Tag Archives: stray dogs

Baby dogs for free

I had seen them from the corners of my eyes.

Two little rascals in the meadow with our three big donkeys. I hadn’t paid so much attention to it, probably thrown out of the car. That happens so often. Baby dogs are not really a gift from heaven here.

What should you do with baby dogs? Nobody wants them, certainly not if it’s a girl

Every night, when I got in the car to go to the meadow with three bowls of ração for João, Bambi and Faísca, I saw them hide in the bushes.

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Later that month there was only one, and I got complaints that there had been “something” in the trash cans of the guest rooms. After all, I finally took a box of dog food to the donkey’s meadow, because of course we can’t have that, messing around with trash cans.

After the summer, the donkeys went back to the orchard, to the other extreme of our village

The dog moved secretly with them, but became slightly less shy. She seemed to be quite clever, very different from another dog that I had picked up from the road. We had called that one Wolf, because he had a wolf’s head. The rest of his body was not so well made, it looked more like a frizzy sheep. He had too much hair for this climate. And he was savagely dumb.

The first time I succeeded in stroking her she had approached reluctantly. After a few gentle strokes over her head and shoulders she was so happy that she ran like a tornado round the shed. So fast that you could hardly see her anymore.

That was the beginning. She got a bit looser, just stayed with her friends the donkeys, even when there were people around. Especially João was her big love. She licked his eyes clean, and sometimes played with him, that is to say: he remained on his spot, a bit clumsy, and she ran around him and jumped to his head.

Always in the company of the donkeys. Her big friends

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After living with such a creature for a while, and it became clear that she was there to stay, ao the need arose for a name. Gosh, what’s a good name for that animal? We gave her a name in the best Portuguese tradition: function and occupation in one.

Donkeydog – in english, because it had to be international of course. That everyone can understand it

Some people call her Donkiedonk. Also fine. In the meantime she’s so used to being the darling-of-all last summer. She went somewhere special on the stairs to a house, or a terrace to provoke nice treatment.

She knows she may not go in anywhere, that she is not wanted on the village square or by the swimming pool, but I can’t forbid her to just walk past a house at a time when she knows that sweet little boy is at home …?

She has now become a mother. Gave birth to her first litter. Now she was an “old prime” as my sister the midwife always indicated during the table conversations: a somewhat older woman who gets a first child. She prevented previous pregnancies by simply sitting on her ass in case of any interest. She did so – thank God! – when Wolf got an interest in her.

I thought that was a brilliant solution, and proof of her intelligence

Unfortunately she didn’t do that this time. And I know the father. At least … know … I chased him away a number of times. A black-haired tramp, he looked good, a little neglected but not an unattractive dog. “Oh no, Helena L.!” I said to myself, “we have picked up enough dogs from the street. Not again!”

You can’t re-educate severely mistreated dogs, They’ve spent their lives on a chain or in a cage, and never interacted with humans that much. Not like here, anyway.

That is to say: I can’t re-educate them. My pedagogical qualities are nil in that respect, and I’m far too impatient. Just ask my sons. They know everything about that.

I hardened my heart and chased him away. But he left his mark. Two marks, in fact.

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A sweet baby dog, anyone?

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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 portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Moving from one appartment to the other holidayhouse

“What? You’re going tomorrow?” I am confused for a moment, surprised, because: “I thought the day after … ” and then happily: “Maybe you were going to move back to appartment Two, I thought … that is still 3 days free … “

Opi laughs. “Yes, that would be nice. Then we would have ended where we started.”

Opi is a sweet grandmother. This is evident from her name. I do not think that non-sweet grandmothers are called “Opi”. Her two grandsons are clearly very fond of her.

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Mother Ann was late with reservations. I had one week in Two free, and a few days in rooms and houses

After receiving so many years of emails and guests, you get a little feeling for how the people behind the mail are. This mail gives me a nice feeling, cheerful and loose. Especially if there’s another one right behind it with only one sentence: “I just had a lot of fun reading your blog with the description of your target group!”

I think that’s very nice to read, so I sent an e-mail with that message: “Thank you so much, I appreciate it that you send that – after all, I have no idea who our blog actually reads!”

