Diego – Third Time Lucky

by SOS Algarve Animals on February 27, 2012

Diego is a wonderful dog who has thankfully, luckily, and finally found a new home.  This is his third new home, and we truly believe it is third time perfect.  Which he definitely deserves.


The family who has adopted Diego are truly lovely people.  They have no other animals, but a large female dog who often comes for overnight sleepovers who is very friendly and will make a great sometimes playmate for Diego.   They have a large fenced garden and they love Diego.  When they took Diego home on Saturday Diego jumped into the front seat of their car, as fast as could be, never even looking back.  As if to say thank you very much this is my chance now forever.  Good bye!

Diego was found on the road side on the way up to Goldra almost two years ago, in February 2010.  I found him myself, and it was just after the announcement that Goldra was to close.  So I was going to Goldra to see what could be done to help, and another new dog was absolutely the last thing anyone needed.  This is Diego when I found him:

Anyways, going up the road Diego was there and he looked to be in terrible condition and starving.  He had wounds and bites all over his body.  I left some food for him to eat, but could not pick him up, had nowhere to even put him, and there was no way he was going to be able to fit into the car I was driving (which – since 2010 has since been replaced by a very large jeep – much more sensible!).  So I parked my car, my lift arrived to take me up the bumpy roads to Goldra, and I sadly left him.

But Diego knew he was onto a sure thing, and when I got back down the road from Goldra he was lying at the car!  Nooooooooooo……… So I asked the friend driving me and she took Diego down to the vets, and so it all began.

Diego was always extremely friendly, lovely and obedient.  It took a long time to get him healthy.  He had a puncture in his leg that was infected and needed a drain.  He was malnourished and just in general terrible condition.  We even believe that from his scars he had been used as bait in dog fighting. 

I kept Diego as my foster dog.  I did not quite trust him with my other dogs, although very sweet with me, given his suspected background I did not want to take any risks.  I also had to keep my cats safely away from Diego,  as whenever he saw them he acted very clearly as if he would love nothing more than to eat them.  So it was not the easiest foster I have ever had. 

But we persevered and Diego deserved his chance.   And a home was found!  A lovely lady in the far North West Algarve who knew Diego’s breed and he was exactly what she was looking for.  I drove Diego almost two hours to visit and it seemed like it was going to be a very good fit.  Diego still had to be neutered, so we arranged that we would first do this and then two weeks later Diego would go to his new home.

Very unfortunately…. Once Diego was ready for adoption this lady had also adopted two pigs…… now Diego is a possible mix of dogo argentino or other similar type, and these dogs are not going to be friendly with pigs.  In fact, dogo argentinos were bred to hunt wild boar.  So…… two weeks later we received the phone call.  Diego would not leave the pigs alone and had to go as his only other option was to be chained up or confined with very little freedom and this was not something we wanted for Diego.

This time, Diego went back to the pet hotel to stay until another home could be found.  And it was, with a lovely English family who had moved here, no other animals, a big fenced garden, children to play with (Diego is excellent with children).  And it all seemed perfect.  A house control was performed, Diego was taken to his new home, visited one month later and everything seemed great.  Except…. that on a later follow up the family’s phone was disconnected.  So I drove out there and there was no family and no Diego.  A neighbour said the family had left in a tremendous hurry and he thought the dog had been left on the street.  We were astounded how uncaring and terrible it was for them to have done this.  There was no reason, they knew that we would have definitely taken Diego back at any time.

Very luckily, we found Diego through his microchip registration.  He had been living on the streets for two months.  An animal lover had been trying to care for Diego and had even taken him to the vet, but until we knew what was happening, and so re-registered Diego to our name, there had only been the unworking phone number on the registration.

So Diego again came back.  We retested him for leish and heartworm and treated him for tickfever.   And Diego moved again back into the hotel.  Eventually, Diego came to live with the rest of our dogs in our rented location.  But unfortunately, Diego is not a good pack dog.  He likes to be in charge and is best as an only dog or in a small group.   He is also not good with small animals, dogs or cats, and so it was not possible for us to keep him and it seemed that no one was interested in adopting Diego.

We had a long discussion about his situation and decided to publicize his story in the hopes of finding him a home.  We would wait one or two months doing everything we could.  If no home was found in that time, and without anywhere else to keep him, he would then have to be put to sleep.

Sadly, no one answered the appeal for Diego and the two months deadline arrived.  But… the owners from the hotel had grown very close to Diego, so they called us and offered Diego a permanent place at the hotel. 

And now…. Just recently…. Out of the blue this lovely family saw his photo and that was it, love at first sight and hopefully definitely forever.  The family knows Deigo’s story and there is absolutely no way that they would ever abandon Diego, and if ever anything happens that they cannot control Diego will be brought back into our care. 

We will soon go for a house control and visit and then have more news and photos.

Good luck Diego.