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Perro de Ganado Majorero – another extraordinary dog

By Manuel Curto Gracias

Irema Curto Kennels

We arrived, me and my friends, to a house of goatherds in the middle of a species of stony desert – Fuerteventura is a basically dry, stony island, and with very many goats, the best goats of the archipelago. Many years ago, a friend said me that the goats of Fuerteventura feed themselves with anything, even of papers that the humans throw by wherever they go, and produce much milk-.By the environs of the house were goats, many, and baifos (baifo is native word and means goatling). A dog female of dark brindle coat of medium size was sleeping in the shade of a wall in ruins, when we descended from the car she raised, barked four or five times, she gave a few steps towards us and then, she returned to the shade. In the opposed side, north direction, to about one hundred meters of the house, a stand Perro de Ganado Majorero barked us, he was throwing with energy of the chain with which he was tied. It was an extraordinary, brindle dog with reddish tones, large, strong, with folded ears and double spurs in the hind legs. With my Nicormat camera I made him several slides. Due reasons that do not have to do with this story, these slides disappeared.

It was around noon, and seeing that nobody come out from the house we knocked the door. At the moment opened a woman of about fifty years and behind her was an old man, tall, extremely skinny, with a felt hat on the head. The woman did not know of dogs, although during all his life she had seen them in her house. They were the dogs of always, the dogs of the land, those that they had to keep the goats, and the ewes, and to keep the house. The skinny and tall old man could not say either too much about the dogs, just that he had always had them, like all the goatherds and almost all the farmers. He said us that those of the Cabildo (Town hall), the ones in charge to recover the breed, a year ago approximately had borrowed him the female to breed her once and then to return her. “And there you can see her, she is now lame and in addition they did not bring me any puppy. That never more they return here to request me a dog. What they did is not right”. The lameness of the dog was due she had severe dysplasia? That was the conclusion I reached.

Due the day was too warm, the woman invited us to enter the house. She offered us water, wine and cheese. That is what we have here -said as justifying herself-.
Three years later I travelled again to Fuerteventura, and recalling the old goatherd, his daughter, and their extraordinary perro majorero, I returned to that house. The old man was dead and the two dogs also. I felt some anguish, the woman seemed another person, she lived alone, had sold the goats, her children worked in the construction in the coast, like laborers, and they did not want to know of goats.

The life is thus, said the woman resigned with her luck. God wants it thus, added.

I said goodbye to the woman, I return to my car and I departed in search of another goatherd, in search of another dog, and I felt the desire to cry, and I cried.
Times can everything- there is one who says that the time is an invention of the man -, the death, the other face of the life.

Ewa Ziemska

Breeder and researcher of Presa Canario. Lived in Poland, London UK and presently stays in Kentucky, USA and traveled through whole Europe and 22 States discovering the breed. Speaks Polish, English and Spanish. Master of Science of Management and Computer Modeling and Engineer of Production Engineering of Kielce University of Technology. Avid traveler, photographer and dog book collector. Instagram @reygladiador