When we first moved to Yunquera in 2003, we rented a flat on the outskirts of town. We couldn’t live in our newly-purchased house yet, because it was just a shell!!
The flat was perfectly adequate, but not exactly home. So every evening, we would walk into town to do our shopping and have a quick beer, just to get out for a bit. We had to take our dogs with us, as the flat’s owner did not like them left alone in the house. (And anyone who knows boxers realizes that it’s not good to leave them alone anyway!!)
Along our walk, we’d say “hello” and talk to anyone and everyone we met along the way. We spoke very little Spanish, so couldn’t say a lot, but we did try. Gradually, over the 9 months we lived in that flat, we would stop and talk longer, to more people – it was a great way to start getting to know people in the village!
Everyone soon recognized us, for a couple of reasons – one, because Kenton is a big guy with close-cropped hair, so he definitely stands out! The second reason was the dogs. Boxers are bigger than most of the dogs in town, and at first the Spanish were afraid of them. But gradually, they were confident enough to pet the dogs and talk to them. So we were known as the “couple from England with the big husband and the big dogs”!
But on to Angel. He lived in one of the houses along our way into town. He was probably about 4 at the time of our arrival. Very shy, but he loved the dogs, one of them in particular – our dog Max. Max was small for a boxer, and had one dicky paw, which he often held up as he walked, causing him to limp. (Note, however that he ran on all 4 legs when chasing rabbits!)
Angel loved Max. He would always talk to him and pet him. In fact, he loved Max so much that he insisted his mother call him “Max”, and he refused to answer to “Angel” for several months! It was very funny, but I’m not sure how much his mother appreciated it!
Since 2003, the 2 dogs we came with have passed on. We have 2 new boxer dogs, which Angel still likes to see and pet. And whenever he sees Kenton with his camera, he insists on having his picture taken! Such a character.