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Don’t Feed The Dogs

Camino(s) past & future
(2001) (2018)
#1
As much as we love them PLEASE DON’T feed the dogs, or even pet them.

We had an adorable, lovable dog follow us from Roncesvalles the whole day for 32km. He would follow us and others, run ahead and then wait for people to catch up. He was adorable, lovable, and incredibly adorable, and it was hard not to give him something, but I’m sure that his owners must be heartbroken that he’s gone!

People we ran into said they had seen him in St Jean, was fed in Roncesvalles by well meaning people, and continued along the Camino with us and others from there for 25+km despite numerous attempts by some people to shoo him away and send him home. We didn’t see him in Zubiri and we sincerely hope his owners came to find him and take him home.

Another couple we ran into found a stray dog in desperate condition and decided to adopt him and take him home to America with them.

Please don’t feed the dogs!!!
 

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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#2
He would follow us and others, run ahead and then wait for people to catch up.
Many Pyrenees dogs do this. I first encountered it just past Oloron-Ste.-Marie on the way to the Camino Aragones. After an hour, we reached a field where his buddy was watching a flock of sheep.

They find their way home, and I doubt their owners worry. I agree, however, don't feed them (or other dogs).
 
Camino(s) past & future
This upcoming May 31st through July 1st approximately.
#3
Many Pyrenees dogs do this. I first encountered it just past Oloron-Ste.-Marie on the way to the Camino Aragones. After an hour, we reached a field where his buddy was watching a flock of sheep.

They find their way home, and I doubt their owners worry. I agree, however, don't feed them (or other dogs).
I remember seeing signs along the Frances saying "Please do not feed the dogs or encourage then to follow. They DO have homes". However, it can be very tempting as we saw some absolutely gorgeous dogs that we were very tempted to have keep us company for a while.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#4
I remember seeing signs along the Frances saying "Please do not feed the dogs or encourage then to follow. They DO have homes". However, it can be very tempting as we saw some absolutely gorgeous dogs that we were very tempted to have keep us company for a while.
Gee, I've never been tempted to steal someone's property, regardless of how beautiful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
This upcoming May 31st through July 1st approximately.
#5
Gee, I've never been tempted to steal someone's property, regardless of how beautiful.
Well - to be honest - I do hope that I have never been tempted to steal anyone's property either. All I said was that it would have been nice to have their company for a wee while, but under the circumstances - that was not something we would have followed through with.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#7
Well - to be honest - I do hope that I have never been tempted to steal anyone's property either. All I said was that it would have been nice to have their company for a wee while, but under the circumstances - that was not something we would have followed through with.
Yes, I realize that. I'm surprised by how many people who do think that it's okay to encourage a dog that they don't know to accompany them.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#9
When departing Cruz de Ferro, a young dog appeared. He was a nose down busy dog, non stop trotting around, 100 meters up and back, 100 metes side to side like he was following a scent. In retrospect I think he was looking for a scent, trying to find something familiar. His tongue was out, he looked thirsty and tired but determined to keep moving. We called him in to offer some comfort and inspect his collar for identifying information. But he was wary and seemed conflicted, like he wanted to take a rest but was afraid of being caught. He stayed within sight of us for an hour as we walked but kept getting further and further away ahead of us and eventually out of sight...never to be seen again. A few days later I met up with Flora who I had walked with earlier on the Camino who had gone ahead of me. The day we saw the dog, he worked his way ahead to Flora who did catch him. Written in pen, on the inside of his collar was a phone number but several numbers were illegible. With the help of the police to make the phone calls, they made dozens of calls substituting new numbers for those they could not read and finally had success. The owner said the dog was missing for two days (we saw the dog on day two) and had wandered more than 40 kilometers from home. The sweeping pattern of the dog's movements convince me he trotted well over 100 kilometers on his adventure. Fortunately it had a happy ending but I'm sure many dogs are not so lucky. This dog had no awareness or street smarts regarding roads and cars and he frequently ran blindly out into the road to our horror. There was very little traffic and this dog just got lucky he did not lose his life to a collision with a car. I worried and wondered what happened to this dog the next few days and was so relieved to hear the story directly from Flora, this doggy's savior.
2 pics of the dog (see bottom right hand corner in one pic) and pic of Flora from Tiawan

DSC01397.JPG Flora Finisterre.jpg DSC01399.JPG
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#10
As much as we love them PLEASE DON’T feed the dogs, or even pet them.

