A cute blond skinny dog

“There’s a little dog outside of your holidayhouse Oliveira, did you see it?” Henk enters with the unwanted news and does not gets frightened when I jump up and exclaim: “Oh no! No I don’t want anymore!” I run out the door to go check. Henk knows me a little longer and also knows that we did our share in helping stray dogs to a nice new home.

There’s one of those stray dogs on the porch

Oooooo, why? I don’t want anymore dogs, one is enough. I can’t to scare away a small shivering dog, so for the moment I decide: “I didn’t see it. I’ll just ignore it. Maybe he will go away.” Henk laughs at me: “Yeahyeah, he’ll just dissolve. That’s gonna happen!”


He walks on to holidayhouse Africa. Henk is here for the second time to help out. The kitchen in Africa has been nicely renovated and is almost done. The details always take the most time. I can’t take in another dog, there’s no time, I have enough to do! I have to paint the new cupboards, which Henk built!


As a small independent business you have enough to do.

Remodelling, cleaning, maintenance, promotion, marketing …

Write blogs, update the calender, answer booking requests, create nice promotions and themes. A lot of time goes in the computer!  

“They’re already good friends, Donkeydog and the little one”, Henk says, when we’re sitting at the dinner table. I had done a reasonable job at suppressing the memory of the dog, but here it is again. I have to sigh deeply.

Stray dogs problem has improved a lot over the year

Some years ago there were always a lot of strays when the hunting season started. Not trained well and gone missing, or poorly trained and thrown out. Gotten pregnant since the owner didn’t want to pay the vet (and who blames them: the vets around here are terribly expensive!) With the crisis of 2013 a lot of dogs were thrown out, or if they lucky taken to the shelter. There is one shelter in Coimbra for the entire region.

Portuguese people are generally nice people, but not to animals

Especially dogs can have a bad life. There used to be a lot of dogs that were chained up and never released again. The mechanic in the village has one, underneath a large tree. That one is lucky he has shade and shelter from the rain, he even has hay to lie in and has food every day.

They are a kind of doorbel

One day he escaped. You could see them sometimes with their chain still dragging behind them, walking next to the road. But this one didn’t run away. He just walked around his tree, like he always did, but now in a bigger circle. He didn’t let himself be caught. I tried to help catch him, since such a dog can be dangerous for traffic. He didn’t want to go back under his tree. He just had no idea where to go now that he was free. His world was small and round, now it was just a little bit bigger. 

The next morning when I go to pick up the bread (I write a note for the baker and he hangs the bread on a hook, since he comes around at 6 in the morning) I see the little shivering dog again and it crawls up to me and then looks up with its little eyes begging to have pity.


What can you do? You can’t really scare it off, can you? I bet even the biggest brut couldn’t do that.

So it looks like we have another dog

Maybe I can put a nice promotion on the mail:

Stay a week in one of our holidayhouses and get a lovely blonde little skinny dog as a present!

A skinny dog is the fashion accessory this year. Fits perfectly with your #balayage hairstyle, Gucci bag & skinny jeans!



We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas da Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

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