Tuesday, March 13, 2012
My Furry Amigos
The other day I was thinking about the first night that I spent at the dog refuge, and wondering what's happened to my furry amigos that shared the cage with me.
I must admit, that first night I didn't get too much sleep. Well none of us did really. There was Gonzales - a manic Jack Russell (we called him "Speedy G") and Luna the bulldog. Speedy G kept bouncing around all night like he thought he was some kind of manic rubber ball. He bounced off the walls, me, Luna, everything really ! and in between bounces, he insisted on telling me his life story - in great detail.
Then when Speedy G's battery finally ran down and he decided to go to sleep, Luna started snoring for Tenerife. Crikey, what a racket ! The planes flying low over the refuge were nothing compared to Luna's snoring. Maybe that's why she found herself on the streets - perhaps she drove her owners completely mad with sleep deprivation.
The next morning the nice people at the refuge gave me some breakfast. Wooftastic ! What a treat after having to ferret around for food on the streets - it almost made up for the lack of sleep. Then one of the volunteers took me for a walk. Aha, now things were really looking up ... that's until I got back to the cage to find yet another woofer had appeared. So now there were four of us in there, and it was getting a little bit cramped. "Not much chance of moving pad and getting some kip now, they must be full" I thought. Oh well, sigh ... not wanting to start off on the wrong paw with the new arrival, I greeted him with a welcoming sniff.
The new mutt was Elvis - some sort of a terrier / spaniel mix, and he seemed friendly enough, until he started making this weird noise - a bit like a pig trying to sing karaoke while being strangled. I thought: "hang on mate, I know it's quite a privilege to meet a pooch of my caliber, but calm down please !" Unfortunately there was no stopping him - the pig karaoke squealing continued on and off for the rest of that day and night.
So there I was stuck in a cage with a woofer who thought he was a rubber ball, and bored the fur off me with his cat chasing stories; a mutt who snored louder than a Boeing 707; and now a pooch who thought he was auditioning for the doggie version of X Factor ... Woof-Bloody-Tastic !
Anyhow, we had to get some sleep eventually, so we all curled up together and I discovered that despite Luna's snoring and general ugly bulldog-ness, she was actually quite cute (wink wink). Us dogs are very sociable really, and most of the time we get on OK despite all our annoying little habits. Since then I've met a few of these mutts out-and-about and we've become furry amigos (more about them in another episode).
After I Ieft the refuge and became the spokesmutt for Nikki's website: TenerifeDogs.com, I was asked to be the poster pooch for Accion-del-Sol's educational program (after all, I am exceptionally cute as you can see). This involves visiting local schools and helping the children look after their pets properly. So let me share with you some of the main things that we tell the kids about being a responsible dog owner:
• Always make sure your pooch has access to fresh water and give him a balanced diet.
• Have your dog neutered and micro-chiped. Of course if he comes from a rescue centre this should already have been done.
• Don't leave your pooch alone all day if you can avoid it - otherwise he'll probably annoy the neighbours woofing and generally be naughty.
• Treat your dog kindly - no hitting !
• Take your woofer for at least two walks a day, and try and spend some time playing with him every day.
• Take your dog to the vet for his annual check-up and vaccinations. Heartworm is a very serious illness for dogs in Tenerife, so make sure you either get the yearly injections or monthly tablets to prevent it.
• Regularly wash and groom your pooch, and check his teeth, ears, and nails to spot any problems before they become serious.
• Keep your dog on a lead near traffic - you don't want him to get run over or cause an accident. A dog off the lead near a road is an accident waiting to happen !
• Carry some plastic doggy bags so that you can clean up after he does his 'business'.
• If you go away on holiday make sure you know someone reliable to take care of your pooch, or take him to a professional dog hotel.
So it's hasta luego, y 'chow-for-now' mis furry amigos.
ps if you would like to keep in touch with me, check out my Facebook page Snr Giz and if there are any doggie issues you would like me to discuss in my column, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in Island Connections copyright Nikki Attree please check out my book www.nobodyspoodle.com