Appearances matter

Don’t apply if you have a disability.

We spent the morning in a state of disbelief.

A Galgo (Spanish greyhound) was in transit to the UK but the adopters pulled out because Pablo had a limp which they hadn’t known about.

I was speechless. Well briefly. As was Partner. Mostly we shook our heads in despair.

So a dog has a limp. I do too these days. My partner’s always had one, more pronounced when he’s tired.


The FB thing swung into work and a UK greyhound rescue stepped in to give him somewhere to stay in the interim.

Truth is, I watched a video and couldn’t even see his limp.

Some people rehome dogs without a leg let alone a limp. In the case of Podencos, they are Tripods. Hmm. Not sure about that one but I suppose it’s accurate.

Many hunting dogs suffer injuries from traps or just sheer cruelty, so a limp or missing limb aren’t uncommon. Sadly.

But I have a deeper underlying concern here, and that’s about the status of rescue Galgos and Podencos.

I’m all for them being rehomed. That’s not the issue. I would prefer that there was no need for that. But these dogs are being shipped all over the world to ‘forever homes’.

Truth is, there are shelters in pretty much most countries which have dogs that need rehoming. So why are people paying to fly these Spanish hunting dogs not just within Europe but to North America?

The latest fad? ‘Oh, I have a Podenco and a Galgo. Spanish hunting dogs, you know. And, they are rescues. I am so much a right-on person.’ Yeah right. Until they limp. Arseholes.

When we decided to get a companion for ageing Pippa, we specified nothing. Not age, sex, breed, colour, absolutamente nada. Just, a dog that needs a home, we said to our vet. Let us know.

Within no time at all, he put us in touch with Rocío who had taken in a tiny puppy off the streets. He was still only weeks old. Pedro sent us more details of another dog but we’d provisionally committed to the pup by then.

And so we took in puppy Snowy, and the world of crazy Podencos and their hunting pals Galgos opened up to us.

My point is, that there are so many unwanted dogs, we really didn’t give two hoots what it was. If people want to do breed specific rescue, there are loads of those. Plenty of pedigrees exist in shelters. Our Labrador, GSD and two Pods are all pure bred. For what that’s worth. Nothing in my book. They just don’t have Kennel Club registration. But they have a home.

I see lots of people in northern Europe with one or more Pods. Invariably asleep on the sofa or the bed because that’s what Pods do.

But I worry that there are still unhomed rescue dogs in those same countries. Why not take one of those? Why ship in a Pod or a Galgo? Status? Trendy?

If you want a greyhound there are plenty in the UK. Why choose a Spanish one? Why choose a Pod?

I have my Tosca curled up next to me, and Snowy at my feet. But they are local rescue dogs.

There are no answers to this dilemma. Local or shipped in. Spain has far too many abandoned dogs. The shelters and pounds are always full. It is a very dire situation.

But why on earth does someone go to the trouble of agreeing to adopt and then turn a dog down because it limps? That is beyond me. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

And finally, my other question is about all the vetting and checking that goes on before adoption.

One of my neighbours is a busker and moves house, ie flats, from time to time. His dog is well cared for and has company all the time. He doesn’t leave her alone. We have a one-bed flat, no outdoor space and no secure/permanent income. Plus, I don’t clean. Well, not very often. Would I pass the vetting test as a potential dog owner? Despite having had six dogs living into their teens with no health issues?

Was this disability-biased family vetted? Maybe they had a nice designer house, money, nice garden, blah blah. Appearances are deceptive. Appearances, it seems are all. Just don’t limp.

But speaking of vetting, let’s have a brief look at the Olympics.


When I was a kid any medal was a good thing. Let alone a gold. From 36th in Atlanta in 1996 to 3rd in London in 2012, the UK is currently second in Rio. I’m sure China will overtake us, but what has happened to British sport?

Well, here is one answer, and I have to say I agree with the strategy. Invest in the likely winners, in a nutshell. I’m biased because a lot of the medallists come from the few sports I’ve vaguely bothered with: swimming, rowing, cycling, horses.

And discussing it with Partner, he said: Drugs. Stricter tests. But it seems not strict enough yet.

We still do the fair play old chap thing. Whereas others may not.

And I do wish every British participant in the Olympics the utmost success.

48 comments on “Appearances matter

    • Sad eh? A traumatised rescue dog? Discarded for a limp. As many of us have said, better off elsewhere. But the vetting thing worries me. That money and a nice house may win out over genuine care and affection. Still, he has a temporary home in a shelter. Maybe someone won’t discriminate against his limp.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Hmmm…. poor olde Dawson would not have stood a chance with adopters like those, eh, K? A limp would have been the least of his problems. Mind you, we ended up rescuing him because no-one else would have. He had four great years with us and he was a sweet dog.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If they rejected him because of a limp, I’d say he had a lucky escape… I know Germans adopt stray dogs from Greece, a friend of mine who’s a transporter takes them over free of charge. But maybe there aren’t so many strays in Germany? Curious…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In Australia and the State of NSW, greyhound racing has been banned. Several mass graves of greyhounds have been found as a result of breeders cruelty to their animals. Many breeders only ever cared about racing and gambling. Some just decided to kill the greyhounds even though several organisations have since been set up to find homes for the thousands and thousands of greyhounds all of a sudden needing a place to be loved and cared for.
    Some people that supported the banning of greyhound racing have been threatened.

