Once again (for the third time!) before arriving at our housesit, we were asked if we would mind if there was an extra pet to care for. We had met Jill while housesitting just up the road a couple of months before and been introduced to her lovely laid-back ladies, Maggie and Canela. Now Jill had a new puppy, Dora, found a couple of weeks earlier while out walking.
Dora was probably about 4 months old, had a broken paw, was crying and very hungry (bony, not quite skeletal) and covered in ticks when Jill found her and took her in. (She was continuing to care for Dora until her vaccinations were completed and she got her “pet passport” before being rehomed through a rehoming programme.) Jill told us that Dora would be fine with us as long as we fed her. We are fine with additional pets, it’s becoming a bit of a theme recently! And Dora was a lovely girl, so enthusiastic for her food! And, having been taken under Maggie’s wing, was learning about walking off-lead and coming when asked. Being so young, she had a lot of manners to learn – like not jumping up on or play-biting people, and definitely not getting your nose onto the dinner table at mealtimes.
Our time here was a welcome respite from the travelling we had been doing and relaxing to not have to go out other than for fresh bread and coffee. Being close to our previous sit, we now knew all the good spots to shop and enjoy coffee and Chris was cycling on familiar roads. We also caught up with our previous hosts over a fantastic meal, we love meeting new friends. Caring for Maggie and Canela and the cats would have been so easy, so it was nice to have Dora added to the mix, and she was such a loving dog … when she wasn’t making mischief!
One day we made a return visit to Mijas, a lovely white village about 20 minutes away. It was lovely to wander the streets, although we started out competing with around 10 busloads of tourists, until after lunch when they moved on. After our trip around the north of Spain, we felt that we liked the south better, especially with these white hilltop villages that have character and history in a different way to the north.
The weather changed and we endured lightning and thunder directly overhead through the night and torrential downpours. Luckily we were out in the countryside and away from the village of Alhaurin el Grande, where the steep streets turned into rivers. Negotiating the roads the next day meant having to avoid mud and gravel washed over the road. Chris needed to be careful when out cycling as the mud was extremely slippery and treacherous. The dogs didn’t care about the puddles, in fact, they loved wading through… but it made for smelly and wet returns in the car home. Once the weather dried out, we made sure they all got bathed, but for Dora, it wasn’t her favourite thing.
Each day everyone was loaded into the car to be taken up to a semi rural area where we could do about a 45 minute walk off lead. They loved this part of the day and, one day, were so keen to go again, when we opened up the car doors to retrieve our groceries, all three jumped in thinking it was their turn now. Canela took the drivers’ seat and Maggie and Dora sat in the back, it took some coaxing to get them out again.
All too soon it was time to say goodbye, we really enjoyed this interlude with these lovely girls. It turns out Dora will be moving to her new home in the Netherlands, having been adopted by a family there who will take her out on long walks and, hopefully, she will continue learning manners and mature into the lovely dog she shows promise of being.