My beloved dog Bodi has just turned twelve years old. She, and her sister, were rescued by a friend of mine from the beach at Alvor; we later discovered that their mother was a fisherman's dog which had had a litter of seven, five dogs and two bitches. The two female pups were abandoned because these ignorant peasants do not want any more females producing litters and refuse to pay to have them spayed. The Algarve is full of abandoned dogs - it is a disgrace and very distressing.
However, Bodi has had a good home for the past twelve years and is not doing badly for her age; she has arthritis in her front paws (as do I) and also a touch of spinal spondylosis. She has a fair bit of Border Collie in her genes which makes her intelligent, athletic and very obedient to her master. She has the best personality of any dog I have ever known.
As a youngster she would take me out for my morning walk at the crack of dawn (8 kms), and then again in the afternoon for a more leisurely stroll around the "Ria". In between she would also have a shorter "pee-wee" walk at midday and then again just before bedtime - goodness only knows how many kilometres we have walked together.
I love her dearly, and dread the day when she is not with me - she is the second greatest love in my life.