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Barking Mad! 

At 4ft on her hind legs, Darcy, who looks distinctly like Britain’s Got Talent´s dancing pooch, towered over her adopted sister Dora, a crazy Jack Russell cross with strange Pondenco ears. Their tails were happily wagging as they yanked their owners out the door and into their new playground; for just yesterday they had moved from the bustling streets of Los Cristianos to the open aired postcard town named The Golf Del Sur.

 Taking in the views were magnificent, and Darcy and Dora were in awe of the swishing palm trees, clear blue ocean and the way the sun beat down on their little wet noses.

‘Lets go and have a look at the posh houses’ announced Dora, whilst simultaneously pulling on her lead to suggest that’s where she’d like to go.

‘Wow they look incredible!’ panted Darcy.

Just then, quick as a flash, the Doggie’s pleasant morning took a harsh and unexpected jolt.

‘Ugh look at the state of your lead,’ yapped Claude, a slightly ‘feminine’ King Charles Spaniel. His gaze was fixed on Darcy, the meeker of the two Dogs.

‘How very grotesque, it’s all ripped and frayed, good heavens woman.’

‘Oi, who da ya think your talking to?’ yelped Dora in her sister’s defence. Where she’d picked up the Manchester accent from was anybody’s guess.

Surveying the garden, or rather ‘the land’ in which Claude was inhabiting,  Darcy did feel somewhat shameful of her own situation. For the first time she wished her coat was a bit less ragged, her name-tag hadn’t fallen off her collar, and that her owner wasn’t swinging about the contents of her supper in a plastic bag.

‘And you’ yawned Claude, barely giving little Dora recognition at all, ‘I have no idea how you came to be my child, let’s just say your mother must have had a very wild night down Las Americas.’

‘Yeah well, at least my mum doesn’t look like my dad!’

Leaving Claude’s mouth agape, the girls were dragged on by their owner John, ‘Stop barking you two’ he chuckled good naturedly.

Each day for the next week, the doggies were taken on their usual morning walk past the beautiful Villas and on to a waste ground where they happily chased stones and dug for treasure; but each morning, the same fate awaited them….Claude!

‘Oh it’s the Sisters grim’ he bellowed, whilst licking the fresh chicken liver pate from his lips. ‘Going on your ‘run’ are you?’

Dora sauntered right up to the royal iron gates, her nose firmly in the air.

‘Yeah, you should try it sometimes, it’s called avin a laff!’

‘Hmm, ‘avin a laff eh,’ I’d much rather do a few gentle strolls around the gardens, followed by a dip in the pool, not communal obviously, heaven forbid, and then take it easy until elevenses.’

 The day after the girl’s owners assumed Darcy wasn’t feeling too well. They only made it to the top of the street before she was pulling to come back. She’d gone off her food too; her favourite Spar special meaty chunks was now left at the bottom of her bowl, and they could have sworn she’d tried to turn on the shower.

‘Hey’ announced John to his wife Karen, ‘The Dog refuge are having an open day this weekend, lets go and take the dogs, might be just what they need.’

‘Good idea’ beamed Karen.

The weekend was suddenly upon them and they set off in the car (with their doggy seat belts on of course) to the dog refuge open day.

‘Wow this place is so cool,’ yapped Dora insensately, bemused by all the dogs around her;all happily wagging their tails at her arrival. The place smelt of ham and sausages…there was even a doggy tom bowler!

After a while, when the music had stopped and the raffle had been announced, Darcy and Dora were taken by their owners into the main section of the refuge, where all the abandoned dogs lived. The noise was deafening and Darcy just wished she could go home to the comfort of her blanket and squeaky bone.

‘This one is Poppy,’ said a nice lady, ‘And this one, this is Beavis, he was abandoned in Chayofa last year, and this is Molly and Robson and Claude and…’

‘What!’ yelped Dora at the top of her tiny lungs. Flipping round as fast as you can say ‘walkies’, Dora and Darcy couldn’t believe their eyes, laying there, with one paw over his eyes, was Claude: nasty, pompous, self righteous Claude!

‘That’s funny, said Jon, I’m pretty sure that’s the dog who lives in the villas near us in the Golf?’

‘Ah yes it will be,’ explained the kind lady. ‘The lovely people who live there agree to take the dogs now and again, just for a week or two. It’s good for them to have some space to run around, to integrate with a family. Claude was there a few weeks ago. He’s had a terrible time bless him, abandoned as a puppy in an apartment. It was three days before he was found.’

Too embarrassed to look up, Claude tried to make himself invisible. He tucked his tail right underneath him, and cast his eyes downwards. He felt a small trickle of a tear escape his eye.

Gently nudging Dora out of the way, Darcy took a step forward, and very slowly and very cautiously licked the top of Claude’s head.

‘Don’t worry Claude, I once pretended I was Pudsey of Britain’s Got Talent, it was really embarrassing when they asked me to dance to the Flintstones. We all make mistakes.’

Eventually Claude looked up into the sincere face of Darcy, her shabby coat and biscuit smell no longer being of importance.

‘Aww they seem to really like each other,’ laughed Karen. ‘Such a shame about Claude, and such a beautiful looking Dog.’

John looked at the three pooches, all licking one another´s faces.

‘Oh what the heck, one more won´t make a difference, plus it will be nice to have another man around the house… grab your coat Claude, you’re coming home with us.’

All three dogs stared at each other in amazement, before jumping up at John and Karen like over excited children.

‘Mind you’ joked Darcy on the way home, ‘I think we’re out of Caviar’

‘Don’t worry Claude,’yapped Dora, ‘We’ll stop off at Mercadona and get you some.’

‘Look,’ beamed John, ‘I think Claude’s laughing!’

‘Dont be daft,’ sighed Karen, ‘he’s a dog!’

By Gemma Metcalfe