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Riot Dog is a nickname given to both Kanellos (“Cinnamon” in Greek) and Loukaniko (“Sausage” in Greek), two stray dogs from Athens that became famous for their nearly ubiquitous presence during every major protest in Greece since 2008. Although Kanellos passed away in 2008 of unknown causes, Loukaniko continues to be seen at protests as of October 10th, 2011.
The earliest known footage of Kanellos was captured by a TV news crew during a student riot outside Technical University of Athens in February of 2007. In the clip, the dog can be seen keeping company alongside a militant protester with a molotov cocktail in his hand:
2008 Greek Riots
Kanellos’ widespread recognition did not arrive until the 2008 Greek riots, a violent month-long student protest that rocked the capital city in December of 2008 after a 15 year old boy was fatally shot down by a Greek policeman on patrol. After becoming noticed by Greek photographers who were covering the riot scenes on site, the canine’s ever-loyal attendance in the protests gained him international attention from major press outlets including the Telegraph and The Daily Mail.
The dog has been featured on several blogs including BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, The New York Post, The Guardian and This Blog Rules. A single topic Tumblr dedicated to the riot dog was created on April 22nd, 2010. The Twitter account @rebeldog_ath has 2,019 followers, and a Facebook fan page has 62,138 likes as of October 10th, 2011.
Death of Kanellos
According to a Rebel Dog Tumblr post, Kanellos’ developed arthritis in later years which motivated a local college student to donate money to purchase him a “doggy” wheel chair and allowed him to live indoors to live until he passed away.
October 2011 Protests
On October 6th, 2011, Keep Talking Greece posted an article with a photo of Greek riot police kicking Loukanikos during a clash between protesters in Athens on October 5th, 2011.
After the ugly scenes of riot police beating civilians and photo-reporters and throwing tear-gas at the Metro entrance during the Wednesday protests in Athens, a picture this morning adds the icing on the top of police violence. A riot policeman kicks even a harmless animal … the world famous riot dog Loukanikos!
According to exclussive information of KTG, Loukanikos survived the kick without any visible or invisible damage, he is fine and enjoyed his breakfast this morning.
‘Kanellos’ and ‘Riot Dog’ have had moderate notability until 2010 when search queries reached their first major spike.
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