Monday, 17 March 2014 was the day I fell in love, and the day my life changed forever. It was the day we collected our puppy, Paddy, from the K9 Club in La Marina. Ever since we’d settled in Spain, I’d wanted a dog, and knowing how many animals needed homes, I wanted to adopt a rescue dog. Tony was dead against it, because, as he rightly said, a dog is a tie, and in any case, we were human aunt and uncle to our friends’ two dogs. We saw them every day, and looked after them when their owners went on holiday.
I’d resigned myself to living a dog free existence, but then our friends decided to return to England, and although I tried my hardest, they insisted on taking the dogs with them. I assured them the dogs would be better off with me in the country of their birth – I mean, after eight years of going ‘el woof’ when a stranger walked past the house, or when they met other dogs on their travels, how would they cope with the doggy lingo in England? But all my pleas fell on deaf ears, and our friends and the dogs departed for pastures newer and greener.
One Sunday, soon after they’d left, we were relaxing in the sunshine in our courtyard, and Tony said, ‘Have you still got this week’s papers?’ referring to the local free English language newspapers. I did still have them, and I asked him why he needed them. He said the words I thought I’d never hear: ‘Because we’re going to choose a puppy for you.’
I went into the apartment, cleaned out my ears with cotton buds in case I’d heard him wrong, then checked the level in the whisky bottle to make sure it wasn’t the booze talking. The ears yielded no wax, and the whisky bottle appeared to be at the same level as the previous evening, so I went back outside, complete with free papers, and asked him if he meant it. He did, so we looked through the adverts. Quite honestly there were about a dozen dogs I could easily have taken in, but nothing actually leapt off the page and said ‘Mummy, take me home with you!’
So we went on the various websites,and there we had our first sight of Paddy – or Teddy, as Kayla at K9 had called him. He was between 6 and 8 weeks old – they couldn’t be sure, as he’d been abandoned and left to die alongside the canal behind the kennels. When Kayla found him while she was walking some of the other dogs, he was covered in mud, freezing cold, and whimpering feebly. His brother, who had been abandoned with him, was dead, and Teddy wouldn’t have lasted the night. Kayla took him back, bathed him, and let him sleep with her, because he was so tiny she was afraid the other dogs would hurt him.
As soon as we saw Teddy, we knew he was the dog for us. He reminded us of our Border Collie, Patch, who lived to the grand old age of 17. So we arranged to collect him the following day. As we discussed names for him, we decided we’d like to give him a Spanish name, and we settled on Pedro. However, when we saw the date on the receipt for our donation to the K9 Club, we realised it was St Patrick’s Day, so what else could we call him but Paddy?
I’ll be sharing Paddy’s adventures, trials and tribulations with you, and I’m working on an e-book called Educating Paddy, so this is where I shall blog the book into existence. Fasten your seat belts, because sometimes life with Paddy can be a very bumpy ride!
Photo credit: K9 Cub