An Ex-pat Monthly Experience of Moving to Gandia, Spain, Post Brexit! - Part 3

10th February 2022
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Part 3 - Wolfie arrives

Part 3: Wolfie arrives!

I know that you’re all really wanting to know about Wolfie, but I’m going to tease you a little bit more first! Don’t turn over the page ‘cause’ this is all useful stuff. Trust me, I’m a retired Psychologist! Yes, I did notice you yawn as it happens! But I digress …..

You must be prepared to jump through a few hoops to be able to settle legally and comfortably into Spanish life, particularly with Brussels’ pride still smarting post Brexit. Have things become complicated because of Brexit? Well, not really. Most matters are no different to how they were before Brexit. The main difference is that the EU (and in particular Spain, Italy and Greece) now really apply the rules and regulations TO THE LETTER, rather than largely paying lip service, as they used to. So, you do need to be prepared and a little more resourceful. The ‘For Sale By Sally in Spain’ team will help you with this, keeping up to date with the latest changes and requirements through their exhaustive list of experts and local specialists, as they do. In fact, my advice would be to speak to them in preference to giving yourself a coronary trying to battle through the UK Government website that we found to be often out of date and sometimes complicated in the extreme! Moving to Spain really is about who you know, more than what you think you know! It’s never too early to start asking questions, because the largest stress factor is without doubt thinking that you have plenty of time for everything. Trust me (again) that time will fly by and then panic will set in or the whole adventure becomes over stressful. Avoid it! Be happy!

So, we have had several dogs between Chrissie and I, before we met and since. When we lost Benji, we promised ourselves that when we got to Spain we would rescue another dog, but not until we had settled there. It has to be said that Spain, along with other Mediterranean countries, has gone through quite a mindset change when it comes to animals, in the past decade. It used to be a sad sight to see so many ‘street dogs.’ This has changed, with dogs, cats and other animals being recognised legally as sentient creatures and although cats still seem to be treated very much as half feral creatures, dogs are seen much more to be actual members of families. I was really surprised at the number of pet shops now compared to even ten years ago. But, again, I digress. We had lived in our new casa for only a couple of months or so, when looking on the internet at local rescue centres a rough haired, friendly young chap appeared on a website in Denia. He was just the kind of dog that we love and after a discussion, a phone call was made, and arrangements agreed to visit him. We fell in love instantly with this loveable, kind, calm and affectionate fellow, who although only about two and a half years old, had already had a tough life with several other dogs kept in a yard near Valencia. It never ceases to amaze us that after being treated so badly by humans, these dogs give their trust and love so easily to us again and some six months later, Wolfie (not his original name) is a much-loved companion and has been so instrumental in making our house a home. I’m going to put a caveat in here (reach for a dictionary if you must). Please do make sure that if you are going to adopt a dog here in Spain, that you do so through reputable rescue centres / dog rescue charities or reputable breeders. As in the UK, puppy farms and rogue breeders abound and the best way to stop their cruel business is to cut off their market. Again, Sally and the team – who have rescue dogs themselves by the way – can tell you where the best centres are and trusted vets who can speak your language, even making home visits at no extra charge!

Secondly it goes without saying really, your dog must be micro chipped, and vaccinations are essential here with pet passports that are stamped by the vet once a year when your dog is vaccinated. Your ownership of a dog is taken very seriously, and you should always have the dogs’ passport in order. Similarly, they must always wear an identification tag on their collar, and you can be pulled over by the Police for not carrying your dog in a car appropriately; meaning, in a way where the dog is safely confined in the vehicle. Many people use transport cages, but mesh dividers that fit to the seat headrests and keep your pup safely in the luggage compartment of your hatchback are perfectly acceptable, as are doggy seatbelt harnesses.

On a totally different note, as in the UK, you will find that there are ‘doggy friendly’ beaches, there is one called the CAN beach to the far end of Gandia beach (a 100 meter zone just for dogs) and others where dogs are allowed on the sand in the closed season. We have found that most dogs are sociable here and mix easily, however certain breeds and bigger dogs are expected to wear a muzzle when out in public and you are most certainly responsible for their behaviour! It must be said that here in the Gandia area, it is a joy taking your dog around with you most of the time. They are welcome at most cafes and bars, there are so many areas to walk them in beautiful surroundings, often being able to let them run free (providing that they are well behaved of course). We often take Wolfie with us to Moriara, Calpe, Javea and of course Gandia, when we go out for a meal during the day or a beer in the evening. There is something extra special about enjoying a refreshing beer and watching the sun go down over the bay while your furry pal lies under the table or at your feet.

Next time:  Part 4: Marinas and Mountains


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