    Of course the humanitarian disaster of Australia warehousing refugees on distant islands, raping and abusing children over three years is now getting the world’s attention. Our immigration minister, a staunch supporter of keeping the refugees indefinitely in detention said; “some refugees even resort to self-immolation in order to get a foothold in Australia.”
    So, banning greyhound racing has been achieved, but we are yet to see the banning of warehousing refugees.


    • The same has happened in the US in terms of racing greyhounds being killed after they were deemed no longer fast enough, then dumped in mass graves.

      There are plenty of greyhounds in the US that need homes without having to resort to the effort of searching the Iberian Peninsula, or any other part of the world, for one. I understand favoring certain breeds; I don’t get laying out the cash to get an animal that’s thousands of miles away when a similar one is 10 miles down the road.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Reminds me of a woman who wanted a rescue greyhound (she had an allergy so needed a short-haired dog) but went for a labradoodle instead and went ahead to order one from the breeder. I asked why she hadn’t rescued one. ‘There weren’t any.’ I looked up the nearest rescue to her in Colorado – lo and behold, a labradoodle was in there :(

        Liked by 1 person

        • In other words, she hadn’t even considered it, possibly because she didn’t want a “tainted” animal. If someone a continent away can find a dog in the local area, there’s no excuse, except laziness or more nefarious reasons. You could have sent her note informing her that they now have the Internet on computers, but I doubt she’d would have gotten the sarcasm.


          • I don’t know. I think she had a crush on Obama so decided on a labradoodle and a bought puppy. Think puppy training or rather, owner training was an eyeopener for her. We didn’t speak after my rather good sherlock work. She’d already paid her deposit for the pup so refused to consider the rescue.


  4. This breaks my heart. All dogs deserve to be loved and homed regardless. Would these people reject a child that wasn’t ‘perfect’? I think they want these beautiful creatures as status symbols, not a member of their family.


  5. ‘In transit’? That makes it sound as if he hadn’t even reached his destination yet. How did the potential owners even discover the limp then? Maybe they just made up the excuse because something else made them discover that they wouldn’t/couldn’t give the dog a home. In any case, very questionable behaviour. I hope the pup ends up with someone(s) who will care for him well.


  6. That’s a tough one roughseas. Here is the problem and it’s a big one: many folks are motivated to do good because they want to be lauded by others. They really aren’t kind or loving or caring – just needy of praise. Therefore they will act by adopting the highest profile dogs – not the ones most in need – and I too fear for the dogs they are adopting. This same type of behavior brings rich dilettantes, adorned with $100’s of thousands in jewelry, out in force to participate in fund-raising balls – which are heavily covered in the media. You too can support the poor by showing off your money and glittery accouterments. Dear poor person: I’ll buy you lunch if you promise to admire my jewelry and give me public thanks for my good deeds. Bleeeech! It makes me sick to my stomach.

    That said, here is the real nature of the problem: without accepting funds offered by donors in exchange for admiration and publicity, many charities would fail in their goals, both financial and in terms of real assistance for those who most need it. Soooo, not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth and trying my very hardest not to stand in judgement, I think that those who wish to contribute should only be permitted to do so with money. The actual aid provided should be controlled by subject matter experts and professionals whose job it is to decide the best use of funds – including choosing homes for rescue dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree about people who want to be praised for doing good instead of just getting on with it, and sadly, yes, the money is needed by so many charities of most types. Interestingly I did know one charity, where one senior member said they had more money than they knew what to do with.
      That’s one of many reasons I don’t support big charities, or popular ones. I’m more concerned with homeless people, old people, and animals. The ones that society wants to ignore. And sometimes it’s as easy to contribute directly too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t speak for other parts of the world, but the U.S. would be shipping in dogs from places where people hear about specific kinds of cruelty. Domestically, more attention is paid to pit bulls and perhaps greyhounds because of how often they’re victimized. Calls for adoptions also increase whenever animals get seized from a hoarder. Additionally, there’s at least an understanding in my neck of the woods that if you get a rescue animal, there are going to be problems.

    If a person agreed to rescue an animal and then backs out like that because of a limp, that person would need to get sturdy locks after changing addresses. Nobody would even start the process of trying to rescue an animal unless there was a serious intent of going through with it. At the least, the family doing the rejecting should be obligated to adopt a different animal. Or maybe pay a better qualified family to adopt a different animal.


