Marli The Pure Breed Spanish Water Dog

02/05/14: News from 2 days ago is that Marli is now doing very well and is much more relaxed than when she first arrived. Having said that, Marli wasn’t too stressed when Chris dropped her off on Monday morning. She apparently lept onto the sofa and presented her stomach for tickles. Jenny has now even started some training with Marli in the garden, and our very intelligent girl seems to be a quick learner. “She is very responsive and will now sit, wait and come on command, admittedly only in the garden or the house as she doesn’t go off lead on a walk, but I don’t think she has any intention on leaving, in fact she beats me back in the house.” All going very well, and we now have lovely new photos (and video) of Marli after her latest trim.

And to think, some people said that Marli was ‘better off’ living on the streets here in Almerimar than spending some time in kennels and then ‘enduring’ a trip to the UK.

Shall we ask Marli what she thinks about that view!!!

Click on any the photos to view the complete gallery full size.

27/04/14: Marli has had a few tough days but tomorrow morning she will start her new life in England. She will arrive in her foster home after 2 days on the transport, 2 days mostly confined in one room while we went through the TRACEs inspection and final preparations for her travel, and 3 weeks in kennels. Of course this was not all much fun for her and not what she was used to but it WAS a means to an very good end and soon, after some weeks assessment, she will have her own family where this beautiful dog will be safe and loved for the rest of her life. Some people have commented that she should have been left to her life of ‘freedom’ outside. I find this amazing! To anyone who doubts what we have achieved for Marli in the last weeks, I invite them to look at the 2 before and after photos and to think again. No dog is supposed to be roaming around so covered in filth that she is not even the right colour, prey to parasites, and pregnancy, often cold and lonely, and reliant on food from a few caring people. Well done again to Pam for caring enough to cover all her costs here and for not giving up on her, to Joan at JJ Kennels, and to the other people who have given her food and supported us in any way, and for the people who didn’t care, and who have even criticised, I will waste no words!

Just Before She Left
AFTER: Just Before She Left
With Me & Pam
With Me & Pam
Marli At Her Worse
BEFORE: Marli At Her Worse

15/04/14: AlStrays transports dogs and cats, but our re-homing project is for cats only and has been my passion for about 6 years now. Occasionally however a dog in need appears close to my home and it is very difficult not to get involved. Marli is one such case, although I cannot claim much credit for her rescue. My part was small and Marli is alive and well today because of the efforts of my friend Pam who fed her outside for 8 months and would not give up on her. She was finally caught 03.04 and is currently adjusting to life at a small private kennel before traveling to a new life in the UK 26.04.

Marli is now about 18 months old and was abandoned or lost at the end of last summer. It is hard to imagine why someone would not want such a lovely animal, particularly as my vet has confirmed that she is a pure breed Spanish water dog, and could have cost a lot of money. Maybe, as her tail is badly over-docked, she was bred casually from 2 owned animals and not valued. When I first saw her she was already looking in quite a state, as her fur was long, unkempt and covered in mud. Slowly over time it became worse and worse, which is why I christened her Marley the Rasta dog! We had all assumed Marli was a boy as she didn’t become pregnant during her time outside, but it appears that the dreadful state of her coat saved her from unwanted puppies, and also from fleas and ticks. My vet thinks that nothing was able to penetrate this solid armour!

At first Marli roamed all over the port of Almerimar looking for food from friendly people. Nobody could touch her but many got to know her. As she got used to Pam feeding her she spent more and more time at the end of our street, and even made friends with a little owned dog, Troy, that was allowed to roam free during the daytime. By the end of her time outside she had another friend, little abandoned Millie, and was to be seen most days either waiting for Pam, or for her friend Troy to be let out to play. Life was not so bad, and Marli seemed a healthy, playful dog, if filthy and lonely at night. She was however very resistant to being caught, and so we needed a plan to catch this cunning, slightly nervous and very intelligent animal.

I had started to get involved in helping to catch Marli, and one afternoon managed to speak to the owner of Marli’s little friend Troy. With the translating help of Mary who drove by just at the right time, we agreed a plan. Troy’s owner would leave open his terrace gate in the hope that Marli would follow his little friend, and then phone us once he was shut inside. We didn’t expect a result on the first day but within the hour we got the phone call, and once in a closed area, Marli was actually easy to slip a lead on! AND then walked calmly back up to Pam’s utility room with us.

At my vet the next morning most of her filthy fur had to be removed, and out of the filth emerged the beautiful face and healthy body of a Spanish water dog! Her blood tests were negative and she is a good healthy weight, so is ready to travel to a new life this month. We have considered local options, as various people showed an interest, but my experience with the cats is that home checks and proper adoption contracts are the right way forward, organised by licensed organisations, and that good backup is essential, because not all animals settle well in their first homes.

Pam has therefore been in contact with the Spanish water dog rescue in the UK. They have a waiting list for these special dogs and we trust their experience to find the right home for Marli. She will first go to the home of one of their team to be properly assessed so that she can be matched with the right family, who will then have the follow-up support needed. Marli is already showing some wariness of men, and this breed is known to be slightly nervous of strangers so we are lucky to have this dedicated team of people to find Marli her new life. She will travel on our transport to the UK 26.04, legally under TRACES regulations, and we will all be waiting for news of this lovely dog who has become a bit of a feature in Almerimar over the past year. We will all miss seeing her outside, but we are all relieved she will soon have the life she so deserves. Thankyou again to Pam for her commitment, to my Spanish vet Miguel of Animalfisio Almeria, to Joan for her care now at JJ kennels, to the Spanish Water Dog Rescue for their offer of help, and to all who have fed her over the long months. All that will be left is for AlStrays transport to deliver her safely to England, and Chris is very good at that!

Enjoy Marli’s photos below and see her amazing transformation, and watch out for news of her other street friend little Millie next.

Click on any the photos to view the complete gallery full size.

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