I had my first real and true Galgo at the studio today. Her name is Lili and she's a recent transplant from Spain after having ended up as a discarded hunting dog at a shelter.
I've been following the plight of the Galgo (Spanish hunting dog) for a few years now. They remind me of my sleddie friends... used and then discarded. Those who survive the hunting season but are no longer wanted can find themselves set loose to fend for themselves, dumped at shelters or tortured and killed. Those that make it into a rescue and eventually a home then have to learn to navigate our random domestic world. But they can do it with bells on and become beloved family members.
With rescues in Spain overwhelmed with the volume of dogs in need, they are doing all they can to fit them into their past-capacity shelters and keep them safe, fed and cared for. Sometimes they can adopt directly, but they often need the help of other rescues like Extraordinary Galgos & Podencos (EGP) and Extraordinary Galgos & Podencos of Western Canada (EGPWC) to help them find loving homes.
Which is how lovely Lili made it to Victoria. Although this young girl was pretty nervous of being in a new space and me moving around with my camera, when it came to treats she had no issue! And I discovered she liked the sound of a cat meow! She was super gentle... and calm through it all. The cutest thing is that she's apparently quite a lap dog at her foster home and is quite connected with her foster human, looking to her often for reassurance and ear and face rubs. Together they're working on her confidence and in the month she's been in Canada, she's come a long way... though she's apparently still not a fan of this west coast winter!
I'm thankful EGPWC reached out for a photographed with love advocacy photo session and look forward to the partnership and meeting more of their rescues. They may be a small group, but they're a committed one!
Here's what Lili's adoption profile says:
"Lili is a 4yr old galga from Fundación Benjamín Mehnert (FBM) in Spain. She arrived in Montreal on December 17th and travelled to Vancouver Island as a foster while we search for the right home for her.
Lili is very shy but once she gets to know her people, she’s a very sweet girl that loves affection. We believe she would do best in a quiet detached home with another calm dog and patient people to help her feel safe in this new world of hers.
If you feel that your home would be a good fit for Lili or you’re interested in learning more about her, please get in touch!"
And also like the sleddie community, there's a great sighthound support group locally who meets regularly for walks. It's adorable.
For adoption info on this LOVELY LILI: https://www.facebook.com/egpwesterncanada
Tica wore her peace beads on our walk today.
Some may just think they're wooden beads strung together by her human, but they're actually magical.
Not only did Tica make friends with a giant bear of a Bouvier named Bizou, she also decided today was the day to walk all the way down to the end of dock.
We've been walking at Macaulay Pt for about a year now and though Tica always wants to walk onto the dock on the way to the parking lot, though she only ever makes it a little ways. Sometimes 10 ft, sometimes 5, once she made it about 20ish.
We do offer treats to see how far she'll go, but her fear always ends up overriding her love of treats and she lets us know she's had enough and will turn herself around to walk nervously back to shore. Not today though. There was no turning back. With some soft milk bones on offer, she put her bravest feet forward and made it all the way to the end where she got some "Yay Tica!" treats and I got a couple photos in and then she realized where she was and decided to head back.
So we did.
It was a big day.
Along with Bizou, Tica also met little Leeroy the Boston and Bodhi with the balls (the built in kind), who she flirted with. She also spotted Sidney, the seal who hangs out there too.
Throughout all this dog-ness, the sky and clouds made for an intense backdrop for this Friday adventure at the point.
The places you go to all the time.
The places where it seems like it's always the same, because it's familiar.
You see the same people. The same dogs.
The sky, the birds, the boats.
But maybe your eyes are searching for something different.
And that's one of the beauties in this life for me.
There's always a way to see the same scenes differently.
It was December 20. The day known as "Suzy Day" in our home.
The day our little Suzy passed away in 2013.
The day I go visit her in our backyard and place a rock on her grave.
But this December 20 I couldn't.
It was so quiet that morning when I woke up. No sound coming from cars on the roads and a different sort of light coming in through the blinds.
Between the cold temperatures, having to dig trenches for our little dog and making sure the bird feeders were well stocked, I planned on spending most of the time hibernating inside.
Except I saw my grasses. Tall and marking the place of that new garden bed. I'd planted them in the front yard so they'd catch the setting sun. I've yet to trim them ever because I love to look at them swaying in the breeze. They are the holdouts. And this day they inspired me to spend a bit more time outside, with camera in hand.
Though I didn't venture from my yard.
The snow was light and feathery and I could sweep it with a broom. It landed on the delicate remnants of plants, filled all the nooks of the yard and created a roof over the pet cemetery, seemingly offering extra protection for our missed friends, as well as blanketing Suzy's special resting spot.
It brought contrast and definition to an otherwise monotone yard of lives well-lived and new ones waiting to regenerate, where it stayed for days until the rain and warmth melted it away.
This wasn't a change of season, it was just a change in days... in weather. An opportunity to see my yard with different eyes.
An impermanent art installation that vanished as quickly as it arrived.
Reminding me of life's impermanence.