Mar 14th
    Lady, the dog that was too scared to be stroked.

    Lady, the dog that was too scared to be stroked. We can only guess what happened to her in her previous life.

    Linda, the wonderful woman who helps to look after Martin the Podenco, asked me to tell you about another dog called Lady who is in the same rescue centre as Martin

    Lady is about the most scared dog I’ve ever seen – she makes Martin the podenco look like a zen monk – she hides behind everything she can see, trees, people’s legs, she’d hide behind air if that damn stuff wasn’t so flimsy.

    But Linda assures me this dog has a good chance of recovery – if it can just find a new and patient home.

    To prove the point she showed me how to stroke the dog.


    How to stroke a scared dog.

    Lady was too petrified to even look at us let alone be touched by anyone other than the sanctuary owner. But by slowly approaching her, backwards, with eyes in front of her and in a crouching position (a sort of yoga/Russian dance move – bet Miguel has it down perfect) Linda showed me it was possible to make a connection.

    I did the same, groping out in space for a connection with the dog as if performing some hopeless move in an amateur ballet class. A few shuffles later and I was closer. A few shuffles more and my hand gently came to rest on the dog’s head. Her quivering reduced and for a moment I was able to soothe her.

    ...beep..beep....beep...the awkward reverse

    …beep..beep….beep…the awkward reverse. Dog is so confused she can’t possibly be scared

    Hmm...look at that plane in the sky.

    Hmm…look at that plane in the sky.

    ...and connect.

    …and connect. The woman on the left runs the sanctuary


    That felt special.


    Visceral fear

    I’ve come across this sort of visceral fear in animals so often in this year to help – dogs whining, horses bolting, birds fleeing – that I sometimes think I will become desensitized to the emotion. Its very easy to look at a quivering animal and simply say ‘there, there’ as if to a child scared of the dark. My only protection to this numbness is – thankfully – my own murderous anxiety that I’ve suffered from, on and off much of my life. And don’t forget, you too were once scared of the dark.

    Again and again I’m realizing that my greatest asset in this journey is my own weakness. The fear and uncertainty I have allows me to connect to that which I see in others. The assumption is that we need to be tougher to deal with this sort of neglect. I think we need to be softer.  That which is broken in us allows us to touch that which is broken in others.

    If you or anyone you know wants to know more about this very gorgeous but very hurt dog – or maybe even adopt it – please send a message below 

    Thank you again

    we can only guess what happened to this dog in her previous life.


    TOMORROW: my visit to Fundacion Benjamin Mehnert, the ultra-rescue shelter for Galgos on the outskirts of Seville. More pictures to come

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    7 Responses to “DAY 178: I STROKE A GORGEOUS LADY”

    1. Lovely pictures of you and that scared dog. Patience is the word.
      Looking forward to seeing your post for the Fundacion Benjamin Mehnert tomorrow. I fear it won’t be all smiles though…
      Martin, you rock! Bless you!

    2. Dear Martin – you deserve a ((( BIG HUG )) my friend!! I am so proud of what you are attempting to accomplish with these precious souls…..my heart breaks for each and every one of them. I advocate daily for animal welfare and reform, from my corner of the world here in British Columbia, Canada……

    3. What a beautiful dog. I hope she finds healing and happiness very soon.

      I’ve been trying to read a d translate the stuff you’ve been writing about Miguel TO Miguel, but FBM has been crazy. I think he’s be flattered and amused 🙂

    4. Can I just say, firstly, Martin, what you are doing is AMAZING. I am slowly but surely getting through your posts, from Day 1. You have come SO far. Thank you from all those souls you are saving.
      Secondly, Lady, you are the most beautiful girl. So gorgeous, and look quite similar to my dog. Thank you for taking the time to give her that little bit of love. You are a truly beautiful person, Martin. Thank you.
      Keep up this amazing work, and lots of love and hugs to you.
      Take care,

    5. thank you Norris, very kind of you! Keep reading. What is coming up is fairly surprising

    6. thank you for posting Lady’s story..there is someone out there for her…a beauty she is!

    7. You, this — all amazing Martin!!!!

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