A happy ending in Clawthorpe for Noa, the Spanish hunting dog


A Spanish dog found chained up in terrible conditions now has a life of leisure in Lakeland. Emily Rothery reports

Chris and Bob Thornton and their dog Noa live in the small South Lakeland village of Clawthorpe. Noa, a Spanish hunting dog, barks alarmingly loudly as I ring their door bell but it seems that her bark is worse than her bite for when we are introduced, she is affectionate and gentle. Her trust in people is heartening as just over two years ago she was found abandoned, distressed and emaciated.

Chris and her husband were enjoying a holiday in a remote area of Spain. On Christmas Day, while trekking with their family on the snowy slopes of Mount Sagra, they found the dog chained outside a derelict property.

She had been left without food, water or shelter and with a large raw wound where the chain had cut into her neck. She was in a sorry state and could barely stand. Another dog lay dead in a nearby barn.

After a struggle, the distraught family managed to release the chain from the cable to which it was attached and tend the dog’s wounds as best they could. They left her with water and shelter and returned the following day with leftovers from their Christmas dinner and tools to break the chain.

The dog brightened at the sight of them and greeted them like old friends. Knowing that she now had a chance of survival, the family reluctantly returned to their car.

The dog pitifully tried to follow them as they drove off with very heavy hearts. Chris explains: ‘We drove for about five miles down a number of lanes, had a very sombre picnic and then went for a walk. Three hours later when we came back she was by the car. It was quite miraculous that she had found us.’ Unable to leave the determined dog they made room for her in the car and looked after her overnight before taking her to the vet who was horrified with her condition and treated her wounds.

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Despite further set backs a place was found for her in a rescue centre, which are few and far between in Spain. The voluntary staff, with very limited resources, took good care of her and touchingly named her Noa – Hawaiian for freedom.

On returning home the Thorntons kept in touch with the rescue centre, continued to pay for treatment and, after initial refusals, were given permission to adopt Noa.

They visited her once more and arranged for a pet courier to bring her to England. She arrived in January 2012, greeted her new family joyously and after a few teething problems settled in and became very much part of the family.

Due to the tenacity and kindness of the Thorntons, Noa has been returned to optimum health and her transition to household pet has been a smooth one. She now lives a very different life enjoying long walks in the countryside, well-earned treats and the comfort of a ‘lion-sized bed.’

Chris says: ‘She is loved by everyone and is spoilt rotten. She loved our family Christmas celebrations which were a marked contrast to circumstances of the day that we found her.’

As I leave I reflect on the many dogs that are abandoned, often cruelly, when the hunting season ends in Spain and think to myself that Noa is a very lucky girl indeed.

For more information on the rescue centre log onto http.//elcaprichobaza.jimdo.com/contacto

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