Our Dogs

This is Poppy. She’s a 10-year-old Border Collie and she’s been with us since she was four months old. She’s the most loyal dog I have ever known and is completely obedient. She’d do a back flip for you if she knew how. Her favourite past times include chasing sheep, howling like a wolf and trying to jump into the swimming pool. She also enjoys barking at pigeons.

Poppy does get a bit upset in Portugal because her fur is very thick and black so she gets hot easily.

A lot of the Portuguese don’t tend to like Poppy as they have a thing against black dogs, but we haven’t worked out why yet. But there is one person who absolutely loves her. There is a shepherd who tends to sheep at a field near our house. One day when the sheep were on the road and being herded to the next field Poppy was nearby. She saw the sheep and the sheep saw her. She went into Sheep-Herding-Mode and they bolted in the opposite direction through the village. We thought that the shepherd would’ve been annoyed, but he couldn’t contain his laughter. Now, every time Poppy goes for a walk along the road the shepherd stops and gives her lots of strokes. Mum reckons that he might one day have big plans for her.

Meet Scrappy. This is the only decent photo I have of him when he isn’t charging off somewhere. He’s the complete opposite to Poppy – he’s naughty, he’s disobedient and he never ever listens. He’s 10-years-old and he’s a nightmare (also known as a Working Cocker Spaniel). He spent the majority of his life eating sheep poop and developing a severe case of gingivitis – so he only has five teeth now. But still, he will retrieve anything you want or don’t want, including balls, rabbits and cats.

Scrappy loves Portugal because he recently had a hair cut so the heat doesn’t get to him. His favourite past times include eating sheep poop, chasing cats and jumping up and down. There’s not a lot else.

Our dogs get spoilt rotten. They get two very long walks a day: one early in the morning around 7am and the other in the late afternoon sun around 5pm. Where we live in Portugal there are many forests nearby that are open to the general public. These forests are full of crazy critters, including snakes and the odd domesticated cat, but the strangest two that we have seen is a genet and a hoopoe (poupa in Portuguese). You’ll have to Google those two for images as I’d probably get in trouble for swiping them off Google Images. They haven’t held still long enough for any of us to take a picture.

The life of a Portuguese dog is very different. This will very likely require an article by itself but let’s just say that the typical Portuguese dog spends its lifetime chained up outside and just barks all day. They frequently look malnourished, full of worms and are very aggressive because they’ve never been socialised. Needless to say they don’t get their two walks a day.

These two are the happiest dogs ever.

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