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Little Red Dog

My lovely little Red dog has a new home! I am sad and happy about this, but I cannot look after her whilst I am here, and my future in Portugal is still very uncertain – I don’t even know where I will live! After a few months in Portugal, my husband heard of this ‘small’ street dog that needed a home – so he brought her home for me. I was expecting a handbag size dog, but was was presented with this very strange thing: like a dog which has an extra big of dog inserted in the middle so she is all slinky and snakelike and can’t sit down properly because her body is too long. Her front leg was broken and had healed in a strange shape. She smelt. She was noisy. She constantly jumped up. Basically everything I hated about dogs! Brilliant.

She was in heat, so we took her to get neutered, but 10 days later when we took the dressings off, something had gone horribly wrong. Her stitches had split and part of her inside muscle was on the outside. Ouch and yuk! We rushed her back to the vet who had done the operation and she had a long emergency operation which they didn’t think she would survive. Luckily though, Red dog could probably eat a bag of nails and still live, so in the end she was healed and had won my heart. She is the sort of dog that you see a lot in Portugal – very hardy, and will survive on very little food and water, is an excellent hunter (she caught a lot of mice!), very intelligent and will spend the summery days chasing flies. She taught me patience and in the end I even liked her smell a little bit.

But whilst I was in the middle of moving off the farm, she lived with me for a little bit, lived with my husband a little bit and had to cope with a lot of confusing changes in a short time and got protective, aggressive and insecure (not surprising). One of the farm sitters stayed for 6 weeks and really bonded with her, and by all accounts Red dog is in heaven, getting to go on car rides and live in a house and generally gets treated very well. So whilst I am sad and I miss her, I am happy because it’s another lucky story for a Portuguese street dog who could have had a much worse life.

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