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Inntravel’s unofficial guide dogs

La Roca, Spanish PyreneesA few months ago, one of our customers sent us a note after their walking holiday to the Catalan Pyrenees saying how much he and his wife had enjoyed themselves. “Everything was fab!” he said. He also thanked us for arranging an ‘unofficial guide’ during the walk.

On day four, a small brown and black dog met us at La Roca [left] and made sure we arrived safely at Vilallonga (about 1.5 kilometres away). Sometimes he followed, and sometimes he led – clearly a dog with a mix of guiding skills. He was very friendly, and clearly knew exactly where he was going without any need to consult a map. We don’t speak Catalan so we don’t know any more about him but it was a very welcome addition to the day.”

He added that he’d checked his invoice on their return but didn’t see this service included, so hoped we wouldn’t be sending him a bill!

The Anaga dogThis reminded me of a trip I made to Tenerife & El Teide a couple of years ago. I was checking the route for a new walk for our holiday – along the rugged Anaga peninsula – and it was a glorious day. The walk turned out to be terrific, too, initially wandering down a winding gorge to reach a deserted and very secluded beach amid rugged cliffs – a truly outstanding place.

As I traversed the high path that contoured along the coast towards the village of Taganana, I became aware of a dog that seemed to have latched on to me. This placid animal continued to dog my footsteps, sometimes disappearing into the brush only to reappear ahead, waiting patiently for me to catch up.

Canary Islands coat-of-armsIf you know the islands you may recognise the breed – a short-haired, lithe animal after which Las Islas Canarias were apparently named and which features on the island’s coat-of-arms (the domestic dog – Canis lupus familiaris).

It was a hot day and I was looking forward to a refreshing drink in the small bar beside which I’d parked by car. The dog however, did not have to wait so long. It became apparent that he knew exactly where to cool off – as this picture (above) shows!

When I did eventually arrive back at the bar, some five hours after leaving, the dog was sat there lapping at a bowl of water in what was obviously its home.

The Picos dogAnd now we’ve heard of another dog, who similarly likes to accompany Inntravellers on their walks – this time on the Picos de Europa mountains in northern Spain!

Excellent trip, well done Inntravel,” we were told. “Your walking notes were fantastic, so much detail, only used the map once to check position one day. We also had the ‘hiking dog’ that stayed overnight with us, he even showed us the way as we paused en route! Many thanks to José Sanchez of Casa de Aldea la Portiella del Llos, who cooked us a fabulous meal and took care of us during a stormy morning, before returning the hiking dog [pictured here having a rest] back home, for the next Inntravellers!”

It turns out that the dog lives in the village of Carreña that walkers pass through on Day 3. He sits on the doorstep in the sunshine and, if he sees people passing, he’ll jump up to accompany them on their way. He’s being doing this for two years now! Customers always arrive at the wonderful Portiello del Llosu in Pandiello feeling most apologetic, saying they have tried to discourage it, but he just keeps on going. The hotelier, José, explained this was a regular occurrence – and they all have a good laugh about it. Poor old José then has to drive it back home, though on one occasion, the customers felt so bad that they organised a taxi to take him back!

[Please note: we do not allow dogs on any of our holidays for all sorts of reasons but, if you happen to like dogs, you never know who you might end up walking with!]
 

Posted: 06/10/2011 14:58:46 by | with 2 comments
Filed under: Canary islands, opinions, Spain, walking, wildlife


Comments
Birgit
We also met this dog at La Roca!! He went with us until Pardones, which is about 12km away. We were on mountain bikes and the second part going down was quite hard for him, but he made it and was not significant slower than we have been. In Pardines the asphalt began and there he turned back. A really great dog !!
24/03/2013 20:44:39

dollyroy
This is such a good article to read. Stimulating me to read more of your articles. Keep up the good work Hoping more excellent articles from you soon.
23/11/2011 08:24:29

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