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Spanish Street Dogs; the other Waifs and Strays.

Spanish Street Dogs; the other Waifs and Strays is about the many and varied dogs that we find around our village. Many are abandonados, some are just plain lost, all are real characters, mostly streetwise but occasionally foolhardy.
These are some of the stories...

Waifs and Strays... Places I have not been and some that I have.
31 October 2011

Thought i'd give a rest to the tugging at heart-strings posts and lighten things a little with this...

Some places I have not been and some that I have…

 I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots.  Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family & miscellaneous dogs.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, & I’m not too much on physical activity anymore; tending to the hourly needs of the pack is exercise enough!

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, & I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older.

One of my favourite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!



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Waifs and Strays... Photo; if you cant adopt, foster...
28 October 2011

 



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Waifs and Strays; Prayer for the Abandonados
26 October 2011

Prayer of a Stray

Dear God please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair
My body is aching, it's so racked with pain
And dear God I pray as I run in the rain

That someone will love me and give me a home
A warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone
My last owner tied me all day in the yard
Sometimes with no water and God that was hard!

So I chewed my leash God; and I ran away
To rummage in garbage; and live as a stray
But now God I'm tired; and hungry and cold
And I'm Oh so afraid; that I'll never grow old.

They've chased me with sticks; hit me with stones
While I run the streets; just looking for bones
I'm not really bad God; please help if you can
For I have become just another; "victim of man!"

I'm wormy dear God; and I'm ridden with fleas
and all that I ever wanted; was an owner to please
If you find one for me God; I'll try to be good
I won't chew their shoes; and I'll do as I should

I'll love them; protect them; and try to obey
When they tell me to sit; to lie down or to stay!
I don't think I'll make it; too long on my own
Cause I'm getting so weak; and I'm Oh so alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry
Cause I'm so afraid God; that I'm gonna die
I've got so much love; and devotion to give
That I should be given; a new chance to live.

So dear God please; oh please; answer my prayer
and send me to somebody; who will really care
That is dear God; if You're really there!

John Quealy



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Waifs and Strays... Dear dogs and cats...
24 October 2011

Just found this...

Dear Dogs and Cats,

When I say to move, it means go someplace else, not switch positions with each other so there are still two of you in the way.

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate of food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by Bernie Ecclestone and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king size bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue to sleep on the couch to ensure your comfort. Look at videos of dogs and cats sleeping. They can actually curl up in a ball. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space used is nothing but sarcasm.

My compact discs are not miniature Frisbees.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. In addition, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dogs or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough. It would be such a simple change for you.

To pacify you, I have posted the following message on our front door.....
Rules for Non-pet owners who visit and like to complain about our companion animals:

1. They live here. You don't.

2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.

3. I like my companion animal better than I like most people.

4. To you it's an animal. To me he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

5. Dogs and cats are better than kids. They eat less, don't ask for money all the time, and are easier to train. They usually come when called, never drive your car, don't hang out with drug-using friends, don't drink or smoke, don't worry about buying the latest fashions, don't wear your clothes, don't need a gazillion euros for college, and don't make promises they can't keep.

 



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Waifs and Strays... It's a dogs life...
24 October 2011

The foul deed is done…

 Poor Fred… driven mad by five females including Sophie in a very ‘hot-to-trot’ season, he was getting overly aggressive with the other males in the pack and on one occasion with me. Fuelled by testosterone the fights between the males were getting out of hand as I suspected they would. But Fred just didn’t know when to stop or back down which left me no alternative but to take him down to the vet to be neutered and on Friday I made arrangements for him to be seen on Monday morning.

Strangely though, he must have known that something bad was about to happen because on Sunday evening, he climbed up onto my lap, something which for him is very unusual. Normally the only time he wants this is if he’s a bit under the weather, which he quite clearly wasn’t. All that evening he followed me around like a shadow.

So it was that on Monday morning I loaded him into the car for the 25 minute drive down to Santa Fe to the surgery. I had to lift him into the car because he certainly wasn’t about to volunteer. I had some other things to do in Granada so I arranged to pick him up at 5pm.

