Hounding Misery / Epilogue

August 7, 2012 § 3 Comments

Time flies, as we commonly say in Spanish, and life passes at an extremely quick pace. It´s been seven months since we first saw Gitano – the exceptional being that motivated this reportage -, laying down on the cold floor of a kennel, in a weak state of physical and mental abandonment.

As I explain in the first part of the reportage – The Misfortune of Being a Spanish Greyhound -, we took him home, just for some days, with the idea of giving him the care and love he needed to recover from that depressive and dark situation. Although the shelter staff apparently considered him a lost case, we thought we could do something, with a little of time and the help of a strong and positive determination. We were right.

Shake of Fear

We will always remember that first day, when we took him out of the dog shelter. His bony legs were trembling, and he could barely walk some meters before falling on the floor, using weight for showing us a lack of interest in having his body displaced. Such attitude, we presumed, was caused by a pernicious mixture of evident weakness and accumulated fear. In spite of this, we managed to take him home and started, from there, a slow but enriching recovery process.

At the time this happened, the idea of creating a reportage about this situation began to grow in my mind, and I realized I had the commitment of using my artistic and communicative tools for showing the world this matter and, maybe, bring the solution to a closer point in time and space.

As soon as he entered our modest home, Gitano was very well accepted and respected by Ronnie, our other dog – the crazy childish athlete, portrayed on the image below -, and also by Pelusa and Mao, the cats that make of this place their personal kingdom.

This was essential for both his recovery and for the beginning of what would be, from then, a new vital phase for all the members of this fanimaly.

Therefore, and after sharing our vital space with this kindhearted animal, we decided that adopting him was the only possible solution. We didn’t want to take him back to the shelter, and loosing the chance of living more precious moments with this elegant, kind and calm being was not amongst the desired options.

A Brand New Life

Two weeks later, with the difficulties caused by his fear to social interaction and other situations – he still reacts when a stranger passes by on the street, or extends his hand towards him -, we were visiting our veterinary for the regular adoption procedures.

He was checked and vaccinated, before having a new ID chip inserted below his soft and light skin, as shown on the pics. The older chip, as it happens in this cases, was removed by someone, using a knife or cutting tool and tactless inhuman manners.

Some minutes after that, his passport was filled and signed and Gitano was, according to the law, a new member of our family. This moment opened the door to many good things, and, after this months of constant coexistence with him, our love and respect for his nature, and admiration for his kind tenderness, still grows steadily.

Looking for a Change

As I explained before, I started this reportage with the idea of changing something, and maybe contributing to the end of the present situation of Spanish Greyhounds. Even angry about the many deplorable things that human beings were doing to this innocent animals, I tried to keep a neutral position – this was not easy -, and intended to show all sides of the story, from an objective point of view. It was hard to get into some places, and quite difficult to maintain a calm posture, while receiving, together with dozens of supportive messages, some insulting missives.

I wanted the galgueros – Spanish term for greyhound owners, trainers and hare hunters – to understand that their behavior was wrong and harming, and that something had to be done, by them, in order to finish with the hundreds of wounded, abandoned and dead greyhounds found in the Spanish territory. I also wanted the animal protectionists to understand that a united effort was essential, and that not all of the galgueros should be considered guilty, because of the acts of what I wanted to see as a few. A dialogue, I thought, was possible and necessary.

Time does not stop for anyone, we also say, and I keep receiving uncomfortable images that show new cases of violence agains greyhounds and other kind of dogs. Noa´s Story is a dramatic and recent sample of this. Sadly, much more that my simple work will be necessary to stop this ongoing madness.

Supporting this Reportage

When I started creating this story, I had a wide variety of ways of administrating the results. After meditating on this options, and following my real nature, I decided to publish the whole story on this blog, with text and images, so anyone interested could freely read it and extract a conclusion, feeling or perspective from this pages, without any cost for them.

I did as much publicity as I could – and so did many friendly sites dedicated to greyhounds -, and this was reflected in the thousands of readers, from many countries, that visited the site for reading the four chapters that form this Hounding Misery.

This action, that I proudly assume as correct, from my point of view, was not the best possible, from an economic and professional point of view. Publishing my work for free has drawbacks, and I want to share them with you, with the same honesty that guides each word that is written in this blog. Of course, acting in a generous way has also many advantages, and I still think that using this powerful tools for reaching all possible corners – zReportage Photojournalism Site is a good example – is a smart way of focusing attention on a single problem that requires urgent solutions.

Apart from this, I want to let you know that the creation of all this images and words entails a high amount of time, and involves a varied selection of expenses. These include, amongst other, traveling and translation costs. I wanted foreign people to have the chance to read it in the best English, so I had it all translated by a great professional. Hope you have appreciated her talent, in the previous chapters of the story.

Although many would call me a fool, I still believe in the power of honesty and the value of human acts. If you feel that you want to give back, and want to support my work, you can do so by using the button below and following the instructions. I will really appreciate it – as these are very hard times for artistic personalities that follow the hard path -, it will make things a little more fair, in this exchange of acts and intentions, and of course will make possible that Hounding Misery and other similar initiatives keep being created.

Remember that you can also buy a signed print of any of the images of the reportage. If interested, please email me for more details.

In any case, I thank you all very much for the thousands of visits, and recommend that you adopt a dog, or two – not only greyhounds, but any of the numerous excellent dogs that crowd the shelters -. You won´t regret it, I promise.

Hounding Misery
The Misfortune of Being a Spanish Greyhound Dog
One Battle, a Thousand Sides
Read Part 1
 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

Text & Photography Nano Calvo

Any reproduction or other use of all or part of this article is expressly prohibited, unless prior permission granted by the author.
Please feel free to post the link in your websites and social pages. Spreading the word is the best way to change injustice.

Should you be interested in publishing this article, please contact me via email. Thanks!

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§ 3 Responses to Hounding Misery / Epilogue

  • Rayya says:

    I highly respect what you are doing and am a very passionate animal advocate too. I never feel like you can do enough. I hope you get all the support that you need to stop ill treatment of Spanish greyhounds and all other animals in Spain.

  • Teresa Watkin says:

    I have shared your article far and wide and many of us hope for a better future for the hunting dogs of spain,if at any time you consider writing a similar piece for the Podenco,I have many links to some most beautiful images of these wonderful noble hounds

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