We had an adorable, lovable dog follow us from Roncesvalles the whole day for 32km. He would follow us and others, run ahead and then wait for people to catch up. He was adorable, lovable, and incredibly adorable, and it was hard not to give him something, but I’m sure that his owners must be heartbroken that he’s gone!

People we ran into said they had seen him in St Jean, was fed in Roncesvalles by well meaning people, and continued along the Camino with us and others from there for 25+km despite numerous attempts by some people to shoo him away and send him home. We didn’t see him in Zubiri and we sincerely hope his owners came to find him and take him home.

Another couple we ran into found a stray dog in desperate condition and decided to adopt him and take him home to America with them.

Please don’t feed the dogs!!!
I think many are strays and rely on us to feed them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#11
I think many are strays and rely on us to feed them.
@Walking Lover I think the point being made here is that that is often not the case. Many of the apparently "stray" dogs have followed pilgrims because they are fun and like to throw sticks for them (I saw that myself several times) or are just interesting to follow, and become lost. Feeding loose dogs which are not necessarily homeless will only compound the problem, and there have been some heartbreaking stories of dogs becoming permanently lost by following walkers for many miles and not being able to find their way home. The story in @twh 's post above is a case in point - you will see that dog had a collar. As transient visitors walking through a village or farmland we can't possibly tell where a dog might have come from and what care it might need, unless we take the trouble to stop and ask local people and try to find its home, as Flora did for the dog in @twh 's story. I do not believe that dogs along the Camino "rely on us", foreign visitors who know nothing of their situation, to feed them.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb, Roncesvalles - SdC - Muxia - Fisterra
#12
Slight segue of topic. I had a few interesting experiences of being accompanied for a few km where no matter how hard I encouraged a couple of dogs to go home or not accompany me they would not. As much as I hate to admit it, being joined by furry escorts ascending and descending O'Cebreiro really moved me. I love dogs but it really did concern me that they joined me.

Climbing I was joined by the largest German Shepard I have ever encountered just outside of Las Herrerias. Thankfully he was friendly, honestly when he trotted up I assumed I was to be his meal but for some reason he was incredibly protective of me with some other large loose dogs in the villages of the ascent. My biggest concern was that a local farmer might pepper me/him with buckshot. As soon as we arrived in O'Cebreiro he gave me a look of satisfaction and scooted. I inquired about him with the docent in Iglesia when I arrived and she told me his name was Leon and that he often escorts pilgrims and then returns home. Anybody else see Leon "la guardia espalda de peregrinos"?

Strangely enough the next day was more of the same with me walking with a dog from the Iglesia de San Juan in Hospital until Alto do Poio where he gave me a look at turned around and lumbered home back down where we came from.

 
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Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#13
This reminds me of something funny that happened when we were getting close to Santiago in 2015. We had stayed the night in Salceda, in the "albergue turistico" which is a few hundred metres off the Camino in a tiny hamlet on the other side of the N547. As we were leaving in the morning a small dog appeared and started trotting alongside us. Oh no. "A casa", we said. "No! " we said. We tried ignoring him, pointing back the way he had come, but on he trotted. We were about to turn around and try to take him home when he stopped. Just stopped trotting and stood, while we walked on. We realised we had reached the last house in the village. He wasn't following us - he was seeing us out of his territory! We waved goodbye and continued on.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Piamonte
Aragones
Elizabethpfad
#14
Slight segue of topic. I had a few interesting experiences of being accompanied for a few km where no matter how hard I encouraged a couple of dogs to go home or not accompany me they would not. As much as I hate to admit it, being joined by furry escorts ascending and descending O'Cebreiro really moved me. I love dogs but it really did concern me that they joined me.

Climbing I was joined by the largest German Shepard I have ever encountered just outside of Las Herrerias. Thankfully he was friendly, honestly when he trotted up I assumed I was to be his meal but for some reason he was incredibly protective of me with some other large loose dogs in the villages of the ascent. My biggest concern was that a local farmer might pepper me/him with buckshot. As soon as we arrived in O'Cebreiro he gave me a look of satisfaction and scooted. I inquired about him with the docent in Iglesia when I arrived and she told me his name was Leon and that he often escorts pilgrims and then returns home. Anybody else see Leon "la guardia espalda de peregrinos"?