I was at the surgery promptly at 5pm and the vet showed me into one of the consulting rooms and then went off to the holding cages that they use for recoveries. He brought a still groggy Fred through to the consulting room… Fred was not a happy chap! He totally ignored me, just didn’t want to know and who could blame him. After I paid the bill I took Fred outside and he perked up a little then found a convenient tree and proceeded to water it. He must have been storing it up all day, because having watered the tree, he moved on to a lamp-post, then a bollard and finally one of the tyres of a parked car. I had to help him into the car, this time because he was obviously feeling a bit sore. It has to be said that I’m not sure that I’d be even able to walk after what he went through; the very thought of it makes me cringe…

 So now a week later, he seems to have forgotten all about the experience. His favourite place in the house is on my lap, it’s noticeable that he has calmed down a lot. Ironically Sophie finished her season on Monday so whether Fred has indeed turned over a new leaf after his op or whether its due to the absence of bitch-in-heat pheromones remains to be seen.

 Harmony has returned after two weeks or so of bedlam; I still get frustrated with them of course when they appear to be ganging up together for a ‘lets wind Dad up’ session. They know me so well that they are the experts at that game…

Sat / Sun / Mon Raining and just 13C (It's actually warmer in Pompey than here...)

What a change in the weather, cold and wet, could almost be England... The dogs hate getting wet so taking them for 'walkies' becomes a trial for both them and me. time to think about casting off the summerweight duvet and digging out the arctic version,

Anyway, couple of pics... one relevant to the weather and the other more relevant to the overall blog...

 

 

See you later...



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Waifs and Strays: Addition to the last post...
15 October 2011

Found this on Facebook whilst trying to sort out the copyright on the picture. It make use of the same photograph and uses it in a different context; a context I raised in the last post about street dogs having puppies and them going on to have puppies of their own.

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=124573167594268

Read it and weep...

fb



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Waifs and Strays...Sobering Thought...
13 October 2011

Needs no translation...

Just a shame that Spanish vets are so reluctant to spay before a first season.

UK and USA vets all advocate spaying of non-breeding bitches at six months.

So puppies and kittens born from a street dog or cat that survive the first six months and then remain on the streets are free to breed as nature intended and believe me, they can and do... the mating urge is just too strong to ignore. So despite the best efforts of all the rescue organisations this is a problem that isn't going to go away.

What is needed is a nationwide capture, spay, hold and release programme,  the education of dog and cat owners that it is NOT alright to let their animals roam the streets 24/7,  and that it is NOT alright for hunters to cast off their no longer wanted dogs or worse still maim or neglect them to such an extent that they die in agony.

I realise that this spay and release suggestion will not sit well with animal rescue organisations, BUT... most genuine street dogs seem to manage quite well, especially the females. They are smart, streetwise and for the most part know where they can get food and shelter. It's only when they become pregnant and have pups that life becomes a problem for them. These animals are and should be the prime consideration of the rescue organisations along with those deliberately abandoned by heartless owners or those injured either by accident or by human design.

As for funding the Spay and Release programme...Stop throwing money at 'pie in the sky' suggestions by some politician (or his brother / sister) or corrupt associated company and do something meaningful instead. Close the perreras which are nothing more than state sponsored killing stations. Channel funding to the animal charities without placing ludicrous conditions and demands upon them. Shut down shops like 'Hobbyzoo' in hypermarkets which give legitimacy and credance to puppy farms and unscrupulous breeders. Apply a substantial licence fee to legitimate breeders... and here's a controversial idea...quit building new and completely unnecessary airports that may or may not open for business, that may or may not attract airlines and that may or may not attract passengers,  Ciudad Real, Castellon, and dare I say it, Corvera come to mind... hell the authorities were even talking about opening an airport at Antequera despite the fact that Granada Airport lies just 50 miles east, Malaga Airport 50 miles South and Seville 100 miles west...) Do something thats actually useful with the money.

