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