Monday, April 25, 2011

The Windsurfing Weekly Podcast

I recently did an interview by telephone with John Wilkie for his windsurfing podcast website, about our move to El Medano. You can listen to it here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gizmo's already a Celeb ...

After only being with us for a few days, and despite our best intentions to keep him out of the news, Gizmo is in this week's Canarian Weekly ... click on this link and then go to page 9, and you should see his pic and the headline: "Gizmo grabs a new home" ...

He's there as a good news story of a pooch from Action Sol refuge finding a home, and if it helps to encourage more people to think about giving a rescue dog a home, then we say "Wooftastic !" :-)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meet Our New Pooch ... Gizmo

Just two weeks since our little yorkie Basil died, and we got a call from Marion, the manager of a local dog refuge ('Action del Sol') to tell us that a rather special pooch had just been brought in the previous day, and would we like to take first look at him ?

Of course we said yes immediately, jumped in the car and drove round there. As soon as we saw him we could see why Marion thought he was special. What a beautiful dog ! white with lovely brown floppy Spaniel ears, but long, strong legs like a poodle and big paws like a mini sheep-dog. You could just see him on the front of a bag of dog food, or in a commercial - like the 'Dulux' dog :-)

One thing worried us though - he seemed very shy, timid, and rather traumatised. Not surprising really having been abandoned, picked up by the police off the mean streets of Granadilla de Abona, chucked in the cop wagon and delivered to his cage at the refuge. No-one knew his history, but he seemed to be physically in good shape, and about one year old.

Anyway he was due to have the 'snip' the next morning, and we agreed to come back in the afternoon and take him home with us and look after him for a few days to see how he took to us, and us to him.

As soon as we got him back to Casa la Ola, he looked like he'd found his new home. Within an hour he was like a different dog and his true personality shone through the shyness. So affectionate with us, loves to play, and full of inquisitive energy. Very strong and athletic, and so intelligent - he was accepting commands straight away. How on earth anyone could have abonded this dog is a total mystery ! but he had no micro chip, so he was indeed homeless ...

Not for long though ! He was only in the refuge for two days, and within minutes of him arriving at our place he was definitely part of the family :-)

From the first pic of Gizmo, you might think he's terrier size, but as you can see from the pic of the two of us below, he's actually quite a bit bigger - more of a spaniel / collie / medium-sized dog ...

We love him to bits already. He's constantly making us grin and we're looking forward to many, many years of adventures together :-)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Basil - A Small Dog with a Big Heart

Our little dog Basil just passed away. He had a massive epileptic fit / brain seizure yesterday, and it left him unable to function. We took him to the vet, and it was clear that he would never recover or have any quality of life at all, so we all agreed to put him to sleep. It was one of the most difficult things that Nikki and I have ever had to do, but it was the right decision.

The vet was great. He wasn't overly sentimental, just very kind. He looked us straight in the eye and said: "if Basil was my own dog I would put him out of his pain now".

I have so much respect for my wife Nikki and the way she coped with this. She sat there with him on her lap after he had the injection to sedate him, gently stroking his head and saying adios to him, as he gradually and peacefully went to sleep. She is an immensely strong person, and I have so much admiration and love for her.

He lived to thirteen and a half years old and had a wonderful life. Nikki has documented his life story on her 'Tenerife Dogs' blog here: The Good the Bad and the Smelly - A Dog's Life

and you can read the story of how he arrived here in Tenerife in "I Woof Therefore I am ...".

Although he was 91 years old in human terms, he was a very strong little dog and we fully expected him to be around for quite a while longer. At least we were spared the painful experience of watching him deteriorate as the dementia took hold.

I fully believe that similarly, no human should have to suffer the agony of having their brain stop functioning leaving them with no life or soul.

So, anyway, he's at peace now.

We will take our time before we look for another dog. Basil was an irreplaceable part of our little family, but we are "doggy people" and we will be adopting another pooch some time soon. Our life will be a bit emptier till then.

Snr El Baz on our local beach - La Pelada

and with his Spanish teacher