Regular readers will know of the incredible work done by Bev Farmer and Warren Beards of Podenco Friends, in Alicante. I have the pleasure of visiting them in September 2013, sharing their lives with the rescued podencos and seeing the devotion and incredible work they do for these maltreated yet fantastic hounds.
They live in a finca inland in the middle of the campo with very few neighbours - those there are live in the distance! They have a good relationship with the local galgueros, many of whom cannot believe the cruelty others inflict on these fabulous hounds. So it is with a heavy heart that I read the following report by Bev - luckily this time with a happy ending.
'On 26/1-/2014 evening two of our Podencos went missing, Nestor a rescue and Bella one of ours We discovered our fence had been cut and my greatest fear was that they had been stolen. Normally our dogs get to run around outside the finca so they don't go walkabouts and know the surrounding area well.
After searching until 5 am in the morning, we got a couple of hours sleep. The following day the search began again but nothing, no sign. Then at about 7pm Nestor arrived at the gate, tired and sore but ok.
In the quiet of the night I was out walking again. I suddenly heard Bella´s bark so Warren I set off. About 2kms from the finca we were close to her.... the problem, she was on the top of a mountain and it was pitch black. We had no choice and Warren climbed up.
Bella was still barking and then suddenly, nothing, it went silent. Then Warren shouted “Ive found her”, she was trapped on a ledge. This was just the start, the mountainside was so steep that although he could crawl his way up, it was impossible to come back down. It took him about a hour to walk along the ridge and find a route down.
I realised that we were in trouble and called my friend Janette Lopez who stayed on the end of the phone. At one point was were considering calling out mountain rescue.
Finally after 3 hours they were both down and safe. We were really cold and had gone on this rescue with no preparationn nothing. But you don't think about this when your babies need you. It',s incredible that after 24 hours Bella kept barking, that I heard her and recognised her bark from such a distance. She was thirsty very sore has a fair few cuts and grazes and her paws are ripped. We gave her some Metacam and something to eat she got into the bed and did not move from there and slept for over 18 hours. She is is really shaken up but at least she is home and safe.
I would go to ends of the earth for my dogs and now we can add “climb a mountain”. Warren was a hero for he was in danger, and like any couple we have our squabbles but when the chips are down we always have been strong for each other. However this whole incident has really unsettled us.
For the months we have been here and felt very comfortable at the finca. Now that has gone for someone has come along and cut the fence and made us feel that the dogs are vulnerable. So we are looking at the cost of getting the security stepped up with additional lighting and cameras installed.
Not the best couple of days and the worry of where the the dogs were and if we would get them back, then the relief they are both home and safe. We are both exhausted. I've had some scary moments in my life but this is in the top ten for sure, just relieved we have Nestor & Bella back home.'
If you want to help Podenco Friends, paypal firstname.lastname@example.org.