'It all began around the spring of 2017, I had spent the past seven years refurbishing my home and creating a garden from almost nothing. Then following the death of my mother I had become very insular and unsocial, burying myself in the work and not going out very much.
Basically I was a grumpy, sad, lonely old fart. I was divorced from my second wife and alienated from my two children. I had no one close to love except my brother and sister-in-law who live just three miles away and I only wanted to see them on special occasions.
Having had pet dogs in the past, I decided to go out and find a mutt to love and look after, as the Koi fish in my ponds did not respond to cuddles!
Over a period of around eight months, I visited several rescue centres in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, selecting seven dogs over this period. In every case, there was some reason for not completing the adoption.
In December 29017 we had a large family Christmas party and I saw one of my grand nieces who I hadn't seen for some years. She was working for a prominent rescue centre in Exeter and we discussed the adoption situation. I was shocked to hear that most centres, when receiving applications from prospective adoptees, throw away the applications of any that were over the age of seventy. At this time I was seventy four years young. My great niece suggested I look on the wibbly wobbly web.
Going to Google, I found Podenco Post. NOW, I have seen many cruel and savage things in my life and have become hardened to most. Within half an hour of going through the barbaric pictures of disgusting behaviour of the hunters to the beautiful dogs I had just discovered were Podencos, I had tears dripping of my chin. I was so angry. I was bl—dy furious.
Calming down, I realised that I was too old to go dashing over to Spain to kill the perpetrators!
I began trolling through the various rescue centres and found, on Hope for Podencos a dog pod called Samuel on Gran Cannaria. I contacted them and made the arrangements to adopt him, filled out the paperwork, had the home check from Martin French of The Pod People and made arrangements for payment.
Several weeks later, getting excited now, I received an email advising me that Samuel was still very wild and unruly and considered not suitable for adoption at that time. However, would I consider a badly abused and traumatized two year old bitch.
I had not considered having a bitch at all but as soon as I saw “Nancy” I was smitten. She had been put to the dog far too soon and over a very short period had two litters, a nine and an eleven. Beaten, starved and abused. Very underweight and frightened to death.
The centre had done a wonderful job in bringing her back from a terrible state and we made arrangements for her delivery on the ninth of March 2018
When she arrived at eleven twenty five at night, terrified and as scatty as hell, I could tell I was not going to get much sleep that night. I had made all the security arrangements well in advance so just left all my doors open and let her run off her terror. She finally settled on my couch around four thirty in the morning. I did not close my front door until the sixteenth of September.
She has settled in very well and is so very loving, has to touch me when sitting on the couch, loves a cuddle. I was told at the start that I would not be able to train a Pod as they were too independent. WRONG. Nancy will come, sit, and jump up into the back of the car on “Nancy up”. She will go out to wee on command and follows me everywhere. I might have rescued her BUT she has SAVED me.
I am now the proud owner of a Podenco T shirt, reading = In my darkness, I reached out my hand and found my Podenco’s paw. Hope for Podenco’s have requested permission to print and sell T shirts with this logo to raise funds. I understand they are selling well.
I am completely smitten with her (soppy old fart) but wanted to find a way of teaching her to be happy and play, so. I decided I's adopt again. Just before Christmas 2018, you may have seen a white and tan pod puppy on Facebook. Sarah was the lady who found her on Armistice day, last November the eleventh; she named her “POPPY”, she was just seven months old and a bundle of fizzz.
There were several people interested in adopting her, but I was the lucky one.
She arrived at Exeter services on the twelve of December and I collected her. My life changed forever. She is a blo—dy nightmare, but I would die for her. She is the second apple of my eye.
I love every haie on her body. She is an imp, full of mischief, a constant plant digger upper and lawn wrecker. We play fight every day and she sleeps over my legs every night. Wakes me every morning around four/four thirty and keeps me knackered. She has brought Nancy out of her shell and they play constantly. Nancy teases her all the time but they fall asleep together so close,
I now have a mad house and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Yours, totally exhausted, Cliff
PS. I have them exactly where they want me!!
Thank you for sharing your lovely story and what a wonderful home the podencos have. No doubt you will meet many more pod adopters in Devon, I know there are many.