DAY 176: ON ROUTE TO ANOTHER GALGO SHELTER I TAKE SOME UNUSUAL PHOTOS
Today I left for another dog shelter up in Seville and the journey was strange.
While Charlotte’s shelter is where my heart connection to these dogs shall lie, I need more faces to take pictures of. So I am going up to Seville – a three hour car journey to a shelter called Fundacion Benjamin Mehnert. They have over 400 galgos and a great reputation.
On the way up I stopped by a fast flowing river. I stood precaruouysly on some railings by the side of the motorway over the overflowling river and composed a shot.
I have a great idea for the fast-fermenting art book on galgos that I want to produce : I would like to intersperse pictures of the galgos with pictures of the empty Spanish landscape where they have been abandoned. The galgo’s broken story is also a story of broken spain – a country with dubious animal welfare practices and a nation on the verge of economic collapse.
I stood above the river, clicked , and then I stopped. Could this REALLY be a place where dog’s are abandoned? Am I not becoming too subjective. Don’t make crap up Martin! If I am going to tell a story about the landscape I have to be factual. No fantasy.
As I walked away questioning myself I looked down over the edge of the road and there in a bunch of reeds far beneath me I saw something that made me jump. A discarded dog lay dead and very wet from the recent downpour.
Why did I stop at this very river? Are there dead dogs by every river? Just a coincidence? Another version of me would have been far ahead in the car listening to Spanish pop music but this version of me had stopped.
It seems that if you look a little harder, if you peer round dark corners or look over edges or lift the veil you see stuff. And that stuff reminds you that there are cracks in the foundations of what we thought was a very solid reality.
A little while later – when I WAS listening to some very good (but very bad) spanish pop and immersed in some fantasy of Adalusian idyll – I drew up against a huge truck stuffed full of chickens. The rain and wind lashed against the open cages ripping some of the feathers off the crushed birds and buffeting their faces.
At least they should cover up the sides with a large advert showing us how sumptuous and juicy these chickens breasts will be in a nice burger.
I thought briefly of trying to stop the truck. And saying what? That I’d like to buy a chicken? That he should be nicer and drive slower? All in spanish/english sign language.
Soon, when I have delved into the world of wild animals I will try and confront the reality of farm animals. I can hardly wait.
TOMORROW: But the good news is that tomorrow I get to see my namesake, Martin, the podenco with his too tight belt, that miguel the rescuer managed to catch. I will report back. Apparently he is healing well.