Gugu, Tenerife, Spain

My name is Gugu and I lived in sunny Spain, which was great for my arthritis cos my old bones got very stiff!

I turned 13 years old in May 2013. The first two years of my life was not great at all. I was a victim of dogfighting, hence the horrible scars all over me. Those evil people even took some of my teeth out and filed the rest down so I couldn’t fight back.

Those days are long gone cos I was seized from a dog fighting ring in 2002 and rescued by a lovely man who took me to his dog refuge in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The Refuge is called Live Arico and was run by that amazing man, Eugenio Da Mommio from Argentina. I lived there for nine years with many other unwanted dogs that he rescued on that island.

My mum told me how lucky I was because Eugenio is a truly dedicated man who spent 15 years living in a van on the refuge with all us dogs. Oh, did I say my mum? 🙂 Here’s how we met.

Her rescue dog Shaz, a fox terrier, had died six months prior at the age of 18 and she couldn’t live without her dogs! So her boyfriend and her went to Live Arico for a visit and they came across me. She noticed how scarred and battered I was, but also how loved I was at the refuge.

Oh, and the fact that I just followed them around with my food bowl in my mouth. 🙂

They couldn’t resist; they fell in love with me and took me home for one night to see how I was with Lilly the cat. Lilly was so sacred at first but not for long! That was it; they told Eugenio I was staying!!

That was two years ago and my life was just amazing. I love everyone and everything and couldn’t harm a thing!

Everyone who met me never ever seen me show a moment of aggression. Ever! After all that I went through in the hands of the bad people who fought me, my mum says that I was the most gentle, affectionate angel ever. She truly believes dogs like me are so misunderstood just because of my breed, which is a sad thing.

So all was good. I slept loads; I loved the sunshine, nice dinners, treaties and most of all, I feel loved. I lived with Lilly and Trevor—the cats, Fester the other rescue hound, Marty the preying mantis and a whole load of goats who like to wander through the garden whenever they like! (That’s ok!)

Sadly, my hard early life showed its mark on me more profoundly as I got older. Besides the arthritis, in late 2012 I started losing my vision and became totally blind in 2013. But Mum told me not to worry because she was my eyes.

Then in early September 2013, my legs gave way and I couldn’t walk anymore. But I still got to spend my last days lying in the sunshine (I SOOO loved to sunbathe!), eating my favorite treats and being loved.

I left my mum on September 25th, 2013. She told everyone that I was such an angel and so missed, and that she still feels my presence every day!

~ Gugu

p.s. Only after she was getting my story together for I’m Not a Monster did she find out about my history of being seized from a dog fighting ring. Poor mum 🙁 She picked up my ashes on October 10, 2013, and scattered them in all my favorite places. ♥

Parent: Rhona