Keeping a dog at the height of an Andalucían summer can be hard work – especially when the dog in question is a bit of a princess! The only way to cope is walking early morning and late evening. A swim is easy to find but a run on grass is a rare treat in this parched landscape. Day time is spent lazing in the coolest point in the house – in our case the gloomiest spot between the sitting room and the kitchen perfect for tripping me up on a regular basis! Our alley – reserved for night visits only thankfully – leads to a small triangle of land that drops sharply away into the valley
A brisk trot there, do your business, turn around and trot straight home – far too well used to linger.
Spanish working dogs have a short, harsh life by many sensibilities and there are dogs in the village who live their lives at the end of a chain but many are family members.
Gracie’s Spanish BFF lives a few doors down from Zorro’s with his owner Domingo and they exchange a delighted – if brief – exchange most days.
Stray and abandoned dogs are a big problem in the area. The village deli Bonissim donate the profits from every sale of local artist Stephanie Thompson’s beautiful greeting cards to PAD Gaucín, the local animal charity. PAD Gaucín pay to neuter strays or those belonging to the poorest homes. They also provide flea collars to any animal in need and support the work of the Rescue Centres along the coast by sharing almost daily Facebook posts featuring yet another abandoned animal looking for a home.
Holiday makers can inadvertently cause problems when they ‘adopt’ a litter of kittens who still need to be fed and cared for long after the family have gone home.
PAD Gaucín rely on the goodwill and kind donations of local people. They run regular fundraising events as well as an old-fashioned tombola at the Christmas Fair. The music picnic in a nearby Finca at the end of September was a great success and raised €1,035.
PAD Gaucín welcome offers of help, either through donations or with fostering. Contact PAD Gaucín if you would like to get involved.
All images © Pip Art