We went west towards San Nicolas yesterday morning for our daily dog-walk over the camino. The village´s full name is San Nicolas del Real Camino, which is almost a long as the main street. Compared with Moratinos it is practically a metropolis. It has two bars to our none.
We didn´t go all the way there, but stopped at an area of uncultivated, eroded ground full of ravines where rains wash off. We call it the Hare Field, because we have often seen both hares and rabbits there. The ground is honeycombed with burrows. It is Una´s favorite place in the world, and she generally vanishes there for several minutes. Today was the same. When it was time to go, Reb, Tim and I set out for home, leaving Una with her head stuck down a hole.
About twenty minutes later, as we neared the house, she trotted up, apparently unruffled by the fact that her white fur around her neck and ears was a nasty shade of pink. One of her ears was bleeding. She had tangled with something – a fox, maybe or even a Jabali, a wild boar. I can´t think of anything else round here that could take her on, although there have been reports of wolves reappearing. Tim was very interested in her wounds - sniffing and trying to lick them. At home I stuck Una in the bath and she cleaned up like new. (I did not come out of it so well.)
Moratinos has about as many dogs as it does people.
Justi and Oliva next door have two nasty dogs that bark and bay whenever anything stirs. They (the dogs) detest and envy Una and Tim because we walk them every day, but those dogs never get out of the barn. Reb says there is also an old hunting dog in the house, but I´ve never seen him. God only knows what it must smell like inside that garage.
Stasi and Pilar, one house down, have a new puppy now called Perla, who looks as if she is made out of black pipe-cleaners.
Julie´s family also now has a puppy called Luna who might be a black Labrador. Judging by the size of her paws, she is going to be a monster.
Segundino has the old German Shepherd who lazes peacefully in the sun whenever possible. His only serious job these days is to guard Bertha the Parrot from other nosy dogs when her cage is put outside. Segundino also has a hunting dog, a slender hound that stands on top of a six-foot pile of wood all day and howls. He only gets out on hunting days. Segundino´s relatives in the Plaza Mayor seem to have about three other dogs sequestered inside a barn near the bodegas, whose only job is to kick up a rumpus whenever anyone comes within twenty feet. On the other side of town Esteban and Milagros have two dogs too: the infamous Roldan, a lupine brute set to kill anyone and everything in sight, and Toby, a small, short-legged mutt who mooches around the village. He is cute, but does not like Tim.
Pim has a hunting dog called Braulio, who does not care overmuch for Tim either.
Edu has The Pants Dog, so named because his front half is white, but his hindquarters are dark grey, giving the impression that he is clad in pantaloons. He really hates Tim.
All this animosity over poor Tim, is I suppose because he is a newcomer, male, young, and still, so far, in possession of his testicles.
Una, as a neutered female and long-established resident, arouses no ill feelings with most of the local hounds. She does step in, however, when Braulio or Pants Dog gets too near or threatening to Tim. He is her boy toy, and she will tolerate no ruff stuff around him.
There is an entire community of dogs here, but somehow we only manage to snap photos of the two most attractive ones.