I was rung with a report of cruelty to a dog. It was tied up and starving. The problem was that the people did not know exactly where as they were on an island tour. They gave me the details of the company and l got permission to join the trip for the day. My idea of hell was about to begin, a day trip with a bunch of ohhing and ahhing tourists.
We had a long pre talk as the trip was designed to do selling of fancy blankets and linen. The prize of sitting through this was a trip round the island. I had to join the talk as the company did not know how long the whole thing would take, it varied. Oh Great. I tried to stay awake in the corner where l had wedged myself in.
Finally we set off. I had tried to arrange with my other half that he would collect me when we found the dog so that l did not have to do the whole tour. He refused as he was to busy.
I sat at the front of the bus by a window trying to ignore the prattle from the tour guide, who every so often would give me a wink at another outrageous lie. At every stop l was off the coach and rushing round looking at the directions l had been given to find the dog to see if l could recognise anything.
At lunch someone asked me if l was with the tour company and l explained what l was up to. Apparently the group had formulated some weird story for my behaviour to do with checking up on the tour guide and seeing if everything in the areas they stopped at was set up correctly.
On hearing what l doing they immediately became like a pack of truffle hounds it was much more fun to them than just being on a tour. So l would wait at the bus chatting while “The Pack” shot off on a hunt and reported back. At the last stop they found it and were in uproar over the dogs condition. I explained l was not prepared to do anything that day, this was just a find the dog expedition and see what was there, if anything. I would come back later and talk to the owner and try to improve conditions or if need be get permission to put it to sleep. There was grumbling but they could see l wasn’t going to budge my position. I also gave them a long talk on animal care and how things worked on the island.
The next day when l went back to speak to the owner he was an elderly man. The dog was a guard dog. He was not exactly a prime example of it not caring what walked past him.
The owner agreed that l could supply wormers for the dog he would give them and to improve feeding. Bedding was a no as that would make a mess. I suggested an area of soft sand to lie in if l arranged it, the answer was still no. He would make a sheltered area so the dog could have shade other than the sparse branches nearby. I went back a couple of times to drop wormers off. Food was improved but he never got any weight back on and did not eat an awful lot. I think he was just too old to care and quite likely had heart worm which l could not treat without confirming he had it, and in the state he was in the treatment would kill him. He died a few months after l found him. The owner did not bother to replace him thank goodness.
Had the owner refused to do anything to help the dog, then no one could have done anything, but throw food as tourists had done in the past. Most of the Tenerifians were happy enough to do as suggested if it cost them nothing and did not mean they had to vary their routine.
I am able to understand cruelty in places like Tenerife, this doe’s not mean l condone it there is a big difference.
It is a struggle for the people, let alone the animals they have. There is not much education about human health. As to animal advice that is non existent. Vets are a last resort and generally the vets only treat town peoples and foreigners animals, the villagers are to poor for their own medical needs, let alone their animals.
I can not understand about cruelty in the UK and USA and other “modern” countries where there is education and back up for animal welfare and it is here l reserve my anger for over cruelty. Other places it is more frustration, the odd burst of anger and a spot to bash my head against the wall.
**The 3 photos were taken on the day l found him.