This Persecuted Dog Breed Will Make You Appreciate Life

Tommy Leung wrote this on May 16, 2018
4 minute read

Stop complaining about a lack of fairness.

Life is not fair. Life is hard.

Our laws should be fair but that’s about it.

Life does not aim to treat anyone fairly. Life is indifferent.

Things in life rarely make sense as you are living it. An event yesterday can affect your life 2 weeks later.

You couldn’t have known. It only makes sense in retrospect. It appears completely random at the time.

“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.”

- Grandma Moses

We were walking our dog, Otis, a few weeks ago. We like to take him to a nearby creek path.

Other people walk their dogs, themselves, or ride bikes along this path. It is a popular route.

On this day a stranger struck up a conversation with us about Otis. He told us that he fosters greyhounds. Otis is a greyhound.

We made some chitchat about greyhound quirks that only greyhound people understand.

Then we mentioned wanting to get Otis a friend for his anxiety. This stranger tells us that one of the adoption agencies he works with were getting Galgos from Spain in a couple of weeks.

We nodded with feigned understanding. We didn’t know what Galgos were.

The conversation ended and we went our separate ways. It was at most a 5 minute encounter.

We did some research on Galgos afterwards and discovered that they are persecuted in Spain.

They are Spanish Greyhounds although they are not technically greyhounds. Both breeds share a common ancestor and look similar but Galgos are not greyhounds.

Hare hunters in Spain breed them by the tens of thousands every year. The dogs that were poor hunters are abandoned or killed at the end of the hunting season.

More than 50,000 Galgos are abandoned or killed every year.

Life is not fair. Life is hard.

“You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.”

- Maya Angelou

We reached out to our contact at Otis’ adoption agency to ask about the Galgos and see what other information they may have on the effort to bring some Galgos to the United States.

We learned that 24 Galgos were flown to the United States. 2 went to San Francisco. 11 went to Indiana. And 11 came to Colorado.

We adopted one. Her name is Tina. She is fearful of humans. Especially humans walking towards her.

We’ve had her for about 2 weeks and she’s grown more comfortable with each passing day. She went from hiding in her crate to just hiding in the room where her crate is to coming out to hang out with Otis and us in the living room.

Loud cars, motorcycles, firetrucks, and just plain leaving the house still scares her. She was afraid of the elevator too.

It took us weeks to get Otis comfortable riding the elevator. It took Tina a few days.

Not because she was any less scared. She will stand shaking in the elevator. But she faces it anyway. She walks in on her own. She looks at us and Otis to make sure that everything is okay.

But she’ll face the fear.

I don’t know what her life was life before we got her. It probably wasn’t good. She is about 2 years old and spent 12 months at the shelter in Spain.

She was likely bred for hunting and then discarded before she turned one. Lived on the streets for a while before getting found by the shelter. Then passed up for adoption for a year.

Life has been hard for her. Because life is hard.

Yet she carries on. She faces life one day at a time. That’s all any person or dog can do.

There’s no use lamenting the hardships or lack of fairness. There are thousands of other dogs just like her who are dead. Who are still at shelters. Who may never find a home.

“Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.”

- Oscar Wilde

Somehow she ended up in Colorado. The agency picked dogs that had been at the shelter the longest as candidates to send here.

She has a black coat–some believe black dogs are bad luck. She’s smaller than average for her breed. She doesn’t seek attention.

These traits probably kept her from getting adopted sooner.

But those same traits are why she is here with us.

Tina flew into Chicago and was driven to Denver with 10 other Galgos. We picked her up from the foster shortly after she arrived in Denver.

The foster was the stranger who told us about the Galgos that random day on the creek. We hadn’t seen or talked to him since that day.

But he was the reason we were adopting Tina. It was poetic how it all came full circle.

He handed us Tina’s leash and we took her home.

Life is full of random events but how you react to them is what makes the difference.

Life is not fair. Life is hard. Life is indifferent.

“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

- Charles Swindoll