• DAY 176: ON ROUTE TO ANOTHER GALGO SHELTER I TAKE SOME UNUSUAL PHOTOS

    Mar 11th
    The river that I felt compelled to stop at by the motorway going to Seville. What I found there shocked me

    The river that I felt compelled to stop at by the motorway going to Seville. What I found there shocked me

    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 want to make a series that juxtoposes the vulnerable rescued galgo with the locations in Spain where they are killed or abandoned - the no man's lands by rivers, roads, forests and plains.

    I want to make a series that juxtoposes the vulnerable rescued galgo with the locations in Spain where they are killed or abandoned – the empty no-man’s lands at the sides of rivers, roads, forests and plains. 

    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.

     

    A dead dog discarded by the motorway. Not a galgo - but we can't be too picky with our compassion can we?

    A dead dog discarded by the motorway. Not a galgo – but we can’t be too picky with our compassion can we?

    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.

     

    Chicken mash

    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.

    En route to Seville I saw this truck in the rain

    En route to Seville I saw this truck in the rain

    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.

    No?

    MartinUsborne_galgoroad_05

    chicken wing anyone? I’m sure one will come off soon..

    MartinUsborne_galgoroad_06

    You too can win a luxurious trip to Spain in our first class air conditioned bus! Just sign up with Thompsons.

     

    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.



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    5 Responses to “DAY 176: ON ROUTE TO ANOTHER GALGO SHELTER I TAKE SOME UNUSUAL PHOTOS”

    1. Hi Martin,

      I love the idea of this book, I think the eye catching landscapes combined with beauty of the galgo’s beauty will be wonderful in demonstrating the darker goings on hidden beneath the surface in Spain.

      So glad that you got something into the mailonline in the end! Well done.

      Katy

    2. Arrgh! I’ve caught up with you! What will I do without another installment??? I can’t wait. I will have to control my urges and not look for a couple of days, then I’ll be able to look forward to a real treat. I think you’re doing a great job. Please tell Charl that I have been in touch through this and that I think you are both so inspiring. She has helped to organise a home check so we are getting our first galga soon. Please send her my love. I think a book of photos is great (they are stunning images) but I also think you should publish this blog elsewhere. It’s compulsive reading!
      Sally

    3. Very distressing chicken pictures but not surprising 🙂

    4. Great idea about the book, Martin! Love the first photo as a cover. Please include the podencos! Thanks, Erika

    5. thanks for all your comments. Option no.1 seems to be the winner then…

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