Pino was one of our biggest challenges! June 9th 2010.
I received an email via my web site, from an English lady who has a holiday home here in Puglia. She and her husband had been on their way to the airport via the motorway, to catch a plane back to the UK, when they pulled into a large lay-by, like a picnic area, la Pineta. There they saw a young pup, that had obviously been abandoned, he was probably less than six months old. She fell in love with him, she fed him and was so sad that she couldn’t take him with her. She felt totally helpless that she had to leave him there.
What sort of person abandons a pup on a very busy motorway, ok the lay-by is large, but for God’s sake, he only has to wander out and it would have been curtains! Oh, why do we never catch anyone doing this kind of thing!
Well, this is where we came in. In her email, the lady asked me if there was any possibility that Mino and I could go and rescue him and keep him with us until her return. She was due back here in July and she would then take the pup with her. It was such a heartfelt plea, how could we not help her. Also, we were 10 years younger then and in good health.
Well we set off early in the morning, and over two hours later arrived at the picnic area, and there he was, he was so happy to see some humans, but oh dear, we could not approach him! We tried everything to tempt him, but it was just not possible. He was not going to let himself be touched, we coaxed, I swore, we did everything in our power, but there was no way! Two hours later we just had to give up, we could not spend any longer trying. We knew we had over a two-hour drive to get home. So six hours for nothing!
But we didn’t give up, we intended to try the next day! One more time, one more trick up our sleeve!
We set off the next morning before 6 am, in order to try and miss some traffic, I think everyone else in Puglia had the same idea! Anyhow, we reached La Pineta and there he was, just waiting. We had a lovely greeting from him but still couldn’t touch him. Mino had brought him some of his delicious homemade meatballs, he would never be able to resist them!
We gave him a couple of knock out drops in them and had to wait for them to take effect. It took ages, well over an hour, and where did he finally lie down, right under a huge bush, on the edge of the motorway. Mino had to walk out on to the motorway, to try and encourage him back towards me. It was so scary, the pup could have fallen over the edge at any time, and Mino could have been hit by a speeding car, which was a real worry.
He fought it all the way and did not want to give in to sleep, but eventually, he had to. We were both scrambling about under this bush, which was full of mosquitoes, but Mino finally got him and carried him to the car. I sat in the back with him, and he slept all the way home. Dear little boy, if only he understood it was for his own sake we were doing this to him.
We got home with him, still sleeping, he was very subdued, and very nervous when he finally woke up, but soon made friends with the others, especially Rags. When Julie, the lady who originally contacted us about Pino, and Simon, her husband came for Pino they adopted Rags at the same time. (With a bit of persuasion on my part ( 😁
). Thank you both of you for giving this boy a chance. And shame on the person who left him there in the first place, I hope they get what they deserve!
Julie and Simon have remained good friends, and we see them whenever we can 😘 And Pino and Rags are still living the life of Riley in Leeds 🐾