A subscriber to EOS recently offered 'free to a good home' a 10 month old alsation puppy; seems the guy has been made redundant and cannot support the animal. He paid £650 for a dog without pedigree papers;I dont want to appear judgemental but the question has to be asked... WHY? For Gods Sake the animal deserves better than that...if ever there was a case that screamed out  DONT BUY... ADOPT then this is it.  Some unscrupulous breeder  rubbed his hands all the way to the bank. Lets face it, work of any nature for an expat in Spain is likely to be terminated at a moments notice. I have only my pension to work with but I support the day to day needs of 9 dogs...

Edited to add...

Millions of forgotten animals are sure to die,
Because too many people would rather buy.
Despondent and lonely they patiently wait;
Each day that passes may be too late.
Our pounds and shelters are filled to the brim
If not adopted soon the outcome is grim.

Our pet stores are filled with puppies and kittens
One look in their eyes and consumers are smitten.
Treated as crops they are shipped to and fro
From breeders to brokers to pet stores they go.
Their parents suffer untold misery and despair
Could it be because the public doesn't care?

Breeding animals suffer in small cages forever
Our "best friends" reduced to a business endeavour.
Living conditions never meet basic needs,
Prisoners of an industry driven by greed.
Avoid the pet store and "impulse buy"
Adopt instead, so homeless animals won't die.

OK,  the spaying of Suzy and Mum was paid for by The LittlePod Foundation to whom I shall be ever grateful..but I did say day to day needs and spaying doesn't really qualify as a day to day expense..

Which brings up the subject of my experiences as a direct result of this reluctance to spay.

Two weeks ago I spoke to my vet about the possibility of having Sophie spayed; her moods were changing, she was spotting slightly and it was fairly obvious that she would be coming into season soon afterwards. He said quite categorically that unless there was an emergency affecting her health he would not spay until after the season was completed. I suggested that our domestic circumstances meant that this was going to be very difficult but he would not be swayed.

She is now well and truly in season... she has mated once with Spike who is ever eager to repeat the experience; poor young Scruffy hasn't got all the right equipment but still feels the need and as for Fred... well I feel quite sorry for him; he's a big boy and without a doubt could cause little Sophie physical damage if he attempted to mate. As a result Fred is extremely frustrated, humping all of the other females and getting snapped at because they are out of season and spayed anyway. He is also air humping...but this frustration is leading to aggression with the other males including me. He sees my attempts to prevent him mating as a direct challenge. He is by nature a little aggressive and needs a lot of TLC and reassurance but I suspect also that he is a little brain damaged...apart from the mating thing which is instinctive anyway, he just doesnt 'get it.'

At the moment of course Sophiedoesnt 'get it' either; she has an irresistableand uncontrollable itch that has to be scratched and she isn't fussy who does the scratching...

We had a bit of an episode this afternoon; she was confined in her big travel crate and asleep, Spike and Scruffy decided it was high tiime for a bit of a ruck because Scruffy decided he wanted to guard Sophie's crate door which is normally normally Spike's domain. A fight quickly developed which as always was over almost as soon as it started, but Fred decided that he should be at the crate gate. Fred ,as I said is a big boy and he doesnt pull his punches. He launched himself at Scruffy and had him pinned immediately. Under those circumstances a human should not interfere directly.

I have a handheld garden spray which I keep pressurised and full of cold water; it is adjusted to produce a pressurised jet rather than a spray. Fred hates this device with a vengeance; two well aimed shots into his face got his attention away from Scruffy but he rounded on me teeth bared. I have seen this before with him and flatly refuse to back down from his threats; instead a third shot into his face stopped him in his tracks. It doesn't hurt him; I tried it on myself at short range, its just a distraction and it works.

As I said this aggressive streak has been present ever since we took him on... but since Sophie came into season he is far more unpredictable, so clearly some of it is testosterone fuelled because of  her condition.

Reluctantly therefore it looks as if a trip to the vet is called for; indeed I phoned the vet shortly after the fight this afternoon but just got his answering machine (It's a national holiday today).

