The story of the abandonned dog has reached one level of denouement.
She’d been “around” a long time…
As long ago as the 25th of November I first saw her in a field apparently limping. That isn’t too strange – a couple of weeks ago big, friendly Capone developed a limp, but it worked itself out in a couple of days – after an examination showed no obvious problem – there are some sharp little caltrop-y thorns around here – his family surmised he’d twisted his ankle, as anyone might.
But closer observation of the stray dog showed that she never put the injured paw to earth (Capone when running, would run on his sore foot.)
She was tangled in some sort of wire that she couldn’t chew off, nor stretch.
Loose animals don’t necessarily adhere to any fixed schedule. And we spent the better part of two weeks watching her, watching for her, and trying to find out ways of catching her without harming her.
This dog is very timid. Everyone is convinced she has been mistreated.
When we first adopted Ruskin, then an abandonned dog in the village, our vet surmised that he’d been brought here by caçadors (“hunters” has different connotations in different languages – caçadors here are people hoping to shoot specially-released partridges or naturally occurring wild boar) and had run off as soon as the first shot was fired. Ruskin is terrified of fireworks and, of course, shooting season. We imagine a similar story for the stray dog.
She had survived pacifically here in the rough scrub and forest between the cultivated fields for over a year. We had observed her to have (at least one) puppy – one villager says he saw it. And many of us left food out for her. Also she accompanied us and our dogs on walks, though always out-of-reach of the dogwalker. We watched for her to make sure she was okay. Suddenly she wasn’t okay.
After trying many different techniques to lure her or catch her, finally the local Protectora d’Animals brought round an humane trap, and within 24 hours we got her!
On my sunset walk last night with Ruskin and Sandy, the trap was unsprung, but on the after-dark walk I wasn’t sure…and as soon as K got home from Barcelona he went straight to the trap and came back reporting she was there.
So we went out in the dark with flashlight, leads, pinch-collar and muzzle, and additional food. And it took both of us taking turns to hold her and put one or the other apparatus on her without her escaping the cage.
And once she was secure, K carried her to the car and we drove the short distance back to our house. Our own dogs being in their places for the night, the downstairs was available for her and we put her on the dogs’ “chair” (it was a chair, once) and set about freeing her from the wire.
Four different sorts of pliers/wirecutters wouldn’t do it, but the sewing shears worked.
And she’s had some food – we don’t know whether she’s helped herself to the water, but it’s there. And a long, quiet rest. At first she spent some time looking for a way out – or was she just looking for a cozier part of the basement to hide in? But she’s been offered “walkies” several times and has not condescended to go out. Yet.
Today the people from the Protectora came to collect their trap, and to see the dog and comiserate with us, discuss veterinary treatment for the damaged paw, &c.
All this time I’ve been saying I didn’t suspect anyone of doing that to her, that she must have scrambled after a rabbit through some brush where someone had carelessly tossed a bit of baling wire, or…
But now that I’ve examined the wire cable, it looks suspiciously like a trap. I said it to K, and he said “That’s what they said,” meaning the Protectora people. They think it must be taken to the police, because it is just as illegal to trap anything like that as it was to shoot Ruskin, when Ruskin was shot.
Warning: distressing image:
Update: This morning when K came back from walking Ruskin and Sandy (it’s been a juggle, taking each one outside so as not to foment discord) the Lady was very civil as they came in, and then she got up and whined at the door, bacause Capone had gone round with them and was visible through the glass. So I quickly snapped a lead on her and took her out and we followed Capone around a bit (I gave him some hints where to go – he’s pretty co-operative. He knows I have dog treats in my pocket at all times!) and she finally had several wees and a crap.
And Then during breakfast she came upstairs and poked her nose over the barricade. And everyone has had some of the free liver from my friendly carnissera, Pilar (thanks, Pilar!) for lunch.
If I can get a decent shot of her I shall, but she’s chosen her preferred corner of the house and she’s sticking with it. Not Ruskin’s spot on the sofa nor Sandy’s in front of the butane heater, but a bit of floor between the sofa, a chair and the coffee table. So I guess she feels more secure there.
She has a vet appointment for Monday morning.
And we hope she’ll soon be as healthy as she was in October – and happier if we can make her so.
Thank-you, again to everyone who has given us moral and spiritual support toward helping her – in the village, and via FaceBook, &c. Thank-you all!