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My (Not Very) Dangerous Dog

By Mr Grumpy - Sat 18th Feb 2012

I was stopped by the local Police last week and given a very stern telling off for walking my Dog, Lenny*, in the field behind my House whilst off the lead.

It seems that only Hunters with their huge packs of Feral hunting dogs are allowed to do this, whilst anyone having the temerity to exercise a domestic pet is ruthlessly persecuted.

Or at least as ‘ruthlessly persecuted’ as it possible to be by somebody who is basically a cross between a traffic warden, lollipop lady and a town hall clerk.

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*(Whilst having the overall demeanour of an elderly, arthritic sheep I found it ironic to name him after Lenny ‘the Guvnor’ McClean, the nortorious bare knuckle boxer.)

But what made me all the more annoyed was when he asked me if I had a Dangerous Dog Licence.

Just to give you a bit of background here : growing up on a farm I have always had a love of big dogs. Not the yappy little un-trainable ferrets – ‘proper’ dogs. As such, living in the UK and working long hours I always felt it unfair to keep a dog that I could not devote the required time to, and promised myself we would get one when we moved to Spain.

For various reasons, we were in rented accommodation for 6 months and I did not wish to get a dog until our own property was ready to move into, and fenced in, but in the meantime the Mrs and I volunteered at the local Animal Charity Kennels a couple of times a week to go dog walking.

As a 30–something year old guy in a charity that was basically dominated by 60 year old plus women that weighed all of 6 stone wet through, I was almost always left to deal with the dogs that had generally been labelled the “hard cases” for no other reason than they were big.

I was the only person that walked two such dogs for about 3 months, which had been abandoned at the kennels by the same person and had a reputation for being boisterous : An Alsatian Bitch and a Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog. I fell in love with the RR straight away and could see that he was being led astray by the Alsatian, but didn’t want to split the two of them up, and told the directors of the Kennels as much.

A couple of days later I had a phone call to say that the Alsatian had been re-homed, and that the RR was feeling a bit sorry for himself after losing his mate. I called in and took him home straight away.

We guessed that he was around 18 months old and not likely to grow any more.

My Not Very Dangerous Dog ImageFast forward 12 months, and we had a very happy, well trained, protective and obedient dog, Although, with a 3 month old baby, the scraps of formula milk leftovers seemed to have the effect of steroids on a bodybuilder, In short, he packed on size to around 44 kg ( Whereas My Mrs weighs 56 kg ).

The only incident even remotely resembling “Dangerous” was when he attacked a ‘Carpet Salesman’ who forced his way through our gate when the Mrs had asked him to leave her alone. Any owner of a Rhodesian Ridgeback will probably be able to hazard a good guess at how such a dog would act to protect a 6 month pregnant lone female from an unwanted intruder in such a situation.

That lone incident aside, which obviously we were not too concerned about, the only way he could be considered Dangerous is if he sat on your foot.

However, after researching and writing about Dangerous Dog Regulations and Requirements in Spain I was aware that Lenny, at 44 kg, was a whisker above the 20kg definition of what should be considered a ‘Dangerous Dog’.

I duly presented him at the Town Hall (where the majority of the staff knew him anyway from our walking around the Village, saying hello to the dog whilst sat outside the Cafe etc...)

In short, upon asking for the application forms for a dangerous dog licence, the response from the deputy mayor was to ask if my Dog (who was with me in the Ayuntamiento at the time) was indeed ‘dangerous’. Upon replying in the negative, the confused response was that, in that case, I didn’t need one.

(My opinion here being that, in this rural community where every other adult male is a hunter who owns a pack of Podenco hunting dogs, all without licences, it would be impossible to impose a rule on everybody and be awkward to have one set of rules for the hunters and one for everyone else. Therefore easier as a whole for them to just ignore completely.)

.... So, fast forward 12 months and here is Sr Policia Local asking me if I have such a licence.

Anyway, I have decided to try and apply for such a licence once more, just to cover myself, and to take out the required Dangerous Dog Liability Insurance, just in case. Although I don’t know for certain, I have so little confidence in the Spanish legal system at the moment, that I wouldn’t put it past them to uphold a compensation claim from any future intruder on my property that Lenny savaged.

Comment on this Blog

 
And Aurelia´s saying to him, "My Mummy´s planning on similar clothes for you so you´ll laugh on the other side of your jowl, you ugly big mutt!"
Mo - Sun, 26th Feb 2012
I think the pink anorak is the reason for said scowl. Look how much Lenny is taking the piss....
Mr Grumpy - Sat, 25th Feb 2012
Well, only marginally, she´s really cute and what a beautiful name! How about matching pink anoraks for both? I shouldn´t go there but how about matching hats too!
Mo - Fri, 24th Feb 2012
My Daughter Aurelia is scarier than Lenny - look at which of them has the smiley face and which of them is scowling in the photo.
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 24th Feb 2012
Ooooh, this one´s a fave rant of mine too! I´m not a dog person (?) but I hear of such nonsense concerning this topic it drives me nuts. There´s a pitbull in our street that always wanders with its also pitbull owner (he´s much scarier than the dog) without leash or muzzle and I´m too scared to point this out to him. And my friend´s having to pay a €300 fine for her dog soiling the pavement even though it was her dog walker that was with the animal ... which is a chihuahua! Even though the caca was picked up immediately, next to huge splatters of dog shit from St. Bernards and such like, she has to cough up.
Mo - Fri, 24th Feb 2012

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