Spanish Sojourn 2 – vets and tyres

Monday 29 Feb

Partner decided to walk her into town to the vet, we couldn’t feel a microchip, but who knows?

The vet wasn’t open. In fact most of town wasn’t open, unlike our village. Town was taking the 29th as a holiday because Día de Andalucía had fallen on a Sunday. Partner walked back, unimpressed. The highlight of their trip had been talking to some Canadians and an Argentinian about Gibraltar and Podencos.

Tosca (her temporary name) seemed to be gaining in confidence, and happy with her new home. A full dish of food, a water dish, two rugs inside and no one to hit her. Why would she not be happy? Beats living on the street.

Although she did try and jump over the wall when Partner took Snowy out on his own.

Tuesday 1 March

Partner and Tosca walked into town again. The vet was open. He just wasn’t there, only the dog groomer was working. But he’d be back in the evening, or on Wednesday. Partner and Tosca had another wasted 80 minute hike (about eight kms).

‘I’ll walk her in again tomorrow, I don’t like driving them in, the walk gives them time to settle down.’

After lunch, a shower, and a non-existent siesta, he announced, ‘I’m walking her in now. We’ll get this sorted.’

So off he went, on the 80 minute loop yet again. He walked part way with our neighbours who were out for a paseo (a promenade). As he approached the town, a couple stopped their car and got out.

‘That’s my dog,’ said the man (in Spanish).

‘No it isn’t,’ said Partner. ‘And she’s a bitch not a dog,’ (perra not perro).

Then he saw the number plate. Belgium.

‘Do either of you speak English?’

‘Yes,’ said the woman.

‘I’m taking her for her annual jabs to our vet so if you wish to come along with me you can. Otherwise **** off.’

‘We’re very sorry,’ said the woman, ‘we made a mistake.’ And they scuttled back into their car.

And this is the irony. Every single street dog we have homed in Spain, has been suddenly wanted by someone else. We’ve been offered good money for Pippa and Snowy, and now someone else wants Tosca two days after we rescued her. Albeit they just wanted to snaffle her.

The difference is, no one wants a raggy stray dog wandering around looking timid and fearful. Even a few days in a home with water, food, a bed, and affection, makes a difference. The tail no longer hangs low in a defensive position. The head and tail are carried high, and the walk is jaunty and confident.

Pedro spent ages going over Tosca with machines to detect a microchip. ‘If there is one, I can’t do anything. Unless there are obvious signs of abuse.’ Clearly being thrown out on the street doesn’t count as abuse. Pedro added: ‘This is Spain you know.’

The eventual verdict though: no chip. Big phew. So, she was jabbed, chipped, passported and registered to me for ninety euros. Because Podencos are hunting dogs, Pedro advises having them registered in my name, presumably on the grounds that I’m less likely to go hunting than a man.

‘She’s pretty,’ he said, ‘and it’s a lovely name.’

So after eight months with only one dog, we’re back to more of a pack.

Wednesday 2 March

We took them out early morning. The village was busy at 6.30 with three of the bars open, full of men drinking coffee and anís or maybe cognac. Campo workers were waiting for lifts, and hopefuls were hanging around on the off chance there was labour needed.

Tosca pulled like mad. Not impressed. Where was that shy, reserved dog of two days ago? I pulled a muscle in my back. Next, when we returned home, she took on guard duty as Snowy and I went for a nap. Bark. Bark. Bark.

Friday 4 March

Partner decided to pump up the tyres on the Land Rover. We’d taken it in for some new oil seals and the mechanic had advised there were some cracks. Cracks? Um.

Tiny cracks? No
Tiny cracks? No

I started emailing for prices.

Monday 7 March

We’d got prices and decided to go with a local firm up the coast. These are pricey tyres :( But, the price included IVA (VAT) and fitting. No deposit required either. Didn’t realise trust still existed.