I don't normally agree with castration of healthy male dogs; I think the surgery is extreme and totally unnecessary when the dog is in a good relationship with his humans and other members of the pack; I'm not sure that a less extreme measure could be employed, but the removal of this testosterone fuelled aggression should go some way to restoring harmony within the pack.

Spike and Scruffy are quite able to control their normal male aggression; theirs is a brotherly love / hate competitive relationship. Scraps are frequent and short lived ceasing promptly when one or the other submits or yelps.

This whole thing is about harmony... something that ran out of the door when Sophie came into season. It could so easily have been avoided if the vet had agreed to operate when I asked him to... I knew then that this was going to be an exhausting and frustrating time time for all concerned and I am really looking forward to her finishing her season. I can then get her sorted out and life should return to its more normal hectic but harmonious state...



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Waifs and Strays... Need Advice...Please...
07 October 2011

9225 reads so my stats say so hopefully someone somewhere has an answer to a problem I have right now.

Sophie our normally adoreable 'no longer' puppy has just started her first season... I knew life was going to be noisy and difficult.

I am writing at 0730, having finally got to bed and sleep at about 0400 after Sophie's first night as a 'hot to trot', 'no holds barred' bitch in heat. From midnight on when its not been her whining and crying for attention, its been two of our horny males, the blackies, Scruffy in particular who is suffering from the 'Call of the Wild'

I finally got Sophie into her crate and settled around 4a.m. only to be woken an hour later by her cries of discomfort, different from her 'I'm feeling horny ' cries; an indication that in fact she had soiled her crate... big time. Not to put too fine a point on it there was sh*t everywhere, all over the crate, all over her, feet encrusted in the disgusting smelly mess she had made; she is still on puppy food so its a pretty disgusting sloppy mess at the best of times and this was one of her better efforts.

So... at 5.10a.m. I was shampooing her in the bathroom, trying to get her looking something akin to a dog instead of the result of a mobile sh*tstorm. Not impressed...

Then there was the question of the crate... fortunately its a large plastic travel crate and relatively easy to clean but the smell lingers on...despite copious rinsing with disinfectant. I use TENA mattress protectors as a liner for the crate floor and this took the brunt of the mess, but being a dog in a confined space she had shifted the soiled liner out of the way and in so doing spread the contents around... Again not inmpressed... It took the best part of two hours to get her and her crate sorted out.

This I suspect is just a foretaste (or should that be a foresmell?) of things to come. The vet reckoned on two to three weeks in full season; there is no way that I can go for that length of time with only an hours sleep each night.

Sophie is confined to the house for the duration; she protests long and loud when she is in her crate anyway so I try to limit her time in there to nightimes and when I have to go out for any reason. During these times the two blackies are confined to their much larger crate, the rest of the pack are free to roam around the house.

My main problem is going to be marauding village dogs queueing up outside... this was a substantial problem when Suzy and Mum were in season but they weren't fully integrated into the pack at the time and were still living outside in the street, but already the word has been circulated around the village by the doggy version of the bush telegraph; last night I had to repeatedly chase off two baying, barking and howling visitors and given the high number of true street dogs and others in the village who are free to roam 24/7 I suspect I am going to have a real problem on my hands.

I once posted Barking Dogs... Its What They Do; if ever a phrase could turn round and bite you on the ass this has to be the one! (The noise from  marauding dogs every night when Suzy and Mum were in season was nothing compared to that of the neighbours complaining about sleepless nights...  I really cannot risk having to have to go through all that again.

Marie at the Little Pod Foundation first flagged up the potential problem when she emailed me to tell me that her vet would not carry out a spay op until after a first season was complete. When I spoke to my Spanish vet he concurred. This is a totally different view to those expressed by UK and American vets who advocate spaying of non-breeding bitches at 6 months. The UK Vet that we used for 25 years has remained a contact point for doggy advice and he is one of the leading advocates of early spaying. When I told him about Sophie's imminent coming into season he recommended get it done now before she starts... Not possible here it seems.

