I've been pondering about whether to start another blog, a second one (well, third, if you count the work one) to talk about family stuff – still Spain/Seville-related, but more personal. For now, I'll just stick with this one, although my recent topics have been on different planets: from a major national scandal to a new architectural attraction with ancient remains under it; and now, a stray puppy. Life here in Spain is nothing if not varied.
My husband found him in the field (well, olive grove) next to our garden. He heard a mewing sound, went to investigate, and found the mother dead with three puppies, also dead, and this little one mewing his heart out. The mum had a collar on, but no tag, so we reckon she must have wandered off from her home to give birth (whelp?), and ended up dying of starvation - and as she wasn't eating, she couldn't produce milk for her pups, so they sadly didn't survive. Except for this little chap.
We started off feeding him from a syringe, but have now moved onto bottles. The first feeds were 5ml, then 10, then 20, now it's 30ml. He has his own little bottle, which came with the special puppy milk. It's all frighteningly reminiscent of feeding human babies (yes, sorry, I can't help thinking of him as a baby - small, helpless etc; nothing like a tiny, fluffy, orphaned animal to bring out that maternal instinct). We reckon he's about two weeks old.
Boiling the water, measuring out the formula in its scoop, cooling the bottle to the right (body) temperature, manoeuvring the teat into his mouth, watching him suck so ferociously… I had a few years of that between my own two children – who are, of course, totally smitten with him.
At the moment, he's fairly low-maintenance. He lives in a cardboard box (better protection from small, over-enthusiastic huggers/potential stranglers); he keeps snuggly lying next to a bottle of warm water which is regularly refilled; he does his business on the newspaper in the box, which is quickly and easily changed. The feeding takes a while, but I just put my feed up and watch the TV news for half an hour. Not exactly a hardship. After his bottle, he likes to snuggle into your jumper and have 40 winks.
We're not sure what breed(s) he is, as he's a chucho (mongrel), but my husband said his late mum was a white Yorkshire terrier-bodeguero cross (Jack Russell-type, used to kill mice in wineries, bodegas). I think he looks like a Rottweiler, and I can't stand them, although I'm not that keen on yappy little Yorkies either. But I'd rather have a barker than a snarling, drooling, aggressive beast any day.
This new pet wasn't planned, although me and my husband had talked lots about getting a dog, as we both love them, and have had other dogs before. We have a big garden, but the problem is it's not secure – the fence is broken. So plenty of preparation work to do before Beepo (for that is his name) can start gambolling around outside with the kids. Then my camera will be really busy.