Later, during relocation number 3, when they staid in the simple rooms in the bathhouse, and they had no kitchen of their own, but were allowed to use our kitchen, she came back to the subject and said: “That blog about the winers who count the threads in the sheets … hilarious! So then I was like: We will stay there! That must be a nice place! And of course it is not that far from Coimbra where my brother lives.”

Moving four times, from appartment to holidayhouse to rooms, in two weeks is quite a lot, but if you are as flexible as they are, it’s fine, and it’s an adventure every time

“We love to stay here, so here we go again,” Ann says cheerfully, and I am very happy with it. I’m happy if nice guests want to stay, I have no objection.

And it is fun! Our dog fell in love with them head over heels. Donkeydog is on their terrace, and always moved along with them. It was clear who her favorite was …

Ann even got her a special pill against ticks and fleas. She doesn’t have any flees, but ticks know where to find her.

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Ann had taken them specially for stray dogs, if she would encounter them. She works in a company that makes and sells those new pills, and they work fantastically! Fortunately there are not so many stray dogs anymore – the Portuguese also learn to treat their animals better.

Donkeydog went directly to the Bravecto pill

I got an extra pill for October. It works for months. Well, she’s certainly going to get that, because I haven’t seen any tick anywhere anymore. You can just cuddle with her without those dirty animals getting in the way. Very pleasant!

Everyone has done so. I mean the cuddling. That dog is cuddled like crazy. Lucky for her, other candidates have arrived, otherwise she’d have toughen up.

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They’re going back home, the final move. We’re staying here, with good memories – and a pill!

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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 portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque and mini golf, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Lucky bastard

Ooooo, why things always happen at the same time? You can be bored for an hour, and suddenly there are the expected guests, someone wants to rent towels anyway, someone else who wants an information, someone comes up with some questions and another one wants to settle the bill and leave. Plus an UNexpected guest.

Then I’m so happy that my youngest son also works here

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He joined the unexpected camping guest to show the campsites. I always call it a campsite, not a camping – to stress the difference. Calling it a “camping” you may associate it with olympic pools, snack bars, sunbathing meadows and animation teams, but we do not have those things at all.

We have a terrain on the hillside, and an area adjacent to the village square. That’s it. Both have their own toilet building. Below is called “ToiLetBuilding” and on the hill you find “The Bunker”.

You have to give it a name here, otherwise you’ll go mad explaining where to go

The unexpected campers made the choise for the hill. Good choice, if you ask me, but a little bit a challenge for the drive-up. It’s quite steep. You have to take a run-up, and never again brake before you’re there. Even a little hesitation in your gas can make the difference between easy-to-go or have-to-go-back-and-start-over.

They came with a pretty big, very beautiful yellow van

And we had not had that before. After a while she returned, she and her daughter, a bit stressed, clearly wrinkled by the experience. “I can’t move forward, and I don’t dare to go back anymore,” she said, stuck on the bench before the reception.

“If you trust me with your van, I can do that,” I answered, happily free from further commitments, “I can get it down.”

Relieved, she handed me the keys

“What a beautiful bus!” I said enthusiastically, “I will be very careful with it. If you stay on the road to stop traffic, I’ll come down slowly. “

“Yes, sure,” she already laughed again, “all that traffic, surely! But okay, it’s true, there could pass a car, indeed … I’ll stay there. Besides … I don’t want to miss this of course! “

Never drove in such a great color. I started the engine for the certainty, and put it in geer. And then many times on the brake. Slowly but surely we went down.

“Oh fine, thank you, powerlady!” Irma called her daughter next to her, “Now, I guess, we’re going to be down there!”

Then they stayed for a day or 10 and it was as if they always had been there

Then, on a beautiful day, she came down with a black and white dog on a rope. “Look at this, what happened to me!” She called to me, “now, isn’t this a sweetie?”

I immediately understood what this was about and responded very spontaneously with: “Oh no, please! I do not want another dog! ”   But she answered right away: “But I do!” And that was the signal for me to immediately let go of all resistance.

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Yes, you can think: gosh, what a hard cold bitch with such a reaction, but in the past 20 years I have picked up /saved from fatal death / taken from the dump / adopted when left behind as foundlings at least on average 1 dog per year and put up for adoption with corresponding effort, so I think I did my part. I’d like to make a little break.

