Sandra and Aoki
Sandra and Aoki

Pet Corner: Good, Bad and Ugly

The French Bulldog has become almost the dog to have. It is technically not really French, believed to have arrived during the French Revolution. Say no more. Recently, a ‘Frenchie’, as they are known, was taken to Animal Rescue Algarve’s (ARA) ‘Cabanita’ shelter, outside of Loulé.

For one reason or another, it lost two of its legs. The owners decided it was not so fashionable after all. Pardon? The ARA shelter took the little dog in.

João Ferreira, ARA’s Manager, has several paraplegics safely kept in his own quarters. “I am very aware of the status symbol some breeds seem to have in modern times.” João is very sympathetic. “But an animal is not just an accessory or a stylish symbol.” Luckily, ‘Aoki’ had other similar companions in a wonderful shelter, looked after with love and respect.

Along with four-pawed dogs, these special ones would be taken to schools, teaching children from an early age that there is no such thing as “normal”. Or, for that matter, “abnormal”. The truth is, we are all different but the same. “Like books, we should never judge each other by the cover.”

His dogs are his passion. “What we look like is totally irrelevant. It is who we are that matters.” Dogs are the same, sniff, wag and a friend is made. There are no rules or regulations. In the main, friendly, loyal and fun. They can be a problem to train, their attention must be controlled in a calm, natural way.

ARA back to school
ARA back to school

Known to be a little on the lazy side, fortunately for ‘Aoki’ a visitor, Sandra Fuzeta, who already had a friendly French Bulldog ‘Oscar’, spotted their new ideal furry pal for life. Sandra has completed the fairy godmother story!

Association for Protection Animals Algarve (APAA) has a lot in common with ARA. Different businesses, but all in the name of the welfare of animals, their health and protection.

Jenny, APAA’s president, is only too aware of the “fad” problem. “We’ve seen all sorts of beautiful animals become ‘treasures’ or ‘toys’ for their human owners. Star treatment. Then ignored, badly treated or dumped.” João and Jenny are in agreement; if you are going to be a responsible animal owner, do your research first. “There’s so much up there on the internet. Reams of information, traits, behavioural issues, the good, the bad and the ugly!” Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. Thinking of taking on a pooch or a puss? Check it out first. Make sure they will be part of your life, regardless of your style. Apartment or cottage, “walkies” at special times or runabout as it pleases. Think. Pets for pleasure? Animal for life!

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