Well the rescue was left in the very capable hands of Marion Kitchener and Ricky Shields whilst I went over to Spain for the Podenco Rescue side of things for a few days, so I had to reduce the amount of dogs indoors for a few days…..Oooo the peace and quiet but as soon as I was back, it was back up to normal numbers again…yay !!
My Spanish Trip....
Grab a coffee and have a read about my whistlestop trip to Spain, landing in Alicante and the objective of the trip – simply to build on friendships with other podenco rescues and learn as much as possible about these fascinating and beautiful dogs….Landing on the Monday after an early flight, I was excited too meet Beverley Farmer who together with her partner, Warren runs Podenco Friends. After a chinwag over a coke, we set off and the rain started too fall…The Perrera closest to the airport closed at 1.30pm and we were unable too get there in time, so it was straight back to the Finca ( a lovely property in rural land) where I met all the rescues…OMG what can I say – 40 podencos in small packs housed outside and having an absolute ball living at the Finca…and then indoors another 12, my kinda heaven !!! It is an endless task ,looking after that amount of dogs and the care and love given to each one was amazing too watch. Very happy dogs and I am kicking myself that I took no photos before the heavens opened up. To watch these graceful creatures running together and playing is something I could do all day…I then of course got to meet my new girl Syrah, who will be coming over at the end of next month to join my pack. She is stunning and I am in LURVVVEEEE !!! The hours flew by and before I knew it, it was time for bed, with Warren still tinkering outside with the poddies ensuring they were all snug as bugs before lights out.
Tuesday morning was a trip to the wonderful vets they use with 3 of the dogs for routine blood tests etc. I travelled in the back with Willow who was extremely nervous and did some Tellington Ttouch which helped her calm down. The set up at Eduardos Pets is super and I met Bruno and Ed and the rest of the practice which was lovely to see the faces behind the dog’s passports that I receive. I also popped into say hello to the gorgeous Lleo, a LPA dog that had just undergone an amputation and was recovering well. Big kiss given to this handsome boy.Tics in Spain are a huge problem for these dogs and can give the disease Ehrilchiosis…I have only ever come across a couple of tics in England but was fascinated too see how HUGE these were over here. Had much fun removing some , pesky horrible creatures !!! The time had come to say good bye to all the poddies and of course my hosts Bev and Warren. I felt very welcome and loved my short time there. Two very special people devoted to helping the pods, a friendship cemented and a desire too help Podenco Friends from the UK as much as I can… xx
Next trip to the Little Pod Associations shops to meet up with Marie and Angela Stacey. I was really impressed with both shops and they were stocked with some lovely goodies, so please if you are ever in the area of La Zenia, ensure you stop off and have a browse and a buy of course !! At long last after many weeks of chatting on facebook I met Marie. I had missed by 10 mins a litter of kittens that were handed in to the shop requiring care. So first stop, kittens and the vets..After all being checked over by Ed, we set off to the finca to meet the LPA cats and of course the pods that are kept there. A very hardworking girlie called Eve is the resident cat lady who spends all day looking after the 60 plus cats and kittens in the rescues care. LPA have recently built 4 lovely kennels to house some of their dogs and reduce their boarding bill. I was really impressed with the kennels and it is clear that the dogs are all very loved and well looked after. It was another trip up to the vets with a nervous boy Blake, for his routine tests and passport, We had just enough time to check on the feral cat program that LPA runs and see if anything was a miss…Then it was back to the Finca , walks with the dogs, plenty of cuddles and then a lovely fish and chip supper before LPA had very kindly sorted out an apartment for me to use for a couple of days. So straight back to the lovely place and I didn’t even manage to finish my glass of vino before I had conked out…..
Wednesday morning, the rain was here again and we had a full packed day to get through. First stop was to visit Janette and her kennels she runs (along with a rescue called Finca la Castellana) where LPA board the kennels. A lovely big finca where the dogs have plenty of space to run when out of their kennels. Janette and her staff obviously work hard and it was lovely to chat to some of the staff, all so friendly and welcoming. After making a huge fuss of all the LPA dogs and spending some time with them, I was drawn to the latest arrival, a very timid girlie, who was so nervous she wet herself with any human contact. I spent some time with her again, yes, you guessed it, doing some TTouch, I am sure with the right input she will come on a treat. Next stop at the Centro Proteccion Animal , and having spoken to some of the English volunteers it is obvious they are always requiring extra help. This is where LPRs Rupert came from !! They have a vast amount of kennels and 2 or 3 dogs in each one, by the time they have cleaned one kennel out , the first kennel is dirty again and keeping on top of everything must be a constant struggle. I was pleased to see that all the dogs looked healthy but of course it was heartbreaking to know that many will stay for months in these type of set ups as rehoming in Spain is so sparse. THEN we saw two poddie girlies, OMG both beauts, of course there was no way Marie and I were going to leave these girls here. We were told they were not reserved but there was no vet on site to release them so we needed to come back in the morning. OOOOO so excited and we had agreed that LPR would take the tan one and LPA the other…Time was ticking on and again , it had flown by, so a well deserved night off where yet again, I failed to finish the glass of vino before I was snoring again !!!
Thursday and my last morning in Spain…Angela came to pick me up and off to the Perrera Municipal which is the equalivent of a council pound over here. I was pleasantly suprised, the sun was shining and the set up looked quite bearable with not many dogs in at all and no podencos. Then a quick change over of drivers and I was back with Marie enroute to the airport but stopping off to collect our poddies…Pods out of kennels, check, pods new collars and leads on , check, pods given a trillion kisses by me, check, pods photographed enroute to reception, check, pods booked to be released…NOT CHECKED….It transpired that both pods that have been waiting since last year for homes had both been reserved by another organisation and were going to Germany….Oooo the disappointment !! lol, but they are safe and that is the main thing….
So off to the airport and back to the real world it was…My short stay was amazing to spend with genuine, lovely , pod crazy, generous people, Bev, Warren, Marie and Angela, four real life heros that go that extra mile and have just enormous hearts…Priveleged to spend time with them all and feel that I have a grip slightly on what goes on out in Spain. My next LPR project will be to take up Bev’s offer on going on a real life mission of rescue at the front line of it all when there is a large amount of pods that need saving and are in the most deplorable conditions. I never got time to visit a real bad perrera but they exist and we should never forget that….I also witnessed the cruelty that they dish out to the pods with Bev having two in with huge scars down their backs, where the hunters slice them up to paralyse them so that they cannot return to the hunter when dumped. . These beautiful forgotten angels of Spain need our help and I hope after reading this, you are inspired to help where you can to enable rescues like the ones mentioned , carry on their brillant work and make a huge difference ….xx
Heres just a snapshot of some photos , the rest can be found under the album on facebook…..
The lovely Fossa came from Spain being given the opportunity for a new life after the shelter closed and there was a desperate plea for help rehoming the dogs .