This is Hobo.
Hobo is something of a celebrity stray in the Spanish town of Moraira, and he even has his own Facebook page. I’d heard about him before we returned to Spain for the winter, and there was no mistaking him, the very first time I saw him, a couple of weeks ago.
Hobo is to be seen around the waterfront area, occasionally wandering further afield. He’s very timid, but very curious. When we took a walk around the port area with friends and their dog on Christmas Eve, Hobo latched onto us, dogging (ahem!) our footsteps.
Whenever we stopped, Hobo stopped too, and nonchalantly studied the sky, the grass, the boats, the sea. Everything, in fact, except us. If I went towards him, he quickly withdrew, but as we resumed our progress, so did he.
On the rocks at the far end of port, he posed grandly, surveying his patch. He’s a beautiful dog.
I don’t know where he spends the night; but I’ve caught him taking a mid-morning snooze on the rocks by the castle, after the sun has gently warmed them. He’s no spare weight on him, and I guess he takes some comfort from the heat.
He is fed by some caring locals, though I’ve never seen him at the food and water bowls that are carefully replenished every day at the foot of one of the palm trees facing the sea. I guess if Hobo isn’t quick enough to catch his breakfast, someone else will.
That someone might well be the fishmarket cat. I captured a stand-off between Hobo and the cat the other day. No blows were exchanged; it seemed like there might be a cautious respect between the pair of them.
Last night, New Year’s Eve, the port exploded into a 45-minute long firework display. As I struggled to sleep, I spared a thought for Hobo, wondering where he spends his nights, and whether he was frightened by the endless flashing and banging.
But this morning, as we took our customary walk along the beach, there he was… sniffing, trademarking, tentatively watching other dogs as they approached, tail curled uncertainly between his legs.
Later I realized that one dog I’d seen trying unsuccessfully to get involved with Hobo was actually being used as bait. The local animal rescue organization had rigged up a cage, baited it with food, and later positioned the same dog a few yards away.
We can see this cage from our apartment, and I looked forward to watching their progress throughout the day.
But I looked out a minute ago; the cage, the bait dog and the rescue van have disappeared. I believe there have been similar but unsuccessful rescue attempts before now, so I’m wondering whether this time they have managed to take Hobo with them.
And I’m hoping, that if they did, he’ll enjoy the new life they’re planning for him.
I hope so.
Happy New Year everyone! (And to you too, Hobo.)