Doggie Niche is a site that is devoted to dogs. You can expect to find new articles in our Blog section every week.
The articles will range from ‘how-to’s’ to informative tips and in-depth guides. All articles will focus on some important aspect relating to dogs and the Doggie Niche.
I am Frank Coutts. I live with my family in Spain, but I am from Scotland originally. I come from Shetland, a group of rugged islands in the far north of Scotland, isolated in the wind-swept North Sea. It’s where the little shaggy Shetland ponies come from. It’s also where Shetland sheepdogs originate from.
When our dog, Sam, of almost 11 years died unexpectedly, we decided to get another dog from the local refugio, or dog rescue center, near to where we live in Spain.
We paid them a visit and one dog, in particular, stood out. He was called Rubio, which is the Spanish word for blonde. He wasn’t blonde, though, but dark brown. It turned out they found him in a village street that had the word ‘Rubio’ in its name. So, he is actually named after a street!
Rubio had been abused and dumped on the streets of a strange and unfamiliar town. At some point in time, he had also been shot in both front legs, probably by a .22 air rifle. His legs had been badly damaged and he could barely walk, but the surgeon at the dog refuge had patched him up well and he had healed in the three months he had been there.
The refugio doesn’t have the financial means to keep dogs indefinitely, and Rubio had been there longer than most. We don’t know for certain, but we think he would have been put down if no one had taken him when we did. He had been overlooked so many times, probably because his overly timid nature – terrified nature, really – didn’t endear him to most people. We believed he deserved a chance at life, so we chose him.
Rubio was scared of his own shadow when we first took him home. He still is sometimes, to be honest. But after being with us for several months, he started to come out of his shell and discovered that life still had good things to offer. He started wagging his tail a lot, and we could tell he trusted us.
Poa, named, though not by us, after a plant I’ve never quite been able to identify, was found, along with her five siblings, in a bag in a trash can. They were tiny puppies, mere days old. The village town hall agreed to help, and a local volunteer couple was given the use of an empty house to care for them and rear them, prior to finding homes for each one.
We also offered our help in rearing the six little dogs. Poa was one of the weakest puppies. She needed extra milk for a long time, but she was a fighter and held her own. One of her sisters didn’t make it, sadly, but her remaining siblings did. They all found homes in Spain when they were about three months old, and Poa found a home with us.
Rubio didn’t quite know what to make of Poa at first, but she was the making of him. She pulled him out of his timid ways and taught him how to be a young dog again. Rubio is just over two years old. And now the two dogs are inseparable. Poa, the Mastiff puppy, is now bigger than Rubio, whose breed is uncertain. They make an unlikely couple, but they are definitely friends for life.
This then is Doggie Niche. I have a first-hand understanding of dogs that I want to share with all who wish to know. Read the pages of this blog, and come back often, for there is always something new and interesting to discover in the world of dogs!