Stray Dogs

I am currently on my first International sit in Spain, up in the mountains and not in a city. A cute little pup came across the house and has not left, luckily I have a fenced garden and it can not get in. There is a nature strip at the side of the house with Lemon & Orange tree’s, I gave it some water on the 2nd day as its warm weather. The HO messaged saying it will move on & this is common in Spain/this area, people dump dogs all the time. 5 days later it didn’t move on & actually started joining us on our daily walks.
I finally manged to get some help (i’m a solo sitter) from the HO friend and we took it to a shelter.
My question for all you lovely seasoned sitters: Was it a rookie mistake not asking about stray dogs & getting a number for a shelter?

I don’t speak Spanish so it wasn’t as easy as googling and calling one. I also didn’t know it was a common occurrence.


I’ve never asked about strays or for shelter information. So I don’t think it was a rookie mistake. But now you have a lesson you’ve learned on a sit that you can ask a HO going forward. Most of us have questionnaires we send to HOs after an offer has been made and the questions on them come from our personal experiences on past sits.


Hi @Mslaura Your being sensitive to the needs and welfare of a stray dog is admirable. Sometimes we ‘act’ on the information we are provided. Sometimes we do not foresee the questions to ask until a discovery takes place during a learning experience. This has been a learning experience for you and gives information to others who will potentially travel to Spain for the first time in the future.

You were proactive in coordinating with the homeowner’s friend in getting the dog to a shelter. You provided water and the dog even enjoyed some walks with you. Because of you, look at it as a blessing that the dog was taken off of the street and may end up in a potentially loving home.

I would not consider it a “rookie mistake”…I would consider it “lessons learned” which we all gain through experiences in life.


Something similar happened when we did a long sit in France.

A stray dog appeared near the house a few times but was too jumpy to let me make contact.
I guess it eventually moved on but if I could have “caught” it I would have fed it and took it to a shelter.

I found it quite upsetting if I’m honest, and thinking about it now makes me sad.

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Hi @Mslaura thank you for caring.

There are many parts of the world where stray and abandoned animals are a huge problem all we can do is our best and what is possible at the time. Fortunately you were able to get help and find a shelter, that puppy is one of the lucky ones thanks to you and that’s no mistake.

As @sharondc says it’s a life learning experience and you did well.

Not a mistake — rookie or otherwise. It was an inspiring act of compassion. One I will remember.