Training the Spanish to respect animals

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TRUSTY LOBO: He wouldn’t come when called.

I had a dog one time that didn’t like me. He wouldn’t come when called. Let out the door in the morning to wander and he always came back reeking of rolling in something foul. It was exactly at those moments that he cherished being close.
In 1971 a nasty incident took place at my second home, the La Gaviota bar. At 7 in the evening, I was plumped down outside on the marble terrace enjoying ice cold beer and waiting to speak with my brother.
Trusty Lobo was underneath the table. Paul joined me and we chatted then a Spaniard at the table nearest announced that I should lock up the dog. That he as a Spaniard regretted to be in the animal’s presence.
Furthermore his friends and the wives found the foreign custom of eating with their dogs repulsive and pagan. Being in a bad mood I quickly retorted “my dog can read and write, and that’s probably more than you can do.”
Well, he got up and came over to my table and kicked Lobo. Not a normal action for a Spaniard. I leapt to my feet but was soon pulled back by Paul.
Then Paul lectured me for about 10 minutes on being a guest in this country and I also had to learn to be an ambassador too.
I swigged my beer back, bit my tongue and gritted my teeth, ordering more beer. The dog kicking table began to boast and act arrogant.
Then Paul got up and took his chair to their table, sat, and announced “I think I know these whores” referring to the wives. Well, the Dog Kicker stood offended and wanted to get into one of those never ending Spanish arguments that consist of insults and name calling to create enough noise so that others will intervene quickly to rescue both parties.
Paul saw that coming so edged closer and tapped dog kicker’s forehead with a swift but light jab, forcing the issue.
Dog kicker had to defend his public honour and strike.
Strike he did with a huge round house right which began somewhere from the south side of Garrucha, slow and without impact as it was deftly blocked and at the same time while Paul threw a right cross that knocked the man ass over tea kettle down the entire marble stairs. I jumped up to aid dog kicker who mumbled “where is he, I’m really gonna kick his ass now.”
Staggering to regain his feet then falling to his knees and crying. I left him there, came back up and ordered some more beer.
The others at DK’s table ran away screaming, cursing and filling the sky with insults. In those days it truly was the Wild West with Spanish and foreigners still learning about each other.
Thankfully it has changed for the better from both sides.

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