Besalú, Cadaqués, Europe, Spain

It’s A Dog Life’s In Costa Brava.

March 11, 2012
The Dogs of Costa Brava.

I’m not really a dog person at all and like cats much better. I owned a cat when I lived in Canada and find myself drawn to them whenever I travel. I was surprised to discover that the mighty and historic Roman coliseum is filled with many feral cats and delighted to see homeless cats given shelter on a boat in Amsterdam.

Then I spent time in Costa Brava and hung out with a bunch of dogs. Despite my initial resistance, those canines won my heart and now I find myself wanting to get a loyal and faithful companion of my own. A time may come when my ever restless travelling soul will be tamed and I’ll settle down somewhere. I can then see myself walking through the quiet tree filled streets of a nice European city with a dog at my side.

How did this love for dogs develop? I blame it on Pequita.

Arriving at Mas Perafita, a winery in Cap de Creus (where I later witnessed a beautiful sunrise) our group was greeted by four excited and happy dogs. All but one ran to meet us at our vehicles. Pequita excited too, stayed back looking like she wished she could join. She hesitantly stepped forward and I saw that she had a limp, which we later found out resulted from a car accident. I walked up to her instead and as I started to pet her, she leaned against me and sweetly extended her injured paw. This was the defining moment when I fell in love and started plotting complicated kidnapping scenarios that would bring her to Berlin with me.

So meet Pequita and understand why my love for her runs so deep. Just look at her face!

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

These are Pequita’s cute friends who we played fetch with using rocks and pine cones. Who needs a tennis ball when you have the resources of mother nature?

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

As I watched the dog’s frolic about, I couldn’t help but be delighted to get a glimpse of their lifestyle in the Spanish countryside. They spend their days outdoors playing, sleeping and enjoying the affection of the winery’s visitors against the beautiful landscape of the Pyrenees. This is the way all animals (and even people) should live!

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

A couple of days later when our group was celebrating the Catalonian Calçotada tradition (blog post on this coming soon) at a farm not far from Besalú, we again had more dogs to keep us company.

I spied this guy snoozing in the grass. He didn’t even make an effort to greet any of us so I made my way over to him. Pequita turned me into a dog stalker! Creepy, right?

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

We then had two German Sheppards follow us for a walk to a nearby river. When we got there, the German Sheppard pictured in the below photo astounded us by wading deep into the water, digging up a giant rock and carrying it with her as she followed us back the farm.

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

The Dogs of Costa Brava.

I know this post isn’t really full of useful information or handy travel tips but I wanted to share it nonetheless. Sometimes when you travel, it’s the unexpected things that impact you the most and for me it was the dogs of Costa Brava.

* The winery visit and Calçotada celebration was made possible by Charming Villas

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25 Comments

  • Reply Adam March 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Hmm… I’m more of a cat person myself, too… but every now and then I meet a dog who I actually like

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      @Adam – Pequita was something special. I miss her!

  • Reply Jenna March 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    So cute. There is something about meeting dogs in other countries… they always seem so free and relaxed.

  • Reply EurotripTips March 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Haha you beat me to it, I wanted to make a post on Catalonia’s dogs as well! I completely fell in love with Mas Perafita dogs and the fluffy German Shepherd too…

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      @Jenna – Very cute! They’re so happy and well taken care of …

      @Eurotroptips – Look forward to your post. When you put it up, I’ll link back! 🙂

  • Reply Barbara March 12, 2012 at 7:03 am

    I am a total dog person and … now I want to move to Spain! The dog with the pinecone made me want to jump into my computer screen and wrestle with that gorgeous bundle of dog love!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

      @Barbara – Ha ha. I want to move to Spain too. Aren’t they just the cutest? The fact they play fetch with rocks really amazed me!

  • Reply Sherry March 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Pequita looks adorable! I love the photo with the pine cone best – so cute. I wish my lifestyle allowed me to own a dog. But its kind of hard when I’m always away from home. So glad though that they seem to be everywhere in the world.

  • Reply Natalie March 12, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I often wonder how dogs view human beings. Some of us are so cruel to them and others treat dogs as their best friend. The dedication that dogs can show to the later overhwhelms me.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 13, 2012 at 9:08 am

      @Sherry – She had a lovely, gentle soul! I love the photo with the pine cone too. And perhaps you’ll have a dog someday. 🙂

      @Christy – That german shepherd was pretty cute too! I love their goofy ways too … so funny!

      @Natalie – They are loving creatures. I’m glad that these were very happy and well cared for dogs.

  • Reply Andrea March 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Aww, sweet – I’m a total dog person!

  • Reply Christy @ Technosyncratic March 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Ohmygod, that fluffy german shepherd puppy in the second to last photo is RIDICULOUSLY adorable! Cats are lovely, but dogs just reel me in with their big goofy grins.

  • Reply Alexa Meisler March 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Great photos! And Pequita looks absolutely adorable. I am a dog lover and their company always makes me feel like I’m not alone and I’m glad you had a great time with them!

  • Reply Laurel March 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I’m more of a cat person as well, but I agree, the dogs in Costa Brava are some of the friendliest, happiest dogs I’ve ever met.

  • Reply Cherina March 13, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I am usually more of a cat person…but these photos of Pequita are adorable! And Costa Brava….one of the most beautiful areas in Spain!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 13, 2012 at 9:11 am

      @Andrea – if I wasn’t a dog person before, I am now.

      @Alexa – thanks!

      @Laurel – those dogs made our days more fun I think. 🙂

      @Cherina – isn’t she the best? And I agree, Costa Brava is now one of my favorite areas of the world. 🙂

  • Reply nicoleisthenewblack (@nicolenewblack) March 14, 2012 at 9:16 am

    what is up with all these blogging cat people. ugh! dogs are awesome. cats i like on a case by case basis 😛 so cute i will share!!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      @Nicole – Thanks!! These guys were a highlight of my visit to Spain. 😉

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica March 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Cute photos! I think I know a couple of people who adopted dogs during their travels/ expat life.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      @Stephanie – I will someday but definitely not until I am more settled and that’s not going to happen anytime soon. 🙂

  • Reply Don Faust March 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    The dog playing with the pine cone is great – love it!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      @Don – Thanks! Such a cutie, right.

  • Reply D.J. - The World of Deej March 20, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Great stuff….I am not much of a dog person either, but anytime I see them playing I can’t help but smile. Nice one as always:)

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      @DJ – Thanks! I loved these dogs. I miss them sometimes!

  • Reply Nancie March 23, 2012 at 2:47 am

    I enjoyed this post. I love dogs, but when traveling I’l always a little leery of being approached by them. I was bitten twice as a kid, so those incidents always come to mind.

    I had a cat in Canada (Boots), who went to live with my Dad when I moved to Asia. He lived to be 15. I was in Korea for five years before I succumbed to the temptation of having another. Indy has been with me since 2005, and I’m so thrilled to have her. As you know I travel a lot, and I’m always amazed at the great people who come forward to look after her. It’s a win-win situation. I have Indy cared for and the sitter gets to pamper a cat for a month or two.

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