Trans-Iberian

Trans-Iberian

Covering everything from the major news of the week and burning social issues, to expat living and la vida local, EL PAÍS’ team of English-language bloggers offers its opinions, observations and analysis on Spain and beyond.

One dog and six puppies: be careful what you wish for

Por: | 14 de noviembre de 2014

Once upon a time there was an English woman living in Seville who dreamed of having a dog. But every where she looked she saw grey concrete, areas of dust passing themselves off as parks, and the sad sight of dogs crouching embarrassedly as they do their business on narrow pavements. And so the aforementioned English woman, sensibly decided not to have a dog or puppy, after all, dogs are meant for running through green pastures, bottoms in air and noses to the ground as they follow the scent of a rabbit or some such wild creature of the region.

Sometimes though she played at owning a dog, looking after a furry friend for a weekend while its owner was away, or taking others for walks when their owner couldn’t. But this just further acted to cement her position, until one fateful day when on just such an occasion of walking an incapacitated friend’s dogs, she came across a terrified, disorientated stray bitch, wandering lost on one of the main thoroughfares circumnavigating the city centre. What to do? Turn a blind eye and walk on? Or pick the little thing up, tuck her under her arm and save her from getting squished by the passing traffic.

Sun006

You may have gathered by now that I am that woman. And as I’m writing this piece, it’s not difficult to figure out the decision I made. What you won’t guess however is how I went from picking up one little dog from the streets of Seville, who is incidentally called Sunday, to now having 7 of them in my two bedroom flat. You see, dear sweet Sunday, little more than a puppy herself at just one year old, was about month pregnant, and after much soul searching and attempts to track down any owners, I decided to bite the bullet, give Sunday a roof over her head, and somewhere warm and safe to have her puppies.

Puppies
Dog abandonment is a serious animal welfare issue in Spain. The social networks are rammed with animal shelters trying to find homes for every variety of canine who has found itself homeless and more often than not badly treated and neglected. Even those that are lucky enough to belong to a loving home, experience a very un-Anglo Saxon style of animal welfare, where leads are frowned on and running wild in public spaces and on the city’s streets is de rigueur. This laissez-faire style of dog discipline comes at a price, one being a greater likelihood to find yourself squishing a freshly laid dog poo as the owner is no where to be seen, or more seriously can lead to extra incidences of unwanted pregnancies as dogs are left to ´socialise´ with each other without any supervision from their owners.

Sun001

At just over a month since finding Sunday, my life has been transformed. No more lie-ins until 10am, if I want to find my flat puddle free, it’s a matter of pulling on my tracksuit bottoms, throwing on a coat and stuffing my pockets full of plastic bags with a view to pounding those cobbled streets until she’s done what she needs to do and I scrape up any left over evidence. You see dog walking has become a rather functional activity, I couldn’t understand it in the past when I saw uninterested looking owners wandering the streets without a particular destination. But now I get it, in darkness at 7am in the morning or indeed last thing at night, the last thing on your mind is a nice stroll, it’s more a matter of ´let’s get this over and done with´ so I can get on with my day or go to bed.

But it’s not all doggie doom. Thanks to Sunday, I’m now part of a whole community I didn’t know existed. For one I’m now ´intimate amiga´ with all the doggie walking fraternity, from the widowed grandmother who lives for her Yorkshire terrier to the working class couple from the corner shop who regale me stories of their bull mastiffs. And when you throw taking in an abandoned pregnant dog into the equation, I’m practically a local celebrity. And that’s without even mentioning the joy that this precious little creature has brought to my life, from her total adaption to co-habiting with me, the ubiquitous rousing welcomes whenever I’ve been away from home, even if it’s just for ten minutes, to the privileged front row seat to the birth of her six puppies with all the accompanying miracles of nature. I wouldn’t change a thing.

2014-11-12 00.32.45
But the fact of the matter is that I am an English woman, living in a two bedroom flat in Seville with a dog named Sunday and six week old puppies, all of whom need re-homing before Christmas.

So this blog post is a personal plea, please spread the word of my quest, it’s a tough one, but not impossible. Join my group, share it with friends, and help me find these little cuties loving homes.

  2014-11-12 00.41.35
If you´re interested and want more information about the puppies, check out the group on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/661742927275811/

 

 

 

Hay 1 Comentarios

This blog brought back so many memories. When I was still living in Cape Town, South Africa, my son brought home a flea-bitten and very hungry little dog from a visit to a nearby town (Fish Hoek). We kept her, and she turned out to be pregnant with six pups (all male!). I kept two and they were the best little family I could ever have had. Rambo, one of the pups, passed away last year at the age of 17.

I will share your story on Facebook where I have several friends involved in finding homes for dogs. :)

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Authors (Bloggers)

Chris Finnigan is a freelance journalist based in Barcelona. He writes for Barcelona Metropolitan and is a book reviewer and reader for The Barcelona Review. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics. You can find him on twitter @chrisjfinnigan

Ben Cardew is a freelance journalist, translator and teacher, now resident in Barcelona after growing up gracefully in Scotland via Norwich. He writes for The Guardian, the NME and The Quietus, among others, on everything from music to digital media. You can find him on Twitter @bencardew

Fiona Flores Watson is a freelance journalist, guide and translator who has lived in Seville since 2003, and has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years. She writes for the Guardian, Telegraph and Sunday Times Travel Magazine. Originally from Essex, Fiona is also Consulting Editor of Andalucia.com and has her own blog, Scribbler in Seville. She has been contributing to Trans-Iberian since 2014 and tweets at @Seville_Writer

Jeff Brodsky is a freelance writer. He arrived in Barcelona in 2013 via an admittedly indirect route, living in Chicago, Arizona, Seville, Amsterdam, North Carolina and Madrid. Despite not having stepped foot in Seville for over five years, he still speaks Spanish with an Andalusian accent. Jeff’s writing has been published in newspapers and magazines in America and Europe.

Koren Helbig is an Australian freelance journalist and blogger enjoying a life of near-eternal sunshine in Alicante. She writes for publications in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, focusing on stories exploring smart and positive approaches to social issues. She hangs out on Twitter at @KorenHelbig and keeps a selection of her favourite stories at korenhelbig.com.

Julie Pybus lives in a small off-grid house on a hillside in Catalunya. She usually focuses on helping charities and social enterprises with their publications and websites, but has also written for The Guardian, Country Living and The Observer. Julie launched and runs a hyperlocal website which endeavors to increase understanding between the different nationalities in her area perelloplus.com. @JuliePybus

Paul Louis Archer is a freelance photographer, multimedia storyteller and artist educator. A cross-disciplinary worker, who endeavors to encompass the mediums of photography, audio design and writing. Born in Hertfordshire of an English father and Spanish mother. Based in the United Kingdom. @PaulLouisArcher

Vicki McLeod is a freelance writer and photographer. She has lived in Mallorca since 2004. Vicki writes about her beloved island for The Majorca Daily Bulletin, the only daily English language paper in Spain; produces regular columns for the Euro Weekly News, and articles for Spain-Holiday.com. Vicki runs PR strategies for several businesses in Mallorca and London as well as working on her own blogs and projects. She and her husband, Oliver Neilson, supply photo and text content for private clients via @phoenixmediamlr. She tweets at @mcleod_vicki.

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne and based in Barcelona, Alx Phillips writes about contemporary art, dance and theatre in a way that human beings can understand. For more previews, reviews, interviews and extras, check: www.lookingfordrama.com.

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