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Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012

The perils of animal-sitting...

... or: lessons I've learnt!
On Tuesday afternoon I told the dogs to go for a long walk with them to make up for having left them alone.
First lesson: dogs are not satnavs! They might know where they are, but you can't program them. Not even something like: short round, long round, HOME.
Pancho is a kind of hunting dog and has to go on a leash and Sinsa is a big wolfhound and barks a lot but accomponies us on our walks (sort of: might be some hundred metres ahead).
There are pictures of our walking areas here - it is really very beautiful: impressive cork-oak trees and often those tracks with stone walls, on one place quite close you'll cross the river (maybe creek right now, but I learnt that lesson already in Cocentaina...) by stepping stones; big square stones built into the river. It looks like a medieval stucture, but if you look closer, you'll see engraved: 1942!
Okay, I got distracted. It is still VERY hot at five in the afternoon and we walked some time in more or less bright sunshine. Somewhere I must have taken a wrong turn and the dogs didn't tell me and we landed on a road with traffic.
Second lesson: those dogs don't know what cars are and that they can hurt a lot! They stood in the middle of the road wondering what is happening. So I had to take Pancho's lead the shortest possible way and grab Sinsa by her collar. Pushed and dragged them along until we came to a walking track again. If you download the map from the above mentioned link, you can see the road between Ramila and Ponte Velha. I then remembered that I read somewhere the whole track is 12 km long and takes three to four hour to complete. Being already seven (Spanish time) it meant we would certainly be back before it got dark. All three of us were panting and then the dogs headed into a yard of a house. Ok I thought: maybe they know the neighbours and we can get some water there. Other dogs barked. Then an old witch lady came out, her husband with a big truncheon behind her and they chased us away.
An hour later we were back home after a long stop in the river...

Wednesday I didn't feel like a long walk. Pancho was obviously bored and managed to pry the door open.
Third lesson: always make sure that the door is properly closed! I had been told that some Portuguese neighbours found him next to a dead sheep and said: if we see him again, we'll shoot him! There was not much else to do than wait and hope and pray - and feed the horses, of course.
When I came to their enclosure, I didn't see Olli, the pony. I walked to the upper end of the paddock, and there I saw him wandering outside the fence on the driveway! I squeezed him back through that gap and found a board and some string to close it (hopefully)!
I forgot to tell: about two hours later, Pancho came back being very pleased with himself, happy to see me and demanded his supper!

So I hope there are no more lessons to learn... the cats don't give any trouble :-)
Tomorrow I'll meet Wilhelmina again, so I'll certainly have more to tell!

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