Friday afternoon, while we were walking with our two dogs, Bobby and Blanquita, alongside the Rio Andarax from our home, we heard the plaintive cry of an animal. We thought it was a cat in distress but we could see nothing so we sent Bobby to investigate the sound. He found a small bundle of sodden brown fur lying on its back in the river shallows crying loudly and shivering with cold. It was a puppy, not much more than a week old, that had clearly been abandoned there to die.
Normally there is very little water flowing in this stretch of the Rio Andarax but in spring the melt snow from the Sierra Nevada creates fast flowing streams of freezing cold water. There are no roads or houses beside the river here so we think the puppy may have been dumped from one of the surrounding fincas. Perhaps a farmer’s dog had a litter and she was excess to requirements, possibly because she is a bitch.
We took her home, dried and warmed her, and then to the vet in Alhama de Almeria when the surgery opened at 1730. Mari Carmen, the vet, gave the little bitch some specially formulated milk for puppies. She said the puppy had to be kept warm so we lit a fire last night. We have to feed her every three to four hours and wipe her bottom regularly. The vet commented that the puppy was very strong to survive the river and had suffered no ill effects. She will be a large dog and will win no beauty contests. Judging from images we have looked at on google, we think she is a Rottweiler cross. We will attempt to raise her until a suitable home can be found.