Saturday, 19 July 2014

Portugal Pooches

My addiction is alive and well!

I have just come back from a week in Portugal.  I find the people lovely to deal with and needless to say the weather was a blessed relief although we certainly can't complain about the weather this year( for us northerners anyway).  However I really struggled.

Where were all the animals?

I looked high and low, in alleyways, down on the beach, ok I even admit to peeking in houses!  Poor Mr Gumps even joined in the where are the animals game, shouting a little too loudly every time he saw a horse.  Most of the horses we saw belonged to the Gypsy's of the area, tethered often in the sun with no water or shade, non looked terribly poor or distressed however.

The dogs that I did spot/ stalk were mostly long backed short little village dogs with bags of personality and a very clear plan of what they were doing and where they were going.  I particularly liked the little black low slung dog with a blue harness and attached to a delightful looking older gentleman who clearly had worked out who walked who on the jaunts together.  If he ever forgot how it worked the little dog( big attitude low slung) simply planted until the gentleman remembered with a sigh.  I couldn't help notice the little conversation between them one of resigned companionship mixed with a little exasperation and of course delight.  They looked a little out of place in the busy area of the Strip in Albuferia!

Another regular was a plump flop eared german shepherd type with a rather unkempt eccentric man who walked like he was late.....He did flummox me when he turned up with two matching plump flop eared germans shepherd types only to go round the corner and come back with only one....

My favourite one of all was a fabulous small podengo lookalike prick eared little person sandy coloured and like all I had seen so far entire...he had very important business to see too and didn't even give me a backward glance despite rehoming him in my mind and seeing how he would look trotting on the back of a horse haha.

The one that will stand out in my mind the most, mainly for the reaction it created was the Italian Greyhound.  Or rather my reaction to the Italian Greyhound.   A lovely slate grey held lovingly in her owners hands she looked woeful as only sighthounds can....made worse by the fact she sported a rather dramatic looking bandage over her broken leg, an all too frequent occurrence in IG's.  Her collar merely enhanced her air of importance and she looked aghast when I approached her.  Well maybe approached her wasn't really how it was.

We, Mr Gumps and I, were sitting comfortably in the shade after enjoying an indulgent tea when Mr Gumps piped'll need to move your chair back if you want to see that tiny whippet.... I jumped up and ran.  Well my rapid disappearance caused what I can only presume was a void as I apparently stopped time....whilst I was saying a delicate hello to this special shimmering beastie everyone in the area and restaurant seemed frozen, mouths agape, forks help poised in the air until I sat back down with Mr Gumps bemused grin showing he had truly gotten used to my randomness.  It was then that I had noticed everyone eyeballing me, their frozen stance soon turning into embarrassed glances and slowly normality returned to the dining area.

A more sedate encounter wasn't really an encounter at all I merely watched from afar envious of their gay giddiness.  Three dock dogs down in the harbour played chase around the upturned boats and soon one triumphant winner outfoxed the other two by hiding under a cover only to scare the living daylights out of his persuer ( I gave up after the fourth try of working out how to spell pursuer hehe).

Did I mention the rare flattop eared cats?

I was delighted to see the cats around the area had been spayed and neutered by someone in the area and most looked happy healthy and full of important cat business.  I often wonder how many people know that feral cats are often rounded up and once spayed they have the top of their left ears ( or is it their right urm) lopped off to signify they have been neutered and often chipped.  Just like my own Button feral barn cat.  Whilst I felt particularly wicked doing it if and when she moves on she won't be subjected to capture and put under anaesthetic just to check if she has been spayed.  I often wonder why white cats are so prevalent in hot countries whilst the obvious reflecting the sunlight theory must be true they are most affected by the affects of the sun namely cancer and I saw one white cat who had lost both ear flaps, one eye and part of his neck to cancer and though not thin you could see he wasn't for this world for too much longer.  That said as I get older I often think of weather a short hard life is more fulfilling for many of the animals out there rather than the so called pampered life our live( the streets are a terribly hard place for most feral animals namely because of peoples attitudes and behaviour toward them).

One thing about going away is coming back to the guys and gals at home and never have I needed to be reminded how much I love my guys however there is something incredibly special about coming home and having two Pods nigh on combusting with excitement and a cat whirling like a spinning top.  Oh and two horses nickering impatiently for you to move the sodding fence cos they are starving!

Oh and I didn't go to the Bullfight EVEN though they don't kill the Bull!  ( all the posters around the area noted ' And we do not kill the Bull!  nope you just torment the living daylights out of him...).

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