bumbushkagwcom 224x300 ANOTHER DOGG



Dogs are like the rest of us; they grow old and die, so from time to time you have to get new ones. For any number of reasons it’s men who tend to pop their clogs before women… I wonder if, and where, the Wife will look for a replacement for me. For a new dog though, we go to Albolote. There’s a refuge there, a huge compound that takes in about three hundred dogs. They don’t put them down if nobody comes to adopt them; they – the team of heroic and selfless volunteers who run the place – just keep on looking after them, feeding them and walking them. The staff are paid nothing at all and the whole thing runs on a charitable foundation. Anyway the place is absolutely full; there’s room for not one dog more, and as a consequence of the economic troubles, there are ever more dogs being abandoned. Spain is a land of abandoned dogs and it’s getting worse.

On Thursday we went to fetch Mami (their name), a big white Mastín that the Wife had seen on their website. She is about five years old and big and affectionate and fairly recently abandoned. Since Thursday she lives with us on the farm, with Bumble, and Bao, who also came from Albolote. The first couple of days we walked her up the river on a lead… she might have done a bunk and tried to make it back to Albolote. But she seems to know the score now and is terrified of the sheep, so now we let her run free.

To my mind it’s hard to imagine anything more pleasurable than watching a creature that has been maltreated, abandoned or confined in a concrete pen, as it starts to understand that it now has the freedom of the countryside. The expression of happiness on their faces and tails as they race up and down the river, sniffing the things that dogs like to sniff, works its way deep into your heart. I like to have a dog along when I go walking because it seems to me that they manifest pleasure in the most extraordinary way, and redistribute it to anyone with eyes to see, through their tails. So, if you want a dog to accompany you and fill your solitary walking with joy, or lie contentedly by your feet before the fire, don’t waste good money on expensive pedigree dogs; these creatures need you. Give Albolote a go.

Of course we had to change the name, as Mami doesn’t begin with a B. She’s Babouschka now, which is a bit of a mouthful, but nice.

babushka nosecomp 300x224 ANOTHER DOGG

BABOUSCHKA (Shepherds cut the ears to thwart ticks)

12 Responses to “ANOTHER DOGG”

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  1. Comment by karen puddephatt — April 29, 2012 at 12:50 am   Reply

    Just found the site and blog. Brilliant. I’m looking forward to reading more. Can’t wait to read more.
    Good to hear about the dogs. They bring such joy! Good luck with your new one.

  2. Comment by Richard Mills — August 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm   Reply

    I have just read your dog blog sitting on our small patio in Luque (cordoba) as the small dog that wandered in from the street and joined us for lunch of salmorejo and ham sits contentedly at my feet. This is after my wife has given it a shower and brush.We have a small young dog that was a regalo from the neighbours when we moved here and the last thing we need is another abandoned dog especially one with a wonky back leg but i think its a done deal. Why am i so soft?

  3. Comment by Didac — August 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm   Reply

    Hi both!!!

    I hope you are well. I couldn’t help getting a bit emotional, so many lovely memories. I just wanted to congratulate on the new member of the family. She looks so sweet!! How is bumble? All my love to you all

  4. Comment by Dianne Güngör — October 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm   Reply

    You are so right with your description of watching a dog that you have just taken from a rescue shelter slowly realise that it now has love, attention and freedom. We recently rescued a very malnourised and ill husky cross. Watching her run and play with our male husky while out walking really lifts the spirits. I recently gently persuaded my sister to rescue a border collie from Ireland and again he is really coming into his own and it is wonderful to see.

  5. Comment by ynne mccully — May 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm   Reply

    Hi Chris, great to see you have a lovely new addition to your family. Lucky dog! Totally agree, adopt every time. We adopted Coco from Asissi here in Northern Ireland in 2007, as an older dog she didn’t appeal to anyone else. She’s 12 now, still faster than our much younger dog, and happily snoring on the sofa enjoying retirement! Best wishes, Lynne and family.

  6. Comment by ROGER LINGLEY — August 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm   Reply

    Hi Chris

    It is with great interest that I read your book and this blog. I lived in Andalucía for 5 years in the 00’s, farming in mountains (almonds and olives) and running a Buddhist retreat. I also bought and upgraded a house in Illora, where we were adopted by a Spanish greyhound. Anyway, that town had a LOT of strays so I know of what you talk. We came back to Johannesburg in 2007 and brought the dog (unfortunately dead now), but what a great dog and what a great experience Spain was for a Chemical Engineer used to polluting the world.
    Go well and enjoy wonderful Andalucía.
    Cheers, Roger L, Johannesburg, RSA

  7. Comment by Edyta — June 2, 2014 at 12:31 am   Reply

    I am sitting here, in my London house, dreaming about Las Alpujarras, watching my dear dog sleeping by my feet…He is wearing this silly transparent collar that stops him licking his post -op wound. I know exactly what you mean by the joy we humans get from watching this pure outburst of happiness doggies show enjoying simple, little things ….Hope there will be a day that no stray will be left unloved- such a beautiful creatures-dogs. Thank you for the info about the rescue center.By the way -reading your trilogy for the third time… All the best

  8. Comment by GEOFF MANUEL — June 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm   Reply

    Hi Chris.
    We live in Menorca but are u.k. expats Just came back from a trip to Granada Cordoba Seville and also an excursion into the Ampajarras. One hotel we stayed at was in Albalote but we did not know about the dog pound there. Fantastic area.

  9. Comment by bernie — June 30, 2014 at 3:53 pm   Reply

    yeah a lovely dog, so nice to know its going to have a great life from now on.. down to 2 old dogs myself now, sad when they get old 7 die

  10. Comment by tony broomhall — July 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm   Reply

    Hi Chris wow what a life you have had I’m envious I love reading your books you have a great talent for writing looking forward to your new book,I think it’s great you have rescued another dog respect to you .

  11. Comment by Anna Holland — September 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm   Reply

    Dear Chris,
    So glad that you and Ana have another dog. Baboushka is a good name (I’m half Russian, and a Granny, so I empathise). I have read and enjoyed all your books. I have also started reading the Heart is a Lonely Hunter on your ‘recommendation’ May I suggest a musician you may enjoy? Kevin Johanssen. Argentinian.

  12. Comment by Simon Culmstock — November 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm   Reply

    What a beautiful dog. My own dog is a rescue, half Westie, half Jack Russell terrier; his breeder wanted him to be put to sleep at 12 weeks of age as he was the runt of the litter and wouldn’t sell particularly well. We took him home instead, and he’s now 5 years of age; he adores our two little girls, but is terrified of anything on four legs – not much cop for a vet’s dog!
    I was once told by an old shepherd that a dog could be summed up thus: if you lock your wife and your dog in the boot of your car and then let them out after two hours, your dog will still be pleased to see you!

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