Meet the dogs – Dhalia

Dhalia – the third of our nine dogs.

There have been previous tales in this series of meeting our dogs.  Firstly, Paloma and then Lilly.  Now comes Jean’s story about how she found Dhalia.



Dhalia - domesticated but still the wild dog shows through.
Dhalia – domesticated but still the wild dog shows through.

It was a Sunday around the middle of the month of September in the year 2005. My friend, Gwen, and I had set off for La Manga, a small fishing village three miles from San Carlos, Mexico.  As the trip would take us through areas of desolate desert and the day was forecast to be a sizzler, we left early. The purpose of the journey was to feed a pack of dogs that were living on the outskirts of La Manga. These wild dogs were gradually getting used to our presence and with the aid of a humane trap we had previously caught two of them, a small puppy and her mother. Those two dogs were at my home and were gradually becoming tame so that good homes could be found for them.

Half-way to our destination, we saw two dogs running by the side of the road.   It wasn’t unusual to see strays searching for road-kill. I stopped the car and prepared food and water for them. One dog took off almost immediately but the other just stood perfectly still looking intently at me. She was rail-thin and full of mange.  Her ears and chest were scabbed with blood, and I could see that previously she had had pups. Tentatively, I pushed the food towards her. She took a bite and sat on her haunches; her eyes never leaving mine. Then she lifted a paw and reached out to me. Immediately, I burst into tears and scooped her into my arms.  I carried her back to the car where she lay quietly in my lap whilst we went on to do our feeding.  She was bloody and very smelly. However, I didn’t care.

I named her Dhalia and after treatments for mange she became quite beautiful.  She was the pivotal part of a short story Paul wrote back in 2011. [Ed: see note]  Under her sweet exterior remains that same will to survive so evident when I rescued her all those years ago.  There has been more than one occasion that she has brought me a recently killed squirrel or an ancient bone.  We love our Dhalia: she still reaches out with her front paw when she seeks attention.  Dhalia will be ten-years-old this year.

Love and Trust - Grandson Morten hugging Dhalia.
Love and Trust – Grandson Morten hugging Dhalia, September 2013.


NB: Tomorrow, I will publish the short story written three years ago Messages from the Night.  Next week another account from Jean about one of our family members.

8 thoughts on “Meet the dogs – Dhalia

  1. What an amazing story.. brought tears to my eyes! She is gorgeous and must be a very lovely companion!


  2. Deeply touched by Dhalia’s story.She is so lucky to have you now and of course you are lucky having her.The ‘love and trust’ Morten’s pic is so very poignant !
    Delighted I met Dhalia ; please give her a big ❤ hug ❤ !!!


    1. Thank you so much. Most certainly Dhalia will be receiving a hug from you! 🙂 I can’t tell you (and I’m not a person lost for words!!) how much all these dogs mean to me. The love that I receive countless times each day is beyond measure. Naturally, Jean feels the same way.

      Hope you enjoy tomorrow’s story that endeavoured to capture those feelings.


    1. Thank you, and welcome to this place. Do you have a website or blogsite? Would be nice to read your ‘writing for rescues’?

      Whoops, found it in a recent email informing me you have started following Learning from Dogs. Here’s the blogsite for Writing for Rescues.


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