My nights sleep had been spoiled by the sound of dogs yelping across the valley all night long, so let me tell you a bit more about dogs here in Portugal. Unlike their UK cousins who are pampered and spoilt and called Fifi or Derek, Portuguese dogs runs tings. They’ve got gangster names like Bullet Dodger Biffhead, Four Star Flash Killer and Cruel Cat-Chaser Crusher. They cruise the streets like they own the place, window shopping in town and congregating and plotting up in the valleys. Like the talking dog in the film Men In Black they’re distinctly human, eyeing you up and down as you pass by and making mental notes as to where you keep your wallet for a future mugging. They cross the streets when they like, much to the annoyance and danger of drivers who are obliged to swerve sharply, taking out passing pedestrians in order to safeguard the dogs’ well being.
Whilst many of these dogs wear collars most are strays, though big dogs locked up on balconies in tiny apartments are not uncommon. I thought this was particularly cruel but not as cruel as what I would have done to the dog who yipped all night long outside my dorm window, had I got hold of him. In fact this dog was having a conversation, at full volume, with his chums across the hill. The only other time I had witnessed this phenomenon was in the Peruvian mountains, but this was a full-blown board meeting between all the dogs in the Algarve. This happened all night, every night.
Basically Portugal has a dog problem. They run wild and they sh!t everywhere. They’re allowed to breed and interbreed and inter-interbreed until the streets are awash with the ugliest looking animals you have ever seen (Alsatian heads on Dachshund bodies). Even the greatest dog lover would agree Portugal has a canine problem and I think the Portuguese tourist board should consider addressing it. Dogs, like Scousers, are everywhere and, like Scousers, they foul the place with their presence.