To Senor Galguero, from Beryl Brennan
I woke up ANGRY this morning. And it’s YOUR fault.
I'm a writer; I write for newspapers, magazines, websites. I'd like to write more books - I've got plenty of ideas, but not the time. I used to get paid for my writing. Now, writing about anything other than galgos and podencos has taken a very back seat, so I lay the drop in my income firmly at your door. Because I don't earn any money writing about galgos and podencos, I do it because I must, for these innocent souls. That's for starters.
I place the blame firmly on YOU - the Spanish galgueros and gitanos. On every single one of you from the intelligent, educated, affluent, influential ones in government - politicians, judges, policemen – down to the old peasant out on the campo. Every one of you is to blame. Even the minority of you who do care about your galgos, because you do nothing to stop the annual mass abandonment and massacre of galgos and podencos.
And don’t tell me not to interfere and criticize you and Spain. Because what you do or do not do impacts on MY life and that of tens of thousands of people around the world!
After discovering the plight of the galgo and podenco many years ago, much of my waking hours are now occupied with writing about them and trying to help as many as I can in a multitude different ways. Because, unlike YOU, I am not selfish, thoughtless, uncaring, arrogant.
Because of YOU Spanish hunter and gitano, galgos and podencos have taken over my life! And I'm one of thousands of other people who suffer similarly, a large majority of whom live in Spain or are members of rescue and rehoming associations around Europe and in the US.
Let's consider just what far-reaching effects the selfish, thoughtless and, yes, arrogant attitude of the majority of you Spanish hunters and gitanos has outside of your own insular world. How YOUR actions or lack of action impacts on so many more lives.
1. The dogs - that's obvious. Treated as an unfeeling tool to be fed when you the hunter feels inclined, discarded when you no longer want it.
2. Uncontrolled breeding of galgos and podencos by you the hunter and gitano.
3. Mass abandonment of unwanted puppies and dogs every year - my latest calculation is over 100,000 this year.
4. The dogs are a danger on the road, causing accidents. The driver and any passengers are often greatly distressed by hitting and injuring a dog on the road. (I'm being generous here, as some won't be!)
5. The dogs themselves, they experience pain from injury, sickness, fear - they suffer physically and mentally, sometimes for life.
6. Volunteers who rescue the dogs - the thousands in Spain who cannot turn a blind eye to an injured, starving, sick galgo or podenco on the streets - hanging around a village, restaurant, even this year on the Madrid Metro! Yes, one of you hunters or gitanos bred that galgo and then got rid of it! How many people were affected by seeing the poor hound running terrified along the tracks till it was hit and injured and left to die. What about the ladies to wanted to rescue it, were prevented by the authorities from so doing, and who eventually risked their lives to pick up the pieces? This nightmare scenario will stay in their minds for ever.
7. Volunteers usually have jobs, husbands, partners, children...saving the dogs takes over the life of the volunteer sometimes to such an extent that the relationship breaks down, families part. The emotional and physical strain on them is incalculable and can come at immense cost, financially, physically and mentally. YOU galgueros and gitanos are responsible for all this!
8. What about the vets? Spanish vets usually charge less for putting back together a rescued dog, and their fees are normally much less than a French vet and certainly far less than a British one! Yet generally the local Spanish vet is required to undertake extremely complicated surgery. It’s a physical strain on them too - them and their staff.
9. Next on the list - the members of the rescue associations, who travel to refuges in Spain to rescue dogs and rehome your abandoned and unwanted galgos and podencos. Volunteers again mostly, who give up their time in many ways - fundraising for the shelters, collecting donated goods, finding foster and adopting homes. This impacts on their lives too.
10. And what about the people who adopt the dogs. You might think the culpability of YOU Spanish galguero and YOU gitano ends there. But it does not. Because of the lack of control over breeding of galgos and podencos in Spain and the poor feeding of pregnant and nursing bitches, their pups often suffer. They may develop physical and health problems during the course of their lives which impacts on the adoptants and their vets as they work to diagnose the problem and aid the dog’s recovery.
11. And what about the dogs who do not get adopted, because people adopt a galgo? What about the thousands of English and Irish greyhounds still waiting for homes because people have adopted a galgo. And yes, I’d include putting blame here on breeders of greyhounds too and class many of them in a similar category to YOU, Spanish hunter and Gitano – they just don’t breed as many dogs as you produce in Spain!
12. Finally we arrive full circle - the dog suffers still....
So, Senor Galguero, YOU have all this blood on your hands and a lot of people to answer to as a result of your selfish, thoughtless, uncaring, arrogant attitude. Because, yes, it is arrogant of you to expect so many people to pick up the pieces of your actions against a sentient being which you carelessly discard like a cigarette butt.
SHAME ON ALL OF YOU and the shame you bring to Spain!