Wednesday 9 March

Antonio had emailed me the day before to say the tyres were in. We drove up to Nerja, having no idea where the garage was. Decided to employ the usual Spanish tactic of opening our mouths (mine, invariably) and asking. No need. As we drove up the main road into town, there it was. Estupendo!

We pulled in, and I wandered up the street to see if any bars had wifi.

‘Excuse me,’ I said, when I’d got wifi signal on the iphone at one bar, ‘do you have wifi for customers?’

‘Yes,’ replied Señor Chatty.

I hotfooted it back to the garage, told Partner where I’d be and returned. I ordered a San Miguel, a sandwich vegetal, and the wifi code.

So, the toasted sandwich arrived on a plate, which luckily was huge, as the sandwich was overflowing with: lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, asparagus and egg. Plus a salad garnish of sweetcorn and grated carrot.

I was offered a sachet of tat mayonnaise and asked for aceite and vinagre instead. Some classy bottles turned up, bearing the name Flor de Málaga. Whether that was what was actually in them was anyone’s guess, but still, it was good enough.

I’d only eaten half a sandwich when Pesky Partner arrived to report on tyre progress. So my peaceful wifi interlude was speeded up, the rest of the sandwich was shovelled in, and the remaining beer was swiftly glugged.

I may not have had much wifi time but the sandwich was hellish good for €3.50. For anyone going to Nerja, El Camionero is on Avenida Pescia. The main road through town, up from the bus station/stop. They probably speak English, it is Nerja after all.

On the way back, we took a country road detour to our local market town. We’d got the address of a vet, who our neighbours recommended, for getting Tosca spayed. We knew roughly where the clinic was, but it looked like another ‘Where is … ?’ scenario.

We parked up and walked around the streets we thought it might be located in.

‘Hey, there’s a streetsweeper. Let’s ask him.’ And as I said it, I looked up and saw a sign with animals on. Bingo. Off we walked up the street to the tiniest clinic ever.

Eventually, one of the staff came out.

‘How much to stop our new dog having puppies?’ we said in wonderful Spanish. (We didn’t know Spanish for spay although everyone around here calls it ‘castrar’. Of course.)


Podenco Andaluz.


Ten/twelve kilos.



‘Bring her tomorrow. Nine thirty.’

It had turned into an expensive two weeks. Although the tyres were still more expensive than homing the dog.



58 comments on “Spanish Sojourn 2 – vets and tyres

  1. Hi rough seas, good to know you are back online (well, sporadically, anyway!). I am at school and this group of students is getting ready to go on a Field Trip. So I’m not the only one on a device. I am curious about the microchip – do you mean that they are imbedded in the dog? I asked one of my students who was up here hanging around at the desk, and he tells me that many dogs in the area have microchips in their collars (especially hound dogs, which are ‘hunting’ dogs). So I am curious. .. That meal sounded scrumptious, by the way!
    After I typed that sentence, I had another student come up front and plug in his phone (for the speakers on the computer) then do a Bollywood dance in front of me. It was hilarious and very entertaining for the 16-yr-olds busily taking pics on their phones. . One of the girls yelled out, “You’re embarrassing her!”
    I am assuming the two dogs like each other (?)
    Enjoy the sunshine; we are getting snow next week. . . But it is officially spring here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are dogs not microchipped there? We’ve had both of ours chipped. They are embedded. Usually at the nape of the neck. I wish more owners would do it. So many dogs get lost and that chip sure helps them find their way home.


      • I have another class in front of me now and asked them – they said that it happens here; I’d just never heard of it. All dogs are supposed to be registered here and have collars with tags.
        Learn something new every day, eh? ;)


    • I can only speak for Andalucía, as Spain’s communities are autonomous. So, the Junta de Andalucía, the ruling body for the region (which has eight – I think – provinces) passed a law a while back saying that all dogs should be chipped and jabbed and registered with the junta, the vet does the actual registration. Of course, loads of people ignore it. The main reason we had, first, Pippa done and later Snowy and Tosca, was because we travel across the frontier so often. There are pros and cons.


