Before and after - the Story of galgo Iola

homesick

Helsinki, Finland

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Artist's Description

I was watching some dog shelter/pound pictures again today (taken by me or the other members here in RedBubble) and was inspired to tell a story. So, I have five rescue dogs and galgo (=spanish greyhound) Iola is one of them (maybe I will tell the stories of my other dogs some day too).

First I want you to know something about galgos and their life in Spain.

The Spanish greyhound, or galgo, is one of the most persecuted dog breeds. Galgos are used to hunt hares in the Spanish countryside. The galgos spend their lives in damp, tiny, dirty holes or windowless shacks, deprived of daylight, exercise and affection. They are typically fed only water and stale bread. At the end of the hunting season, countless are abandoned or worse.

You can read the whole text here (there is also other very good sites about galgos on internet): www.galgorescue.org/spanish-galgo/spanish-galgo

And then about Iola (who was called “Diana” in Spain). In the first picture she’s in the dog shelter of Villa Del Rio, in summer ’08 (I visited there actually 09/2010 and took lots of pictures, and some of them you can see in my portfolio). Before ending up to the pound, Iola used to live around the local gas station, looking for a food and shelter. People tried to catch her for three months after she surrendered.

After that she lived in the dog shelter I don’t know how long. I heard that Iola was very very timid and scared of people at the time. That’s hard to believe because nowadays she’s one of the most sociable galgo ever. I don’t know why Iola was abandoned on the streets, but I’m sure she used to be a hunting dog. I guess the owner just doesn’t need her anymore. Maybe the hunting season was over and the dogs came useless. But it’s lucky that she was not killed.

Iola has also had many litters, her figure reveals that. So maybe she’s been used as a “breeding machine” too. As you can see in the picture, she used to be very skinny, and full of scars. Iola came to Finland 08/2008 and has been very lovely and loyal companion to me and my other dogs. The picture below is taken in summer ‘09, so there’s a year in between those two photos. One year which changed one dog’s life completely.
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Artwork Comments

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