    • I was always puzzled when I read about the transport runs where people offer to drive dogs for adoption halfway across the country? I thought, surely they must have local unwanted dogs. In the UK we just used to go to a local shelter and there was plenty of choice.

      Not sure about why a rescue animal comes with a tag saying ‘trouble’. Some are, but invariably because they have been violently abused and are terrified. But ours have been pretty good, including four out of six having spent time on the streets. In both of our current communities, most people we know take in dogs and cats and support shelters with food or other gifts, or do voluntary work. So there are good people out there too.


  8. (Nothing is more welcoming than a bed covered with cheerful pups.)
    We have so many local shelters and dogs roaming, it would be hard to comprehend why anyone would import one. I fear it’s a status thing or a fad as you say “Oh, I heard how horrible these dogs are treated and paid big bucks to get one…so pat my back and tell me how wonderful I am.” Same thing as donating money to a charity someplace else when less than a mile away is a child or family desperately in need. Somehow it’s gotten to be more worthy if the cause is a long way away (Besides, the needy close by get helped by other – only they don’t. Can’t tell you how many arguments had about that.)
    My grandmother used to say “If you are helping or giving in order to get praise from others, you’re doing it for the wrong reason.” Others argue that if help is given and things made better, then the motivation isn’t important.
    All I can say is that people are so strange.
    FB does have some purpose if spreading the word about a home needed.
    Rescue groups for miltary/service dogs have the same concerns about people who begged to rehome a veteran dog. You have to sign forms – multiple times – where it states you do not get to select the dog and that all the dogs have been through trauma and may have health issue and you, the adopting person, will have to pay ALL the expenses and vet bills. You have to sign multiple forms stating this. Yet, it happens and the families threaten to abandon the rescued dog to a shelter or kill it. Oreo the Mission K9 Rescue spokesdog was one such dog at risk. His new “family” rejected him after a few months for health reasons – maybe if they had feed him quality food and in the proper amounts he wouldn’t have gotten fat which stressed his joints and other internal organs. Luckily someone put out an SOS to the group and a rescuer came. Oreo is recovered, happy, and safe
    Guess the dream (of rescue and getting applause) didn’t meet the reality?
    As you say, many dogs do fine with 3 legs. Perhaps that one was stiff from transport or needed some nice home to heal and recover. Hope he found a more suitable home.
    When we have an open spot, all I have to do is say or even think “We have a vacancy” and a dog/cat desperately needing a place appears. And even if impossibly scraggly or wild, that animal turns out to be the perfect one for us.
    May all the small ones find a safe, comforting place.
    (and I am on break…But your email notice came in…..HA)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now I have been on break and sin wifi, I know nothing. Which is refreshing and good for the soul.
      Regarding the statement by your gran, reminds of one my mother used to say about giving something. That, if you gave someone something, it only held value if that gift had meant something to you. So she gave my partner an old cut glass tiny vinegar bottle that had been a gift to her from a teaching superior when she was a young teacher. So it’s not just the gift, it’s the thoughts and karma that go with it.
      Anyways, the dogs huh. You’ve reminded me. I’ve forgotten to post about the people, in US I think, who are breeding pedigree podencos. Aaaaagh!! Shipping is preferable to that. What part of full shelters, unwanted dogs, euthanasia, do people not understand?
      A vacancy. Quite. We didn’t advertise but Tosca appeared, so there we were, back to two again. Four legs good, eight legs better?
      Hot humid summer here. Looking forward to autumn breezes and showers. Feeble paw waves to Molly.


  9. Podencos seem to be trendy at the moment…so attract the ‘look at me what a good person I am’ types.

    We take what comes – i would never have imagined that a couple of Staffies would arrive, but am delighted that they have done so.


    • Yes, I worry about the latest fashionable breed. Especially one as abused as Dencies. Of course in Spain, everyone just assumes you just have a decent pair of hunting dogs although they may well be puzzled that a couple of guiries accompany them.
      Taking what comes is the ideal for me. If you want to give a dog a home, who cares what turns up? I do quite like staffies actually. Much maligned, a lovely temperament.


  10. In the ideal world, ‘rescues’ are where one can see and interact with them, not to look for limps and imperfections but to have that moment when a bond forms. When that happens, it doesn’t matter what other factors are involved. Warts and all, that companion is ‘meant’.


  11. My God!!! The limp should have given more reason for acceptance and to boost priority! I share your shock. And, It’ll probably be us next… “You can’t move here!” “Why?” “You’re limping… that’s a liability.” “F*** Off!”


  12. My animals have all been rescues. There are just as many unwanted and unloved cats. I have two cats now. One is an insulin dependent Diabetic. My sons are both Diabetic so I believe my kitty was meant to be mine. I know how to care for him. He comes and “asks” for his shots and takes them without complaint. He’s very sweet.


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