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Adoption stories - How is ... Azahara?

December 2020 - article by APAC web team


In the Adoption Stories series we get back in touch with people who have adopted a dog or cat from APAC to find out how their lives have been since they became family members.

In this edition Richard shares his experiences of the first year with his new companion Zaza. Zaza, formerly known as Azahara, was adopted from APAC in January 2020 and has made herself very comfortable in her new home.

APAC Azahara adoption stories before and

Zaza after being found vs. Zaza in her new home (contemplating which items she will steal next)

Richard wrote his memoirs about how Zaza came into his life:

April 2019 was finally my time!

Having worked in hospitality for forty two years my retirement came in the spring of 2019 and now I had the chance to be free and travel but more importantly a chance to spend more time with my family in the UK. No way did I want responsibility for a dog of any kind. That year I had managed four trips to the UK and several trips to Valencia and Portugal. I managed to spend Christmas with my children and grandchildren which was the first time in nearly twenty years.

I travelled back to Spain on the 30th December and there sitting in my lounge was this skinny dog that looked like a Sphynx but the size of a small pony. Apparently, she was here on a 3 day fostering programme. Nobody had asked my permission but that didn’t seem to be an issue as she was up for adoption and if there was a bond she would go to Portugal to live on my partners farm where there was space for her to run and be happy. So under pressure I agree she could stay.

APAC Azahara adoption stories long face.

She sat on a blanket in the corner of the lounge and stared at me and I her for the next three hours.

At bedtime my partner wanted her in the room but I did put my foot down and said no. A dog has its place and I need mine also.

This dog never barked... that was really strange I thought.


The routine started with a morning walk at 8.30 am for the ablutions ..NOT MINE ..but hers. This was repeated at 5 pm. She spent most of the first day either sleeping or watching me but still she never made a sound.

The main concern was how skinny she was so we made an appointment to have her checked at the vets. Thirty mins later and 100 euros lighter in my pocket it was confirmed she was all ok. The next week was all about trial and error with getting her to eat a reasonable amount... what ever that may be for a dog of that size. Nobody really knows and they all said she will eat if she is hungry.

Poor Zaza, she had been brought to the dog hotel El Rey de la Casa two years ago when found on a motorway wandering and shaking. She was tall and skinny like a Vogue Model and very timid so nobody wanted her. She had this long pointed nose but when standing she was quiet elegant almost regal... a bit like the Royal Family... a bit stand offish.

Nosey she is... She stands on the terrace or at the gate watching everyone who passes my house... Then came the Houdini stage of trying to escape. After five attempts, and me chasing after a greyhound-speed dog, which was not funny for a man of 66 I built the metre and half enclosure to keep us both safe.

Three months down the line and still no sign of Portugal. Hay ho... that's life.

Now my girl turned into a thief. Stealing and running around my garden with all number of items including underwear, socks and pillows.  For all my neighbours to see or anyone passing.

Then Covid was upon us and we were confined to our homes... WOW I could go out as I had a dog. Lucky me... four walkies a day.

So now it was just Zaza and I and the timid dog started to come into her own.

She loves playing with other dogs and is very friendly with people displaying her kangaroo technic of bouncing around and wiggling her ass to show her content. In dog park everyone knows her and she loves to run forever. She is not a throw-and-retrieve- a-ball dog, but if she can steal another dogs ball she teases them by running off and they can chase her.  It was in the park I first heard her bark as she played but still at home she is  the calm dog I know and never barks...

Is she the ideal companion or just clever... who knows?

I am sure many of you have spent the last months doing domestic tasks and one of my ways was to bake.

Zaza clearly enjoys me baking also. Lemon Drizzly cake its just out of the oven and left on the side to cool... smells good... looking forward to tasting... Zaza beat me to it, when my back was turned she reached up and ate all 700grams and there was to crumbs to be found.

Bitch is what I think you call a female dog... well I have a bitch.

When asked "What have you done?!", she gave me that innocent look and turned her head away as if to say "It wasn’t me daddy, it was that Mr Nobody that lived with you when you were a boy."

APAC Azahara adoption stories runway mod
APAC Azahara adoption stories peek a boo

In conclusion having a rescue dog can be a shock but also its like having... a funny child. They become your company and your routine. In a way I am please she can’t talk because I know she would tell everyone what I say, as often I talk aloud to myself or maybe I am telling her.

Eleven months down the line and we get along fine, we are like an old married couple.

What more can I say.  hehehheehh

Thank you, Richard, for giving us an insight in your life with Zaza! You and Zaza have a wonderful bond and we wish you many more happy years together!

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