'Pod' Head

Pet Corner – Barking mad!

Christopher Columbus had many AKA’s – Cristóbal Colón, Christopher Colon…

APAA, only known as Association for Protection of Animals Algarve, is luckily synonymous with just one thing – helping abandoned animals. You may well be asking … “Connection?”

Once upon a time, ‘Chris’, depending on whether you are a scholar or not, an Italian-cum-Spanish-cum-Portuguese seafarer, set sail (circa 1470 something) with a small fleet of ships in search of new territories. What we now call the ‘Discoveries’.

Taking with him a pack of hunting dogs, a breed now known as ‘Podengo’, a hardy hunting hound. Whether small and wiry, medium or large, unmistakably hound-shaped, they all have one thing in common – food. They will do anything for food. Chris, probably hedging his bets with his four-legged canine friends, knew by instinct they would bring back the bacon.


Hounds, especially hunting in packs, are instinctively loyal, clever, voracious and cunning. The sailors, having rowed a small boat to the shoreline, silently waited for the dogs to track their quarry, finalise their “kill” and fetch home their much-needed supply of protein.

Podengos rarely bark. Often communicating in a high-pitched whining sound, eerily likened to singing. Often pausing in the long grass, standing on their strong back legs, front legs up, eagerly waiting to pounce. Sensitive noses sniffing the air. Their long, pointed ears, lined abundantly with soft hairs, acting like an antenna, swivelling automatically to the sound of their prey. Dogs trained to return obediently by a high-pitched whistle. Together, Chris, his men and Pods would have helped re-populate many an island with humans and hounds alike.

Dog Head Anubis

Podengos have, in fact, become a highly popular world-class hunting hound. But was Chris the first to have a Pod? If we look back at the Egyptian God ‘Anubis’, a dog-headed deity, we will find a striking, if not familiar, likeness to our 1470’s Pod, and our modern-day version.

But wait – Egyptian dog-headed God was first worshipped around 3100-28900 BC. Cunning or not, the dog-headed god was then the overseer of the dead, the ‘shadowlands’. Awaiting further instruction from its owner, ears upright, attentive shining eyes, sharp nose, back straight, a handsome-looking friend indeed. A tasty, well-earned treat in store for this amazing hunting pal. Nowadays, they are needlessly and deliberately over-bred then abandoned, no longer fit for purpose. Happy ending? Yes! Luckily, many ‘Pods’ are happily re-homed by APAA.

APAA contact: Jenny info.apaaportugal@gmail.com; also visit www.apaaportugal.com and Lisa Dowling APAA’s Facebook pages.

Visit their Charity Shops:

  • Alvor, Dunas Complex, Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-2pm
  • Silves, Rua Elias Garcias 20, Monday-Saturday, 10am-2pm.

Packed with quality goodies. Bring or buy!