Luca, A Shepherd dogs story – now rescued

I remember one of my first experiences of seeing a Spanish shepherd dog at work and I was so impressed. We were driving along a very rural lane, when we […]

I remember one of my first experiences of seeing a Spanish shepherd dog at work and I was so impressed. We were driving along a very rural lane, when we had to stop as there were about 100 goats in our path; I remember thinking we were going to be here for ages waiting for them to move, as they just remained quite happily meandering about in the road and chewing some of the grass and plants that lined the roadway. We got out of the car and looked around for a human and there lying in a field amongst the spring flowers was the shepherd fast asleep. We called out and he sat up looked across at the herd of animals and whistled. From nowhere came a dog, he rounded up the herd and ran them off the road all back on to the grass. The man never even waited for him to clear our path, he was that confident in his dog, that he had already laid down to his snooze before the dog had finished. I wanted to go and say thank you  to this marvellous dog, who had instinctively known what his master wanted, I wanted to pat him on the head and tell him what a good boy he was but he barked and shrank away from me in fear!!!

Luca is a shepherd dog of that I am sure. He looks just like many of the typical goat herding dogs we see out here in the campo. Well he did until he had his poor tangled, wretched coat shaved off. Luca was one of the Rudy rescued dogs. This is a group of dogs in a pen that were neglected and not fed, or cared for properly; so called the Rudy dogs now – Rudy is a Pointer that had lived like this for 18 months and many people wanted him saved. Their locked pen didn’t even allow someone in, to give them some human kindness or contact and food and water had to be tipped over the fence. Luca was rescued 3 weeks ago along with the others –

The day of the rescue was very stressful and a member of ours came with us and helped and took Luca, (who we had nicknamed Scruffy) to her home and his been his carer since. It was discovered he had skin leishmania and he must have been so uncomfortable in his horribly knotted coat, especially last summer. His ears are thickened with the skin leish and so painful for him. We went to see him yesterday for the first time and I haven’t said a lot about this boy, as I was not able to be with him through his first few weeks after rescue but he has been looked after and tended to very well. I have been looking forward to seeing him since that day and so was happy when he came out to greet me, albeit slowly and awkwardly, as he is such an uncomfortable boy. When he looked at me with those eyes, it told me so many things, how he had suffered but never complained, how he had probably worked so hard and served his master, just to be kicked out when he was too old. I didn’t realise that he is quite old, possibly 10 years old, although in his state, maybe he is younger and just suffering the consequences of a hard life. My heart aches for every shepherd dog like this, who will spend his life chained up only to be allowed free once a day to run with the flock, which is their saving grace. But the rest of the time, shown no love, no decent food and depending on the owner probably not enough water. These dogs are not treated with respect in spite of the work they do and their intelligence but the dogs don’t know any better. So when Luca looked at me and stood staring in disbelief, as he received another of many cuddles and strokes that he now gets on a daily basis, I could see his gratitude. He didn’t want it to stop, this lovely feeling of being caressed and being taken notice of. He stood there and I could feel his acceptance of me, in spite of his life and his need to be loved. If only we could show these owners what they have done to these poor creatures. If only they knew how much love a dog like this can give, as well as the practical hard work. No chains, good food, a protective scalibor collar, a kennel for shade and a nice stroke and words of kindness; how much would it cost them to do this?

Once again we realise that our efforts need to be invested in educating these people, getting laws in place and protecting this loyal and wonderful creatures from cruelty, neglect and in most cases complete indifference from their owners.

I really hope we can find this deserving old boy a good home, because when you look into his eyes you will see how much he deserves that, after all he has been through. He is having treatment at the moment which should be successful. The treatment of injections is 200 euros, if anyone would like to sponsor him, or ultimately offer him a home for the last few years of his life.