Like it was in the UK back in the 1950s and earlier, it’s quite common in Spain for people to let their dogs roam. At least it is in this part of Spain, where tradition often rules over new – and arguably, much more sensible – ideas. I’ve moved the bodies of dogs and cats off the roads many times. I’ve watched a little Westie (West Highland White Terrier) called Caspar draw his last breath after being hit by a car. I’ve felt the helplessness and frustration when you just know an animal is going to get killed, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it, so you just hope death will be quick and painless.
When Jimmy and Rufus started getting out, my first thought was the main road, less than 150 metres away. I would do whatever was necessary to prevent them ending up on that road.
It’s been very hot this week, but while the dogs have been relaxing at Posh Pets, Ian (with very minimal help from me) has been slaving away in the heat, cementing down the fences. Here it is in pictures …
Materials delivered by the local builders’ merchant, with special thanks to Christobal the Spainish taxi driver for helping me with the order and giving them directions to my house.
Cement starts here. The fence between my garden and my next door neighbour is already secure, so we started at the back.
All the way along here …
Past the swimming pool (you can just see the box where the pump and filters live) …
And into the corner (oops, got my shadow in there). My house has private drainage, so the pipe sticking out of the ground is the vent for the septic tank.
Round the corner and onto the side boundary, which is next to the arroyo, and is especially bad.
The ground has dropped so low here that it took 5 or 6 mixer loads of cement, plus bricks, just to bring it up to meet the fence.
I think the dogs might have been starting something here … but it’s too late now! It needed a low wall of bricks, covered by cement, so close the gap between the ground and the fence.
Up the side of the garden.
Further up the side of the garden!
The ground drops away into a gulley here.
In the bottom of the gulley. We had to hack back a lot of brambles to get at this fence.
And finally along the front of the garden. This part was done from the outside because it’s too overgrown and steep to get to from the other side (although the dogs had no trouble getting to it and digging out here before the cementing was done).
Even the mixer looks like it’s had enough!
Hopefully, that’s done the trick. My biggest fear in life is not being able to keep my animals safe.