Rabbit for tea
 
I suppose I shouldn't complain because he's just a dog being a dog, but for a vegetarian like myself, watching Jimmy catch, kill, and eat a wild rabbit in the garden is quite upsetting. By the time he flushed it out of the bushes, and I saw them running, it was far too late to do anything about it. And he's incredibly fast. Even though it happened right in front of me, I'd still barely moved from my chair before he was carrying his prize - now very limp - to a corner to devour it.

And this raises a question for me.

Jimmy is a well fed, healthy, pet dog. He wasn't bred specifically to hunt, and he hasn't been trained to hunt, and yet he knows exactly what to do when he comes across a rabbit or a rat.

So why, oh why, do Spanish hunters think it's necessary to starve their dogs to 'make them better hunters'? I have the evidence right here - now dozing in the sun beside me, with a full belly - that dogs can hunt just as well when they're contented and well fed as they can when they're hungry. In fact, they can probably hunt better, because they have the energy for that extra burst of speed when it's needed.

Rescuers of galgos and podencos alike celebrate when another dog is dumped at the local pound because it was 'no good at hunting'. That thin, often abused and terrifed, dog is one of the lucky ones, and now has the chance of a future.

Much as it upsets me when I see him kill, I'm thankful that Jimmy came to me, and didn't fall into the hands of a hunter. I doubt he would have been so lucky.