      • Forgot to say that hunting dogs are unlikely to have chips in our part of the world. Costs money and adds no value. Remember they throw the dogs out/kill them after one or two seasons and get new. Def not one to record on paperwork. They get on well enough, but most dogs tend to in the same pack.


  2. I know by now I have missed our beer deal, my loss. I will make up for it some day and it will be on me.
    You are a good story teller.
    Maybe sometime in the future I will keep dogs, now, they mostly scare me


    • Well, if they are guard dogs that may be a good thing. But dogs are certainly usually very affectionate with their owners. We’ve always had them and both of us grew up in dog households so it was a foregone conclusion I guess. Better option than kids :)


  3. Is it because Snows is albino that he has significantly less fur? Tosca(it is a lovely name, btw) seems a bit scruffier. And larger. And, still, adorable. All the time. Even when she’s naughty. ;)


    • Snowy is smooth-haired, she is wire-haired, hence looking scruffier :D he’s only got one coat ie no underfur, don’t know about Tosc.
      There’s not much in them in weight, but she’s a good few inches taller than him.
      Pods come in three different sizes and three different hair varieties. So we’ve got a small smooth-haired one, and a medium wire-haired one. The missing part of the set would be a large long-haired one.


  4. I actually caught myself holding my breath, in fear that you were about to lose her… Silly me! Lol. So glad everything turned out right with Tosca… temp name, hey? Why’s that? I like it.

    Can’t believe people offered money for your dogs… have they no shame?!

    The couple in the car gave up easily… can’t have wanted her that much. (bastardos!)

    That tyre is knackered. lol. Love the pics… Tosco and Snowy look great together! Well worth the trouble and expense! ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always been worried when we’ve taken a street dog. Same with Pippa, and we’d had him for longer before we took him in so that was even worse. Temporary in case we thought of anything better. We haven’t!

      Free market economy? See something you want and make an offer.

      To be fair to the strange couple, not good to mess with A and animals.

      Both front tyres were equally knackered :( Still, at least the back ones are ok. For now.

      They do like playtime for a few mad minutes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not easy choices as they carry lots of responsibility.

        Ooh… Maybe I should try that… “Hey, cute kid, can I buy him/her?” Er, NO!

        Pretty expensive tyres I take it?

        Mad minutes, hey? Sounds like A & R… usually just after we get settled down to sleep… little… Ok, I’ll be nice. :D


        • Either we’ve been lucky or all animals are much of a muchness in a loving home. None of our dogs came infested with fleas or ticks, the dogs owned by the goatherders behind us have more (surprise!) So healthwise, we’ve been lucky. There was no way we could leave Tosca entero, not just because of Snowy, but other dogs too. Imagine taking her out in season! No thanks. All the dogs in Gib would be lining up. Or maybe not lining up, a free for all more like.

          It’s Spain though. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. A bit like going to a restaurant and asking for what you want rather than looking at a menu. Guess animals are the same. It’s a very spoken culture.

          Not as bad in Spain as they were in Gib!

          Ah, sleepytime is no prob. Snowy usually wants to go to bed before us. It’s when they’ve woken up …

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s a good thing. We get A & R Injected annually for pesky fleas… most effective method, yet they were so bad the year before last we were still getting spot on as well… Vet told us is was an especially bad year and loads of people had been enquiring about it. Make us wish we’d kept them in and made them housecats sometimes!


  5. A sure set those couple right. I would have told them the same. Silly folks!

    I am glad she wasn’t micro-chipped and that she is staying with you, A and Snows. The two of them look so happy together and they are quite a lovely pair. Totally adorable. The one where they are sitting at the gate is my most favourite.

    That sandwich sounds delish and so do the beer. Now I’m hungry. LOL!

    Whatever the expense, it was worth it in the end. This is a happy story for a wonderful Podenco. ♥


    • There are plenty of unwanted dogs in Spain. Why claim one on a lead that clearly has a home?