If we had just the one dog it wouldn't be such a problem but we have nine; four entire and therefore horny males and five females all of whom are spayed except Sophie. I am not generally in favour of spaying or castration but all the girls except Izzy (who was spayed by the RSPCA in the UK before we took her on) are former street dogs and something needs to be done to rein in the high number of abandonado females who are just adding to the problem on an almost weekly basis here in the village... I know of at least two new mums and their puppies that are now roaming and scavenging.

Neutering or castrating the pack males is not an option at this time; Scruffy may need it for health reasons at some point and Fred too to curb some aggression. The whole pack is generally in harmony most of the time, the pecking order was sorted out some time ago. Neutering the pack males wouldnt solve the problem of the marauding visitors.

Ideally, the solution would be to isolate Sophie in a soundproof room and just let her get on with it with one of the other girls for company, but we cant do this, we havent got an empty room. I cannot isolate her outside because her mating scent would be spread to the four winds and just attract even more visitors.

What I need is for our vet to be a little less intransigent in his views on spaying. It's something that should have been done before the situation arose and I have read that spaying during a season can lead to complications during and post -surgery.

So there you have it... not a pretty story, so if anyone can come up with an idea please let me know.



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Waifs and Strays... and now the fun starts...
03 October 2011

Just six weeks ago at the end of August, I reported that thanks to Marie at  The Little Pod Foundation our two latest rescues Suzy and Mum were spayed. When we took them in they had both just recovered from their respective and synchronised seasons and there was little doubt that bith were pregnant. Both have fully recovered from the operations and are now integrated into our pack.

I was asked why I hadnt had our puppy Sophie spayed at the same time and my reply at the time was that there was no urgency for her; she'sonly little compared with the rest of the pack and needed time to fully develop. It hadn't occurred to me that perhaps spaying would not have been an option anyway.

I guessed at the time that I probably had around six weeks to 2 months to save up for Sophies op.

In the UK, vets recommend spaying for all non-breeding bitches at age 6 months; this is also the case in the USA where some bitches are spayed even as young as 6 weeks. (Pediatric Spaying.)

Marie caught that post and pointed out that her vet wouldn't spay any bitch until after her first season. Which set me thinking... I contacted my UK vet a gentleman I have known for over 20 years and trust implicitly. he reiterated that spaying at six months is not a problem and that indeed spaying before a first season removes virtually all risk of mammary cancer later in life. I then asked the question of by regular Spanish vet, the same guy that performed the ops on Suzy and Mum and he concurred with Marie's vet. "No spay until after the first season is complete and any pregnancy resulting from that first season can be dealt with at the same time."

On Friday evening Sophie began 'spotting...' having been around dogs for almost all my life I recognised this as the first sign of the onset of her first season. I called Summer (now on a working holiday in the UK) to let her know and she was insistent that I take her to the vets for confirmation. So on Saturday I took her to the surgery along with Izzy our greyhound who needed her claws clipped. The vet very quickly confirmed the onset of a season... and told me '"You can expect the spotting to last for about another week and then the season begins properly and should last for another two weeks or so..." And so it begins...

Regular readers of my ramblings will know that I have 9 dogs in a very small house, no garden and very limited outside space. The pack of which Sophie is a part comprises 4 spayed females (Izzy, the Alpha Female and ultimate boss, Sox, Suzy and Mum) and 4 very horny un-neutered males (Leo the Saluki  the Alpha Male boss dog, Fred, Spike and Scruffy). Trying to isolate and monitor Sophie 24/7 for three weeks is going to be quite impossible...

Things are ramping up quickly; Scruffy in particular is taking note... a shame really because of the four males he is probably most inoffensive, and unfortunately for him totally unable to do anything about Sophies urges. He has a birth defect that makes it impossible for him to 'have sex. (Details in a previous post.)  Spike and Fred are following her around like lost souls.Leo hasnt noticed yet...

So the next three weeks or so are going to be difficult to say the least.. interesting but difficult.

 

 

 

 



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