The introductory story to George was included in an email from Yvonne Warwick. So I asked her to write the full story of how he came to work his way into her heart and home.
The original message. This is my beautiful George! He arrived on our land at around 8 months old. We'd seen him in the village and on our land in the mountains with his parents and two sisters. We believe that the DaddyDog told him to go off
and seek his fortune when he got to 6 months. He came to us when we were picking our olives...skinny and starving with a wound on his nose.
We thought long (OK, 3 days!) about what to do...in the meantime he made up his mind that he was staying. Very brave of him to come so close to us....it was meant to be! He is 3 and a bit now and a fantastic dog. Luckily he wasn't taken as a pup by a hunter. His feral upbringing has meant he has lovely manners and is the sweetest dog ever, though his recall skills could do with improvement!
I'm so happy for him that he grew up as a feral puppy and didn't have to endure a wicked hunter or the Perrera. I believe that his upbringing accounts for his good manners and his loving nature.
The full story. The first photo was taken on the day he arrived on our land when we were picking olives in 2012. I was sitting on a net on the ground stripping some branches when I heard my husband calling my name in a hushed tone. He told me not to move or speak but slowly turn my head to the left. A ripple of fear down my spine...could it be a wild boar coming from the pine woods adjacent to our land? Thankfully, it was't but what I saw was quite shocking. Clearly it was a young Podenco. He looked very like one of the pups who had been wandering in the village below us with their parents in the summer. In fact, the whole family had crossed our land several times but never stopping, only passing through. But now it was December.
The little ginger waif kept his distance for a good 30 minutes before he nervously drank some of the water my husband had put down just far away not to upset our visitor. The biscuit tin had been raided in the absence of any dog food!
The little ginger visitor stayed around up all afternoon and became brave enough to sit on the net a short way from me. That night we made a nest from an olive net and put the nest and more biscuits and water in the log store.
The next morning our new friend had gone. But not far... I looked out from our sitting room and saw a strange 'bump' at the bottom of the front door curtain. I went round to the front of the house gently speaking to 'the bump'. And there he was....shaking but looking at me and not running away.
The next day he watched us from a short distance and after a while he sat right next to me on the net. He moved closer to my husband and even sat quite happily on the net some distance from us with sticks banging and olives falling. Day two evening...same nest in the wood shed, water...and boiled chicken..next morning, no dog but a bump at the foot of the front door curtain. And then he walked out and looked up at me!
My husband went into town and came back with puppy food and a small kennel! Our Spanish builder passed by and inspected him and pronounced him a nice dog with strong teeth and good eyes albeit very nervous. He would take him for his hunting pack if we didn't keep him. We had seen how he kept his dogs and we know that he does look after them very well so this could be a homing option.
Day by day 'George' became stronger and eventually he was able to eat in a confident manner and I also got a light collar on him. We visited the vet several times - she confirmed that he had been on his last legs but he was doing very well. His blood was good, no Mediterranean diseases and that he was about 8 months as he'd lost his baby teeth.
There was much conversation and, in my case, much laying awake thinking what to do about this sweet little boy. How would a dog fit in with our life? Who would take a Podenco pup as a pet...there are so many in the Perreras. A big issue was that I am allergic to dogs...and I'd already started with daily antihistamine since from the second day!
One sunny morning after the olives were harvested I was perched on a sunbed next to the pool....along came George looking very much stronger having been with around 2 or 3 weeks. He sat down at my feel and looked up at me....as though he knew what I was thinking about. I knew at that moment he was staying with us. I think he knew too! He is a delight...and I have learned that the love and companionship of a dog is one of the best feelings in the world.
The last photo is him at the front of the finca at dusk last winter. He's a strong, funny, loving boy...everyone loves George and our lives wouldn't be the same with out him!
If, after reading this lovely story, you would like to offer a home to one of these fantastic hounds, there is a comprehensive list of podenco rehoming associations, by country, on Podenco Post homepage.