      I think she’s glad too. Spoilt little madam that she’s turning into. They don’t often sit together like that. A lot of the time they take gate/guard duty in turn.

      Sandwich was so good I ended up making them at home for mid-morning breakfast.

      I don’t know what rescue places charge for dogs these days. I know they often get deals from vets on spaying/neutering and the jabs, but then they have all the oncosts, food, the shelters, leads, harnesses/collars. Taking a street dog is an easy option. Also saves me gushing floods of tears because I can’t home 20 or 30 dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally agree.

        That’s awesome! They should be spoiled and it looks like they have lots of fun. :D

        I bet A enjoyed that as well.

        Around here it works the same as well and I have no idea what they charge here either. I just don’t want to go there because if I do, I might end up with the whole kennel in my backyard. I can’t walk past those cages and see those lovely faces and the hope that someone will take them. Here they are spayed/neutered as well but you have to pay for everything else.

        I totally agree. It’s the best option as far as I am concerned and yes, now you know how I feel. :D


        • Tosca has discovered sofas and armchairs now, despite me putting a rug down for her in gibflat. Shelters are sad places. How do you choose one dog when they all deserve a home? No. Let them come to us. Everyone’s happy that way.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Clearly she now knows it’s her home and who is going to lie on a rug if there are sofas and armchairs. :D

            They sure are and that is what I always say as well. I agree. Let them rather come to us and that is a fact. :D


          • LOL! I know you will give your bed to your darlings, but tiles are a bit cold for you. Better throw a thick blanket on the floor or slide in between them so they can keep you warm. :D


          • Snowy wanted to go to bed for afternoon nap so A had to make it for him. Toscy has claimed the sofa. A is watching a film in his chair, and I’m reading a book on the end of the sofa. Actually Tosc has curled up so I’ve plenty of space. Situation normal in casa roughseas.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sounds like the normal lots of people dream about for sure. I knew you were just complaining to get some sympathy from me. LOL!

            Enjoy, have fun and lots of hugs and kisses for you and your boy and girl. ♥

            Liked by 1 person

  6. The new puppy is good company and as a companion for Snowy. She is so cute with her wirehaired coat. I hope I am right about her coat type. Glad your got her spayed and micro-chipped quickly. I like the pic of Snowy in the chair and Tosca standing with her mouth open. Of course the pic of the two dogs waiting at the gate always makes me smile. Waiting in anticipation or acting as watch dogs they make a handsome pair.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have loved reading your post. I am so pleased Tosca has been micro chipped and spayed now. Yes ‘our kids’ cost money, but it is money well spent.
    I really got nervous, when that person claimed Tosca was theirs…Some people have no shame, just goes to show what kind of people they are. I just hope they do not have pets.
    Snowy and Tosca look happy together and such lovely company for each other. Have a great weekend :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lynne. The spaying was a big deal for us as we’ve not had a bitch before so didn’t know what to expect. We just knew we didn’t want her to end up pregnant and have to home the puppies when there are already enough to home.
      It can be a worry when you take a street dog that you have taken in someone’s dog and they try and reclaim it, but when they haven’t had them chipped and registered, they haven’t a leg to stand on.
      It’s early days with the company, we’re hoping it might be easier if we need to leave them alone together than just having Snowy.


