I’ve had a few questions asking about who Eddie is, and what is a podenco?
A podenco is a Spanish breed of dog, bred for hunting. Like most people outside Spain, I had never heard of them in the UK. Once living here in rural Spain, it is hard to miss them. Podencos are a tall, elegantly leggy, giant eared breed; really beautiful dogs, bred for acute senses and stamina. Unfortunately, because they are at root, a working breed, many of them are treated shockingly, being regarded not so much as living creatures, as hunting tools. A dog who outlives its value for hunting is often simply abandoned to fend for itself.
Consequently, the dog shelters here are full of podencos, hundreds of them. Just as in the UK, the dog shelters are full of staffies and other ‘tough’ dogs, here it is the podencos.
I first encountered Eddie driving back home from Gandia last November. Coming up the mountain road, all tight and twisting corners, I saw a white and ginger dog trotting down the road towards me. Fortunately, there was little traffic, but I was in a spot where stopping the car was not an option. Cutting a long story short, I drove until I could turn round, returned to find the canine wanderer and, with help from a Spanish lady who also stopped to help, got him into my car, cursing the previous owner for the condition of his dog.
He was petrified, cramming himself under one of the seats. Arriving home, I found he was actually slavering in fear. When John and I persuaded him to get out of the car, John was horrified as I at the state of him. Skeleton thin and covered in scabs and scaly skin, his enormous ears looked completely out of proportion to his frame.
We called him ‘Eddie the Ears’ and he joined our little household.
Eddie is slowly learning to trust and to enjoy life. Initially terrified of men in particular, he is learning that not all men are monsters. As his stress levels drop and his sense of trust grows, he is becoming playful. As the mange that was the cause of his scabby skin has been cleared up, his fur has regrown and he is turning into a really handsome dog.
I’ll be posting occasional tales about Eddie, but his full story can be read when ‘Scrumping for Lemons’ is published in September.