On Thursday 7 July 2011 I accompanied Patricia, a Dutch volunteer for ADAP to the Canil Municipal Portimao, for their weekly gathering with dog walkers when they take out all the dogs for a walk. The enthusiasm and energy of Patricia has made me curious, after having heard all sorts of horror stories on the Canil in Portimao. I don’t go by rumors, I need to see, feel and experience myself before forming my opinion.
We are a little late, and all the volunteers are anxiously waiting to take dogs out for a walk. I wonder into the facilities, small, many dogs, but it seems to be nice and clean. There are quite a few in the two larger pens, where the females and males live separated. Around the corner there are some small kennels, where the newly arrived are put in. There are three new arrrivals, rescued from the gypsies. There are three lovely fluffy puppy’s. There is a Rottweiler female, living separated from the rest. The dogs recognize Patricia immediately and are extremely happy and excitedly jumping up and barking – all would like to go out immediately and together. ..unfortunately that is not possible.
One by one they are taken out and taken for their walk and of course treats. I take the big overweight Rottweiler female out for a walk. I have serious candidates for a Rottweiler, but he/she would have to fit into family life, the interested family always have had Rottweilers, so they know this breed well and are experienced. It takes a little time before she accepts me as her leader, and as soon as she does she changes for the positive. She ignores all the other dogs and commotion, (because she is a Rottweiler) and is very attentive to me, she wants to work for me. For now, she finds it difficult to concentrate, as she does not get walked very often she is quite interested in all the smells around her. Unfortunately, on our return, she tried to attack one of the puppies. Without hesitation and warning she charges, thankfully I am strong and as always on guard, awaiting the unexpected, and nothing happens.
The atmosphere amongst all the people is a positive one. I am invited to join them for a coffee, and quite a few volunteers come along. Amongst the group is Theresa, the President of the Association ADAP. Patricia is with us, another Dutch lady, a Portuguese lady…all work endlessly for the wellbeing of the dogs in the Canil Portimao. The atmosphere is open, friendly and passionate, we talk about all the aspects of managing a canil. The dogs are neutered upon adoption, vaccinated, microchipped. They work with often long time foster families. As with all associations and organizations there is never enough money. We have been donated some medical gear which they would love to have for their first aid kit. I promise them that they are more than welcome to what we have. We will try and help the animals in the Canil Municipal in Portimao where we can and are able to.
I am invited back, and will definitely return soon, both to join some of the Thursday dog walks, but to also donate what we can.