Probably born with a pen and paper in my hand, I have written all my life, from letters to penpals to articles in newspapers and magazines and since 2007 on my blogs Galgo News and Podenco Post. I’ve been passionate about animals - had dogs, horses and cats all my life - and have spoken out and protested about animal cruelty in any form.
My conversion to sighthounds happened in 1994 when a stray greyhound turned up at our farmhouse in Suffolk. Those were the days when no one would adopt a greyhound, rescues were overflowing with them and the unspeakable horrors of their end of life at the hands of breeders and trainers had yet to make headlines. Molly made a wonderful house pet, lived with cats and was a great ambassador for the breed with Pets As Therapy – she loved visiting the elderly residents of a local retirement home.
2002 saw my leaving the UK with horses, dogs and cats to live on a farm in rural France. A friend introduced me to L’Europe des Levriers and the rest – as they say – is history. I joined their rescue team and spent many years thereafter travelling into Spain to bring rescued galgos and podencos back to France for rehoming. I soon realised that the world was unaware of the terrible cruelty suffered by these wonderful hounds at the hands of the vicious galgueros both on mainland Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands and my blogs Galgo News and Podenco Post were born in 2007.
My research on these trips resulted in my creating my definitive guides to the plight of the galgo – From Heaven to Hell – and the podenco – From Pyramid to Perrera – and thanks to some wonderful friends these have been translated into Spanish, French and Italian. Because of the nature of the pictures I was unable to find a publisher for the books, so had to bear the cost of publication myself. All the money raised from the sales of the books has been donated to appeals for help with vet fees and more to many rescue associations.
After 19 years living in France – and the loss of my last horse at 26 years old – I needed to downsize and return to my family in England. I brought back with me my last 2 galgos and tiny Podenca Bebe – all of whom have now crossed the rainbow bridge. So current residents in my small bungalow are Podenca Andaluz Rosely, rescued from a life breeding babies for a hunter, and blind Podenco Bocelli (Bo) who spent half his life on the end of a chain. I miss having a galgo but there just isn’t room for a third hound, sadly.
Little has changed in Spain for the galgos and podencos over the many years I have been helping the volunteers and rescuers – galgueros continue indiscriminate breeding, mass abandonment every year – but now there are very few reports of dogs being hung from trees or dropped alive down wells. Hunters still dump their dogs at shelters, in killing stations or loose in the campo. I have the utmost admiration for all the rescuers and volunteers who work tirelessly for the dogs and the Spanish vets who continue to put injured hounds back together.
I miss my regular trips into Spain to bring hounds back for foster and homing. I miss my visits to my friends in the various shelters around Spain. But time waits for no woman and physically I can no longer cope with the journeys or have room to foster more dogs. However, my work with the galgos and podencos and the many rescue associations continues daily on my blogs.