Strangely enough the next day was more of the same with me walking with a dog from the Iglesia de San Juan in Hospital until Alto do Poio where he gave me a look at turned around and lumbered home back down where we came from.

I could have used his protection when I was in O'Cebreiro in 2012, which was the only place, on a main thoroughfare in the village itself, in which I was threatened by a large dog, who clearly did not want me walking on his turf.
 

Harington

una abuelita inglés
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
#15
Slight segue of topic. I had a few interesting experiences of being accompanied for a few km where no matter how hard I encouraged a couple of dogs to go home or not accompany me they would not. As much as I hate to admit it, being joined by furry escorts ascending and descending O'Cebreiro really moved me. I love dogs but it really did concern me that they joined me.

Climbing I was joined by the largest German Shepard I have ever encountered just outside of Las Herrerias. Thankfully he was friendly, honestly when he trotted up I assumed I was to be his meal but for some reason he was incredibly protective of me with some other large loose dogs in the villages of the ascent. My biggest concern was that a local farmer might pepper me/him with buckshot. As soon as we arrived in O'Cebreiro he gave me a look of satisfaction and scooted. I inquired about him with the docent in Iglesia when I arrived and she told me his name was Leon and that he often escorts pilgrims and then returns home. Anybody else see Leon "la guardia espalda de peregrinos"?

Strangely enough the next day was more of the same with me walking with a dog from the Iglesia de San Juan in Hospital until Alto do Poio where he gave me a look at turned around and lumbered home back down where we came from.

Just St James in another of his disguises, perhaps?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#16
This reminds me of something funny that happened when we were getting close to Santiago in 2015. We had stayed the night in Salceda, in the "albergue turistico" which is a few hundred metres off the Camino in a tiny hamlet on the other side of the N547. As we were leaving in the morning a small dog appeared and started trotting alongside us. Oh no. "A casa", we said. "No! " we said. We tried ignoring him, pointing back the way he had come, but on he trotted. We were about to turn around and try to take him home when he stopped. Just stopped trotting and stood, while we walked on. We realised we had reached the last house in the village. He wasn't following us - he was seeing us out of his territory! We waved goodbye and continued on.
In Galicia, when we don't want a dog to follow us, we say (loud) "Pasa de ahí can".
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb, Roncesvalles - SdC - Muxia - Fisterra
#17
Just St James in another of his disguises, perhaps?
The mind begins to think all manner of things when you are alone, tired and suddenly joined by a furry friend. The stages of:
1. "I'm going to be eaten"
2. "You need to go home"
3. "This is amazing, I have a new dog!"
4. And then finally with a happiness and a touch of sadness, "...oh....the dog just has a new pilgrim".
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb, Roncesvalles - SdC - Muxia - Fisterra
#18
...We realised we had reached the last house in the village. He wasn't following us - he was seeing us out of his territory! We waved goodbye and continued on.
I could have used his protection when I was in O'Cebreiro in 2012, which was the only place, on a main thoroughfare in the village itself, in which I was threatened by a large dog, who clearly did not want me walking on his turf.
As I was ascending, just before the rather steep yet short section before La Faba, Leon my furry "guardiaespalda" took off in a field and I thought our brief encounter had ended. After getting through the steep stuff I needed to use the tree facilities. Just as I concluded I was startled as I turned around to find directly behind me...just staring at me. We shuffled by each other in the trees like folks waiting for a lavatory on a crowded airplane as he walked to the tree, looked at me and then marked it. The satisfaction that appeared on his furry face of "fixed" and "these are mine" still gives me a chuckle!

Karl, I wonder if one of the dogs you encountered was one of the ones loose that Leon almost took a chunk out of in and sent fleeing La Faba. It was amazing and frightening to see him as we entered a village, he was clearly the dog to be reckoned with. He didn't care about dogs in general but if they were aggressive and barking he doubled down. In La Laguna it appeared like he was going leap over a short fence to get the two gnashing dogs on the other side. As soon as he got to the fence he did a couple of pogo-stick-bounces and shined his intent they retreated quickly into a barn space. I considered documenting all this briefly with a photo or video until I realized I really didn't want to see or be involved in anything potentially horrific nor be attacked by a villager. But reflecting on the videos and pictures of us wandering together still bring me joy and curiosity.
 
