Never give up hope!

By Bridget Hicks

For 10 years, Bobby had belonged to a Portuguese family, but he was totally independent and a real character, known to locals and tourists alike. His owners run a small greengrocer’s shop at the start of a bridge that leads to the local vegetable, fish and meat market, so he simply arrived each morning and waited for a hand-out! Then Bobby disappeared.

Our German vet heard Bobby had been put into the municipal kennel, possibly because his owners now had a new puppy. She immediately rescued him, but it is hard to imagine his total disorientation at being dumped in totally unfamiliar surroundings, only a stone’s throw from his normal habitat.

His confusion mounted when he was rescued, put in a car for the first time in his life and transported for miles to stay with strangers, who, although kind, were not his beloved owners. Owners that he didn’t realise had been unbelievably cruel to him. It was then that I was called upon. I simply could not believe that anyone could abandon this small, round, fat, ‘sausage dog’ with amber eyes, still filled with trust, in this fashion. Poor little chap…

He was given a hug, put into the car and was as good as gold as he was taken to join all our other rescued dogs. This, apparently, was not to his liking and, later, to our absolute horror, we discovered that the senior citizen had managed to escape. Posters, radio, newspaper coverage and miles of walking through our valley were all to no avail.

But here is the reason for the title of this story… Eleven days later, the same vet, who had rescued Bobby in the first place, was travelling along the motorway, when she realised she was low on petrol. She stopped at the new service station at the Silves turning – a road and a garage that she had never used before – and, there, in the courtyard, was Bobby!

She rang me immediately and, I must admit, we both burst into tears. We couldn’t believe it that this could happen – what are the chances? Bobby is now part of our family, loved and cosseted, but we wonder whether he still remembers his old stamping ground with nostalgia. If you have lost an animal, the moral of the story is ‘never give up hope’.

This year, Lagos Animal Protection Society (established 1980) has rescued and hand raised, from one day old, 11 ‘lixo’ puppies, taken into care many animals which had been abandoned in the countryside, on the streets and in various kennels. Some are traumatised and a few cannot be re-homed, but these will stay with us for the rest of their lives. Others are trusting and fun loving and want to give so much of their love. By homing, fostering or sponsoring an animal, you could help so much.

All our animals are sterilised and injected against rabies and distemper. The cost of this is astronomical andso we would be grateful for any help in any form. To find out more, please call LAPS on 282 687 334.