In addition, a stray dog is not a good idea to combine with (sleeping) guests

You can only teach stray dogs with a lot of attention and love. Love – okay …. attention – fine, but there’s no time. Just ask my sons. They know everything about that. Love – no point, attention – sure … but time … hm …

Now this dog is going to live in the rich north

If a Portuguese dog could realize, he’d think: “What? Your own sleeping place with a mattress and a blanket? And they bath you? (Brrrr …. but well: no fleas anymore.) They want to cuddle and play with you? Play? Can you play? And you get enough food every day? Yeah …. heaven! “

The only price that this pointer (because it appears to be a purebred) has to pay is a visit to the vet, after which he will go through life as a you-know-what-dog.

On the basis of the latest data, you could say that the title of this blog is completely untrue, but I stick with it: he’s a lucky bastard!

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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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Multi-talented volunteers

Statistically we’ve had a lot of (multi-)talented volunteers and guests.

They’re probably attracted by all the eye-candy that has been created over the years.

The first time Bruno came, it was an exciting event, since I already had a group of four young girls around. They came from all over, Germany, Canada, France and Hungary. Bruno came with his childhood sweetheart Tooske, and in his first elaborate email he wrote about how surprised he was that he recently became 65.

From all over the world in perfect harmony

We started the Termas-da-Azenha, believing it could be a place to bring together people who would probably never meet otherwise. And that has certainly happened, over the years several unexpected combinations of people got along famously.

Just like last autumn. It really improves the atmosphere if people get along.  In case of volunteers it also gets things done better and faster.

So I thought it was great that Bruno came back

multi-talented-volunteers

This time he came with his son. You know his son already, dear readers, it’s Coco from the “portuguese poo sandwich” blog, from a few weeks ago.

“I hope he’ll like it here” Bruno says when he arrives, “I expect he will, otherwise I would never have asked. But we’ll have to wait and see … father and son together for two weeks … it’s been a while!” Coco is 30, so he’s been independent for quite some time.

I had reserved a house for them. Since it’s quiet at the moment and we have 8 houses, so usually it’s only full in high season.

A few days later my family arrived, 5 of them, sisters, a brother and a brother-in-law. I’m used to the bustle of having a large family. However, most people don’t, like Coco who had to get used to it. It can be crowded but it’s also cosy.

Our bikes were due for maintenance

Coco is a bicycle repairman. Great. You can’t imagine what can break on a bike if it’s used by different people all the time! I expected it to take a while, but no. At the end of his first day most of it was done. Impressive.  

“Great” I shouted, completely red and sweaty, from the work – we were trying to salvage a fig tree from brambles, “buttt … not so clever, if you were a little slower you would be nicely sitting in the shade fixing a tire, quietly by yourself!”

It was warm, around 30º C.

Which is fine if you’re on holiday, hanging around and enjoying the sun and the breeze from the sea, but if your cutting brambles it gets quite warm.

It wasn’t a problem for Coco, without saying much he came to help the team. We continued till noon. Then, when it became really hot, we went to do something else.

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Bruno painted “the Angel”, in the corridor of room Two. He stood there comfortably in the shade painting with a pastel chalk. “The little Dog” was lying at his feet.

“The little Dog” the stray –  a skinny blonde darling. You already know her as well, I tried to promote her adoption a while ago. I don’t want anymore dogs, but nobody agrees, the dog most of all. She enjoyed herself, she felt safe and grew more comfortable around others every day. Everyone adored her and I knew I was beaten, it was useless to resist. 

It’s all Hunky-dory

Till she had the accident. Our dog, Donkeydog, is very good with cars, but “the little dog” was too young and inexperienced. Donkeydog likes to chase the neighbor’s tractor however the little one couldn’t do that yet. She thought it was a very big dog she could play with – and if you fall over one another, it’s no problema, just fun. But this was no fun.

It was a tragic end.

It’s also a tragic end to a light verse blog. Sorry dear readers, I would also have preferred a different ending. Life is usually very pleasant here, but sometimes  nasty things happen here as well.

The Municipality is however already busy trying to change the road. And that is good news.

And Bruno was inspired to write a beautiful song. That is what I mean: multi-talented.

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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on tuesday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

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!”

Termas-da-Azenha_Casa-Africa_kitchen

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!

Multitasking

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.

Sigh.

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!

Termas-da-Azenha-blog-skinny-jeans

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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.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on tuesday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....