The Travelling Duo Become A Trio - Adopting A Stray Dog In Spain

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Monday, 6 January 2020

The Travelling Duo Become A Trio - Adopting A Stray Dog In Spain

Originally posted 7/1/2017
How could we have known on our drive to La Isleta that our life was about to change? All we had in mind was a cup of tea with Esther's parents followed by a lovely and peaceful hike along the coasts and cliffs back to San Jose. Until, that is, a sandy-white haired bundle of fluff came and sat by Esther's foot and looked up at her with 'the eyes'. "Love at first sight" may be an overused expression but I think it is appropriate here. Still, I didn't believe that just three weeks later that same bundle of fluff would be fast asleep in a dog basket by my legs. We've called her Leela.

'Leela' had arrived in La Isleta with a lovely lady who had found her sheltering on her porch, dirty and bedraggled, following the big storms that hit this region in early December. Giving her food, shelter and a vet checkup she had set about finding where she had come from. There was no microchip, but was she just lost? Did she belong to anyone in her village? Anybody nearby? But nobody came forward.  It's a sad fact that a lot of dogs do get abandoned in Spain, for whatever reason. An average of 16 per hour according to this article. We know many people here in Cabo de Gata who have given loving homes to strays, sick and abandoned dogs.

However, with 2 cats and a big dog of her own sharing her small apartment she knew she couldn't offer this new arrival a home forever. When she had said, half-jokingly to us, that we could "have her if we wanted" I didn't think she was serious. Nor did I think we would actually consider it. She certainly wasn't 'pushing' the dog on us and I forgot about the whole thing during our sunny hike home.

But a seed had been planted and various events and signs kept bringing this little dog in need of a home to mind over Christmas and New Year. We talked about it, meditated on it but couldn't quite get over the hurdle of committing. We, well me especially, were scared of not knowing how our lives would change.

But then one night last week we got chatting to a traveller sleeping in a shop doorway, who was caring for a sick abandoned puppy he had found nearby which was being attacked by other dogs, sharing his food and warmth with this tiny bundle of fur. Then it struck me, if he can share what little he has then what exactly is stopping me sharing a little of my life with a fellow animal in need. Why was I focusing on what I might have to give up instead of the gifts I'd receive from having a dog in my life. Esther, it's safe to say, had already made up her mind. We decided to give it a try.

The unconditional love and trust that has grown so fast between the three of us has completely melted my heart. It's bought me and Esther even closer together, we're out walking more in the beautiful surroundings here and, I have to say, finding it far easier to unwind, switch off and go with the flow. Just this morning we sat having breakfast on a rock overlooking the stunning Los Genoveses beach and an expanse of Mediterranean Sea, something we hadn't done in more than a month since we arrived.

As former academics we know we have a tendency to overthink things, make plans, discuss......but with Leela on board (so far) we are finding it far easier to be happier with whatever arises. We're not naive to the fact there will be lots of challenges involving both small and large changes in how we do things from now on, but those challenges come with such an abundance of joy!


  1. We adopted a dog in August and never regretted it. It is amazing how quickly life adapts. We take turns to go into museums and look for cafes and restaurants with seats in the sun. Enjoy as I can see that you are.

  2. Hi, thank you for your comment. We are indeed very happy. With our news today there will no doubt be even more changes in the immediate months and weeks ahead. Exciting times! Scared but excited.

    Best wishes,

    Dan and Esther


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