I recently learnt of the death on Sunday 5th August 2018 of Anne Finich, Founder of Greyhounds In Need, who tireless work on behalf of the greyhounds and Spanish galgos has lead to the current high profile of the abuse and maltreatment of the dogs and also the Podencos. Since she founded Greyhounds In Need hundreds of rescue associations and shelters for these hounds are now in existence, and the number of rescued hounds now living out their lives knowing love, a comfy bed and regular meals is countless. Here is a link to the GIN press release.
Some 4 years ago I was contacted by a vet in the UK who had come across podencos and wanted to buy a copy of my book From Pyramid to Perrera to learn more. Her name was Susannah Stacey and she became hooked on podencos and helping them, especially the Gran Canaria pods. She set up a page Saving the Gran Canaria podencos and worked with rescuers on the Island and Irene & Steve Allen of Hope for Podencos. She died suddenly last week. Here's what Irene writes.
'SUZANNAH STACEY ...... what can I say that many of you have not already said .The podencos have lost one of their shining stars . I became friends with Suzannah in 2015 when she adopted Lucy. Then in 2016 she asked me if I could foster any podencos from Gran Canaria and we said no as at the time we didn't really have the space. But watching the group that Suzannah had started,Saving the Gran Canaria Podenco, I then could see the despair of these dozens of pods in the kill shelter, so I decided to help with taking two at a time.
In a short time I flew to GC to see for myself and Suzannah and I chatted and we decided together we would get as many out as we could.
I always love receiving stories of podencos which have found loving forever homes. Here's a rescue and rehoming story with a difference - David Tomlinson's tale is one which so many Brits moving to Spain and the Spanish Islands experience.
'We came to Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) to renovate an old stone house on a finca, about 20,000 sq meters in the middle of 400,000 meters. We live in a area used during the hunting season (here it's Bank Holidays and Sundays only Aug to Nov) by hunters with dogs, hunting rabbits. It seems now that frequently the dogs chase the rabbits for miles, get lost and the hunters leave them behind.
So one Monday in July 2005, a stray Podenco, turned up on our land. She was in pretty poor shape so we fed and watered her. We didn’t know what the system was so we contacted the local Police. They were very helpful but as the dog wasn’t microchipped they asked us if we wanted to keep her. The alternative was that she went to the dogs home and would be destroyed after 21 days. We were also told that if the owner turned up we could recover our costs. We agreed to keep her.
Although Podenco Post was not launched until January 2011, it is 10 years ago today - 21st November 2007 - when my blog Galgo News was launched and 10 years in December since the first story about a Podenco was published (Jazmin, link below). The first of its kind, my remit was to give publicity to the plight of the galgos and podencos in Spain and the Spanish Islands, sharing information from the rescue associations working 'on the ground' and supporting them in their fundraising and efforts to rehome these fabulous hounds, so maltreated by the Spanish hunters.
Galgo News was born 3 years after facebook was launched, and was a trailblazer in promoting all aspects of galgos and podencos...especially the annual massacre and abandonment of tens of thousands of these innocent and loyal animals, so abused by their galgueros and cazadores.
Having had a greyhound in the UK, when I moved to France in 2002 I was searching for an association through whom I could adopt a greyhound again, and came across the galgo. I joined L’Europe des Levriers and in 2007 travelled with their team to Spain to collect my first galga, Karmel. I wrote an article on the trip which was published in the Weekly Telegraph and you can read the story of the trip on this weblink.
Not about podencos but about any dog. I take my young galgo Polar to Obedience classes and a couple of weeks ago on the Club fb page was a video about a dog training club in Australia, where one of the proprietors is a paraplegic, which obviously involves some dog training different from non-disabled. Here is a link to their website, if anyone is interested in discussing the subject with Tom.
They also have several interesting videos, including this one on training a dog to obey in different situations, plus short articles with graphics
Jan Hammond loves podencos and here she writes about rescuing Maite.
'On our return journey from England so Spain in September 2015, with our 3 Spanish rescue dogs, we pulled in with our Motorhome to a service area near Valencia for a welcome coffee stop. On entering the lorry parking area we both noticed a small brown head peering over a concrete block and at once looked at each other and said 'did you see what I saw'.
Behold a very thin young Podenco female emerged with a 5cm thick lump of rope round and hanging from her neck. Just able to stand but wagging the tail in a small movement to say Hallo! She knew instantly we would not hurt her,we had found a friend for life. On seeing our family she staggered over to greet them, so dehydrated and malnourished she went for the water first before a bowl of food.