect their friend. I am amazed by this canines devotion to his mankind. Protect this dog with all the resources you can. I will keep track and be highly judgemental if any harm is brought to this animal, as many others will be. Peace and god be with you and your "best friend", the dog. This is a beautiful and truly devotional story. Take care of this dog, or so help you......

    June 24, 2011 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • N

      The dog died yesteray. 10 years old.

      October 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  5. Randoms

    Dog must be stray, nobody in Greece would consider buying a tag to support taxes that provide government shelters to take care of stray animals ...Citizens of Greece will do anything to avoid paying taxes on goods and services and even their homes. That is why you see rebar or wood posts sticking out the top, so they aren't assessed completed house value. They should realize they are protesting their own doing but then...
    y = f(x)

    June 24, 2011 at 12:49 am | Reply
  6. Dave

    This dog likes to play a lot like my dog, only difference is that eventually my dog isn't going to get shot in the head. Someone needs to take the dog home and get him some furry toys and a yard.

    June 24, 2011 at 12:53 am | Reply
  7. Erda Merin

    This was on BBC a week ago, this shows how wise it is to follow news on CNN.

    Very cute dog, good show by Greeks to get sympathy, along with the couple making love on the streets (that one might have gotten censored by the conservative American media).

    June 24, 2011 at 6:27 am | Reply
  8. MrId


    June 24, 2011 at 6:52 am | Reply
  9. Kevin

    The dog is a stray, he goes where he wants. I don't see a leash in any of the pictures. I had a dog who LOVED fire works. He would have his nose down close so he could watch the fuse being lit. He would back up far enough so he could watch the rockets trajectory. He learned that everyone around him was excited and he just joined in. It's the pack, the hunt. If he continues to brave tear gas after even one exposure he knows who's his pack and it is not the men in blue.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:15 am | Reply
  10. Coffee Party Member

    Dogs have an average life span of 10-12 years depending on breed. So take care of your four-legged friends as they would be gone in no time.

    June 24, 2011 at 10:35 am | Reply
  11. Fiery Buddha

    It's... INDIGENT DOG!

    June 24, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
  12. Visitor

    I have seen this dog in Athens Greece. Every morning he is in the middle of the street with a policeman directing traffic. If a motorcycle get to close to the Policeman, the dog will chase the motorcycle for about 30 feet while barking at it.

    I was staying in Athens at a hotel across the street from the Constitution Square and the Doorman told me that the dog doesn’t belong to anyone. He comes every morning to help direct traffic and then hangs around the hotel and goes off somewhere until the afternoon and comes back and hangs around the steps of the hotel to greet people walking by.

    I have been to Athens at least 5 times for the last 7 years and every time he has been there.

    June 24, 2011 at 11:31 am | Reply
  13. the_dude

    Wouldn't it be ironic if the dog suddenly attacked a protestor? Just sayin.....

    June 24, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
  14. Aces

    The country of Greece is soon to become a stray of Europe.

    June 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  15. Voltairine

    If Greece defaults, according to the experts that I’ve read, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are very likely to default as well. If they default, those same experts claim that the euro will tank, which would cause the nations of the European Union to default too. If all of that happens, it’s easy to see a number of Asian economies defaulting. And if all of them default, the rest would as well, with the possible exception of the U.S. In that case it would become, “The U.S. v. The Rest of the World”, in an economic war, the former of which, if it doesn’t default, would, “win”, and if it does default, it would then become a military war that also favors the former. Of course other nations should be able to anticipate this scenario and, rather than waiting for the inevitable outcome of the economic war, would have no choice but to leap straight into a military war at some point pretty darn soon, which would demand that all or most of the countries that still have a military would have to group together to take-on the U.S. Meanwhile two out of the three American members representing the GOP have walked away from negotiations to keep the First American, “Republic”, funded, which actually the Treasury has been “handling” since that clock ran-out on the 16th, leaving 3 Democrats and 1 Republican to duke it out. The demand of the two that withdrew was that adding/increasing taxes on the very rich and big business must be taken off the table of negotiations, leaving only the continuing state policy to keep sticking-it-to-the-people by attacking public jobs and services due to the budget shortfalls caused, “ironically” enough, by the financial sectors of big business upon the orders of the very rich who obviously would rather World War III happen than pay one red cent to help with a financial crisis that was their fault in the first place. Cool.

    June 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  16. Lanie

    If he's a stray, why is he wearing collars and tags??

    June 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  17. Spooge

    Shall be filed under "don't care, doesn't matter."

    June 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  18. Joe13

    the dog is the only one of those commie scumbags that doesn't deserve to be shot

    June 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  19. AFC-Ajax21

    Nice PhotoShop job! I saw this same dog eating dinner with the Pope last week.

    June 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  20. aliki


    June 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  21. KBinMN

    Greek worker? Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?

    June 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  22. tp


    June 29, 2011 at 2:15 am | Reply
  23. Melodi Tovias

    I found your blog website on google and check a number of of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the excellent operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking for ahead to reading more from you later on!…

    November 17, 2011 at 8:05 am | Reply
  24. om

    I am Greek living in USA, went back during summer, I was in the riots, I saw Loukanikos. Students and rioters look after him.He is spayed fed , has all his shots and medications for flees and worms. He is a very sweet dog but tough .
    Not only Greeks but tourists also like him.

    January 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  25. Anonymous

    I can say that minkyu is so cool. Thanks for the helpful post.

    March 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  26. The Global Party 2013

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    August 13, 2012 at 6:29 am | Reply
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