• DAY 163: TRYING TO CATCH A LOST GALGO (part 2)

    Feb 24th
    The Galgo slinks away...but this time its closer..

    The Galgo slinks away…but this time its closer..

    How do you rescue an abandoned Galgo?

    How do you catch a dog that likes to catch things that run really fast – like rabbits? When I was twelve I won my school 1500m race  but since then I’ve eaten a load of food. I also have squeaky knees.

    Sorry for the delay, I’ve been busy tracking print orders and have sent Charlotte more than 1300 Euro that YOU GUYS have sent me for prints and donations. Dogs are being saved because of you. Yippeee! Thank you!

    Right, where were we?

    Last time we spoke I found myself on the railway tracks of a small town not far from Seville looking for abandoned Galgos with a number of Spanish woman (and an interpreter) who help hunting dogs in the area.I wanted to see if I could actually catch one of these poor dogs.

    Then this chap appeared.

    lost

    lost

    Olga, one of the women I was with, explained that abandoned dogs are often hit by trains (as well as cars) and some Galgueros, the hunters, take their dogs to the tracks to kill them when the season is over or if they perform badly. As I walked up to this dog fearing a train might be approaching I heard a call from one side and there in the distance was a man with a number of other Galgos. The dog ran to him.I was disappointed.

    A man with a number of Galgos - a 'Galgueros' or hunter, presumably - but was he necessarily bad?

    A ‘Galguero’ , or hunter, with a number of Galgos.  But was he necessarily like the others hunters?

     

    Was this a Galguero? Probably. I wanted to go over and hit him. But I had try not to judge. The dogs he had seemed healthy. Are all Galgueros as awful as we assume?

     

    More bloody hammers

    Aurora, another one of the women, explained that some hunters look after their dogs well enough. But she also said she had been taunted by a fair few that clearly didn’t.  One hunter, irritated by her soft sentiment to these creatures,  had boasted to her that he killed his dogs with hammers. Perhaps he was riling her but it reminded me of the video I posted not long ago of that poor cow.

    Then, out of nowhere, another man appeared and told us he’d seen a Galgo that had been hit by a train. It wasn’t clear if  the dog had died accidentally or had been deliberately killed but I didn’t believe him either way. I figured he was taunting us too.

    the darkened patch on the train tracks just on the other side of his right foot

    the darkened patch on the train tracks just on the other side of his right foot

    He pointed to a dark patch on the tracks. And then the warning sign to say a train was approaching. I quickly went to wear he had been standing and then looked over the side of the tracks down into a mud bank. There, barely visible, in pool of brown water, lay the body of a mother Galga. Her belly was swollen, pregnant. Part of me felt relieved that these babies would not be born into this cycle of suffering, part of disgusted.

    I ran back over the tracks before the train came to hit me too.

     

    The water stops at the dog and turns to mud

    The water stops at the dog and turns to mud

    An opportunity

    Then our best chance: on an industrial waste dump amid rubble and rubbish a black Galgo was being trailed by a little brown Podenco.

    Big dog, small dog: the little brown Podenco followed the bigger Galgo everywhere.

    Big dog, small dog: the little brown Podenco followed the bigger Galgo everywhere.

    We approached with food and so much love we could have powered a hot air balloon. We got close, achingly so, but we just couldn’t touch them.

     

    For an hour we trailed them.

    The little Podenco had a limp, but it didn’t look bad. I took a photo of it. Wherever the big Galgo went he followed as if clinging desperately to his big brother.

    As more time passed the women said they had to go home or go to work. They had taken the morning off to be with me and I was grateful if disappointed. I said my goodbyes and reluctantly agreed to drive back to Charlotte empty handed. Then I looked at my photo of the podenco one more time.

    WAIT…WHAT WAS THAT?

    The lost Podenco

    The lost Podenco

    There was something on its waist. I zoomed in to the image and saw ….

    I called the others back. Either the hunter had tied on some sort of string and not bothered to take it off or the dog had got caught accidentally.  Either way it was cutting to its flesh and that cut into mine.

     

    ouch...some sort of string was cutting into the flesh

    ouch…some sort of string was cutting into the flesh

    And then that familiar feeling I have now felt so many times on this journey…  I can’t…. I can’t actually….bear this. 

    ‘What is going to happen to this dog?’ I asked

    ‘It may starve..or get hit by cars’ was the simple answer.

    ‘It’s running around with …. a string cutting into its body’

    No one disagreed with the obvious.

    I talked to the others and explained we HAD to catch this dog. I would stay here. I could meet them after work. They agreed. They would come back towards the end of the day as it got dark and we would try again. Maybe they would bring a net, more food. We had to catch this little dog…and his older brother.

     

    It’s a strange thing…trying to help a dog that needs help. Why is it so hard? You want to help, the dogs wants to be helped. But it runs from you not because it doesn’t want to be cared for but because it doesn’t trust us anymore. The effort you make to catch is in some sense the effort to persaude the dog that we are not ALL bad. And that is indeed a big effort when so much destruction has been caused.

    And then….

    ….sorry….there’s part 3 to come…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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    3 Responses to “DAY 163: TRYING TO CATCH A LOST GALGO (part 2)”

    1. Hi Martin
      Thanks for yr message . Are you near conil de la frontera? My friend has a flat there its s of seville and when we went I saw an abandoned galgo in a village that was the split of my galgo. I ended up chasing him til I realised there was no chance. I saw lots more after that and went to the police station and asked what they do about abandoned dogs. I might have been talking to a wall. The flat is available whenever we want to go but I can’t bear to go knowing what I will see. But if I could go and help out at a centre I would go back. Perhaps you could tell me where Charlotte is? Is she part of scooby? I even called greyhounds in need from Spain to ask them what to do and they said their kennels in Spain that they know of were all full and that was that. Unbearable scene on yr vid of those 2 dogs sticking together. Yr posts make my heart bleed
      Dillian

    2. Hi Dillian

      I’m actually thinking of going near Seville so thank you for your kind offer. However I don’t think it seems any nearer than Malaga is. I’m looking to do some more photos at another rescue centre.

      Shall I ask Charl if she coudl do with some extra hands?

      The only problem is I don’t think you can stay with her but otherwise it might be great to help.

      let me know

      thanks for reading

      Maritn

    3. Keeping all my fingers crossed for a happy ending in Part 3. Well Part 4 or even Part 5 if it needs to be…. (Which i hope not that it takes that long.)
      All the best to you all! Great work of you!

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