There is no doubt that the hardest thing for me living here is being away from my lovely children, grandchildren and friends. After that the toughest thing is seeing the stray dogs. In Montoro at the the moment there are about three. They scavenge from bins and generally roam around the streets. Even if you won the lottery it would be difficult to help, as dogs here can, and often develope the dreaful leishmaniasis, eventually killing the dog however also infecting other dogs too. The only way of preventing the strays is a cheaper castration of the animals, rather than allowing them to breed every year and throwing out into the streets the puppies that are not wanted. Having said that, many families have dogs they love and care for very much, things are improving!
About 3 weeks ago we had a man working outside on our land, trimming the olive trees. Running around beside him was one of the funniest looking dogs I have ever seen. Legs and feet too long for him, and ears that looked like they simply didn't belong to him and had been stuck on for effect. He appeared to be having a lovely time, running up and down, driving Big Arthur mad and calmly watching the alpacas and chickens. Later that afternoon we heard the car start up and drive off down the track, but Arthur was periodically having a good old bark up. Alan went outside to see what the fuss was all about, and he came bark rather angry! "The man has gone, but the puppy is still outside... I don't bloody believe it!" Oh no! The last few nights had been very cold, and the unmovable car was still covered in ice at mid morning. Alan said we'll have to bring him in, I don't want him to die out there in the cold. So he brought him in and put him in Geri's big dog crate, in the barn. He wolfed down some food, had a little drink and wailed like a small child, bless his heart, and then eventually settled down for the night.
When in the past this sort of thing has happened, I cannot get involved. Even when we are feeding the other animals, I will walk round the long way so I don't have to see the little lost soul. I feel very sorry for Alan as I know he feels exactly the same as me! The following morning Alan checked on our little fella we named Saturday... just because it was. Alan cleaned out his crate, whilst he had a run around, and fed him again. Saturday didn't want to play, he only wanted cuddles! He would just try and climb up Alan, or sit on his lap. That afternoon Alan went looking for his owner.... Yeah right! The work man was back but denied any knowledge of owning the little fella, our only other hope was Rafael our neighbour who owns many dogs, we were so hoping he may have belonged to him, but sadly no!
That afternoon little Miliko was on his wall, guarding over the chickens, cats and boy alpacas and he started to bark loudly. We had no idea what was wrong, but if the boys are fighting he usually lets us know, then we can go and take them some hay or alfafa, but they were all calmly nibbling on the few starnds of grass coming up. We went to the upstairs apartment to get a better view, and we could just spot a tiny puppy at the bottom of our track!!!!! BUM!!!!!!!
Once again there was no way Alan wanted this little one to die in the cold outside our house, so he brought him in, and introduced Saturday to his new mate, Sunday! Alan had confided in me that he really was considering if there was a way we could have kept little Saturday, however when Sunday came along too we relised they would both have to go! We were still carless apart from a small polo we hired, unfortunatley Geri's giant crate would not fit in that, we would have to be patient. So for the next week, Alan, bless him cleaned out the crate the pups were in, fed them and gave them fresh water and let them run around and climb all over him, he then had to harden his heart and take them to the pound in Cordoba.
Alan has to lie when taking dogs there, and say he is from the city of Cordoba, as they will not take dogs from Montoro. At least being in the pound there is a chance they will be homed. Whilst Alan was there a family were adopting a dog. They also have a professional looking website with testimonials from people that have rescued dogs from there. In my heart I know they cannot keep all the dogs, we have to hope and pray our Saturday and Sunday are now with loving families. Believe me if money was no object we would rescue more, but it's not just food is it! There is vetirinary care, annual injections, scalibor collars! It's tough!