Let me introduce myself: I am a galgo
Hello! Have you looked into my eyes? I am a galgo, you can’t get it wrong. With just one look, I can steal your heart forever.
Down there where I was born, humans hardly ever look into my eyes. I am nothing but a hunting machine for them. When I was a puppy, they taught me not to get familiar with anyone, I learned early on that I couldn’t happily run up to a galguero or expect him to stroke me. I just had to train and be good at hunting, that was all. And I’m such a cuddlemonster, too, I’d like nothing better than to spend hours and hours with my belly in the air being cuddled. In Spain, none of that was for us. And for those of us who would not understand, there were sticks or stones to get the message across. Oh yes, humans did all they could to destroy my trust in them. Later on I will tell you more about my story and my life, and I’ve got so much to tell you! But right now I won’t go on, I just wanted to ask you to please excuse me if sometimes, at the beginning, I’m not very trusting. You’ll see, if you can wait and give me the time I need, I will drown you with all the affection, tenderness and devotion I am capable of. Some people say I’m as sticky as glue! Not sure what they mean, but lazing on the sofa glued to my human is the greatest joy in the world for me.
When I was good, in the place where I come from, the galguero would reward me with a handful of food. Now it seems unbelievable, but in those days, even a piece of dry bread was like a delicacy to me. I learned to be cunning and quick at bolting down my own portion and, I confess, at nicking the others’ too. I would think: I’m eating today, but who knows about tomorrow? Even though now I am in a home, it’s hard for me to imagine that so much good food is available for me every day. Better to save up all the delicacies I can find on the the table or in the shopping bags. And even in the rubbish bin, because I can’t stand wasting food. Anyway all I have to do later is gaze all sweetly at Mum and Dad with my appealing ‘I am sorry’ look and everything is fine. It’s easy for me to be forgiven, I am a born actor. And I take advantage of that as often as I can.
Don’t forget that when I arrive at my new home, I won’t have seen much of the big world yet. There are lots of deafening noises and strange machines that dart past me. There are stairs to climb, scary lifts to take… At the beginning everything seems strange, and sometimes frightening too. I have to learn that I can’t do my business inside the house, and if I have to go out, I don’t know how to tell you yet. But I trust you, and I know that you will teach me patiently and gently, without getting angry. You’ll see, I will learn fast and I won’t disappoint you.
Have you seen what an athletic physique I have? I am light, slender and very agile, with strong, well defined muscles. If I were a human athlete, rather than a sprinter like a greyhound I would be a middle distance runner, who can combine speed with endurance. I am very quick at changing direction, I can zig-zag in tight bends without losing a second. I really enjoy running free and playing chase with my friends, but I don’t need to chase after a hare or a lure to be happy. In fact, it’s better not to stimulate my predatory instinct at all, as it doesn’t help me at all in my day to day life.
The important thing is that every now and again you give me the chance to let off steam in a safe place, fenced in and far from any danger. I wouldn’t like you to think I need more exercise than other dogs. I can be very fast when I want, but I am also happy just to go for nice walks on the lead with my people. I confess I rather like lazing on the sofa or on a big soft dog cushion for most of the day. You could even take me to the office, because I am so lazy and chilled-out! I love snoozing peacefully for hours on end, and one could even forget I’m there at all. And if it’s too hot or too cold or it’s raining, why should I bother leaving my home comforts? I might as well admit it, more than a hunting dog, I am a house dog!