  8. So happy to see an update. As usual I love your writing style as you take us along. Nothing beats a paseao – our dog walks have to do, but it’s not a habit/hobby here although it should be (except maybe in July-August with the heat)
    Partner certainly got his exercise marching to the vet – he’s right about walking settling dogs. SOunds like she’s not going to be left behind if dog walks are happening…she know her savior, too.
    The dogs do make a handsome pair – perfect bookend guards. Nothing like a bit of good food, safe spot, companionship and less stress to change a dog, Micro chips are good – happy to know they are available…glad to know you, the non-hunter by appearance and gender, of course, was worthy HA HA (Dog passports? – it makes sense more than just vet records)
    Hope the tyres arrives and you are all rolling again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Quite a lot of our neighbours do a couple of decent walks a day. Doctors in spain prescribe walking, which is eminently sensible – if people have the time. There is a paseo culture though that seems to have been lost in english-speaking cultures.
      Microchips are technically compulsory in Andalucía although loads of dogs around us don’t have them. Neither Tosca or Pippa did, obviously or they wouldn’t have become ours.
      Tyres are good. Four wheels on our wagon and we’re just rolling along.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Going to be a miss bossy boots, isn’t she. Good for her!
    You’re right about the change just a short time given love and comfort can make. On Paulette Mahurin’s blog photographs showing dogs from kill centres being rescued , the difference in the dogs from being in the cells to being taken home by their new families is striking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Doesn’t take them long to assert themselves does it?
      Pippa looked somewhat the worse for wear as he’d been on the streets for a while and had got into fights, but Tosca was physically not bad, just her demeanour was hesitant and fearful. Think I’ll leave the kill centre post alone though, I’ll only end up fretting about the ones without homes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well mostly they get on. The odd spat aboutbiscuits and balls and general who’s-in-charge games.

      Belgians are odd anyway (gross stereotyping there). Never liked them after one confiscated our camping stove 👿 at Brussels airport.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. loving Tosca’s ‘temporary’ name. she is beautiful. i hoofed over here after you talked about the ‘cinnamon’ colour over in my corner. Tosca is definitely more cinnamon than Timmy, who has more red in him. i actually looked up various cat colours, and cinnamon is one of them – it leans more into brown.
    i had noticed all along that Timmy’s tail has bicolouring that is different than the rest of him. while most of him is ginger and white, his tail is a darker colour – possibly cinnamon. i found a link about cat colours but i must say it was interesting, but not very practical.
    but that aside, i was reminded of a story about Samson, the cat that I shared a home with before Timmy’s predecessory, Squeeky. Samson had just turned up and was with us with a charming, friendly personality, and with no collar. nobody had posted a lost cat in the newspaper. although i must admit i never posted a found one, either. oops :)
    one day, a couple of years after Samson had moved in, a young boy was walking along the sidewalk outside our home, and he noticed Samson. ‘That’s my cat!’ he told me, sounding quite convincing, and he came up and picked up him, and i never knew if it was really so. he continued walking a few steps, cat in arms, but Samson showed no signs of recognition and struggled in his arms and came running towards the house.
    i’d momentarily wondered if perhaps Samson was being reconnected with a former caregiver, but when i saw how Timmy responded after his former caregiver came over some 2 years after he moved in, there was definite recognition there. and of course, there was also his way of showing that he was quite fine with his current home and had no intention of going back. but there was no mistaking that Timmy remembered his former person fondly and well.
    so in hindsight i suspect that Samson was likely not part of that boy’s home. there was simply no recognition there at all.
    but in the case of that couple, maybe they were hoping for a beautiful free dog. in my experience, animals remember their peeps. i have seen it with dogs and cats, too. i am glad that Tosca wasn’t chipped, and that she is now in such a safe and loving home.
    Snowy is certainly demonstrating his rightful place with A, though. too funny.
    ouch on the tire prices. i simply cannot get myself to use the British spelling on those. the Canadian version is tire, and i guess i’m stuck there :) vet care is not an inexpensive matter either. but congrats again to your whole family on your newest edition.


    • Thanks Kris.
      When I went travelling round the world my parents were surprised our dog recognised me. I ask you. If they did, why wouldn’t the dog? Silly thing to say. Free snimals abound round here. Doubt anyone pays for cats or dogs.

      I like cinnamon. Sounds so much nicer than ginger or some shade of brown, eg dark tan. Sounds spicy and exotic. Will look at linky later as am in bar wifi zone, so short of time.


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