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volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
#19
As I was ascending, just before the rather steep yet short section before La Faba, Leon my furry "guardiaespalda" took off in a field and I thought our brief encounter had ended. After getting through the steep stuff I needed to use the tree facilities. Just as I concluded I was startled as I turned around to find directly behind me...just staring at me. We shuffled by each other in the trees like folks waiting for a lavatory on a crowded airplane as he walked to the tree, looked at me and then marked it. The satisfaction that appeared on his furry face of "fixed" and "these are mine" still gives me a chuckle!

Karl, I wonder if one of the dogs you encountered was one of the ones loose that Leon almost took a chunk out of in and sent fleeing La Faba. It was amazing and frightening to see him as we entered a village, he was clearly the dog to be reckoned with. He didn't care about dogs in general but if they were aggressive and barking he doubled down. In La Laguna it appeared like he was going leap over a short fence to get the two gnashing dogs on the other side. As soon as he got to the fence he did a couple of pogo-stick-bounces and shined his intent they retreated quickly into a barn space. I considered documenting all this briefly with a photo or video until I realized I really didn't want to see or be involved in anything potentially horrific nor be attacked by a villager. But reflecting on the videos and pictures of us wandering together still bring me joy and curiosity.
Wow - these stories of Leon are very similar to the dog we encountered in Las Herrerias. He was hanging around the street and I asked about his breed and who he belonged to. I was told by the volunteer hospitalero that he was a special breed for protecting the livestock from wolves and that he more or less belonged to the village. The next morning he escorted us out of town and got into quite a barking match with a dog that was walking the Camino with it's German owners. My husband and I nervously made our way around and carried on but the local dog continued right up the path with us. When we stopped for breakfast in Laguna de Castilla, our friend turned around. Now I'm not sure if it was the same dog or not. My memories are tainted by the image of the dog that attacked and bit me a few hours later.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb, Roncesvalles - SdC - Muxia - Fisterra
#20
Wow - these stories of Leon are very similar to the dog we encountered in Las Herrerias. He was hanging around the street and I asked about his breed and who he belonged to. I was told by the volunteer hospitalero that he was a special breed for protecting the livestock from wolves and that he more or less belonged to the village. The next morning he escorted us out of town and got into quite a barking match with a dog that was walking the Camino with it's German owners. My husband and I nervously made our way around and carried on but the local dog continued right up the path with us. When we stopped for breakfast in Laguna de Castilla, our friend turned around. Now I'm not sure if it was the same dog or not. My memories are tainted by the image of the dog that attacked and bit me a few hours later.
I wonder if it is the same animal. Here is my furry escort. After these I just have videos. Him running ahead, waiting around blind corners a few hundred meters ahead. Patiently waiting and then playfully bounding off again.

I am so sorry about the dog that attacked you. I hope nothing serious.




 
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volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
#21
I wonder if it is the same animal. Here is my furry escort. After these I just have videos. Him running ahead, waiting around blind corners a few hundred meters ahead. Patiently waiting and then playfully bounding off again.

I am so sorry about the dog that attacked you. I hope nothing serious.




Beautiful dog! I feel like that is likely him. It was 3 years ago though and I searched for a photo but alas I don't seem to have one of him.

My later experience was traumatic at the time, more so because the people in the immediate vicinity, as well as the dogs owner ignored our requests for assistance. I quickly learned the Spanish word for bum (culo) so that I could report my injury at the hospital. An incredibly strong jaw clamped into my hind quarter left puncture marks and caused deep bruising and pain. Never the less I consider myself lucky. This summer as we walked the Portuguese Route I realized that my husband is actually more affected than I am. He had a visceral response everytime agressive dogs were in the vicinity. An unfortunate encounter but thankfully it is vastly outweighed by all of the good experiences our Camino walks have provided us with!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#22
I think many are strays and rely on us to feed them.
I disagree. Stray dogs are not common in Spain. Loose dogs are.

I was followed all day by Runa the Mastiff from Villafranca del Bierzo to the German Albergue. Nothing I could do would get rid of her. I phoned the owner and she said 'oh she always gets out and follows pilgrims.. she is skinny because she walks so far every day'.

Here she is being collected:

P1000508.JPG
 
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