We met Santa Claus walking in the streets of Malaga, He was near the Pablo Picasso Museum in the small tourist town on the south coast of Spain in the province of Andalucia. Malaga was Picasso`s birth place and he painted there until he fled from Franco`s troops in the Civil War.
Santa Claus is a nine month old Podenco Canario originally from the Canary Islands. Did you ever see such ears? His ability to pick up sound is unmatched. In many small ways one can see similarities to the large Podengos of Portugal. He has the aloofness, the suspicion of strangers, the constant watchful alertness as well as remarkable speed and agility.
Podenco Canarios were brought to the Canary Islands by the Berbers, a peripatetic people who live in north Africa. Originally from continental Europe, the Berbers sailed to the Canaries well before the Spanish arrived there or the King of Spain sent Cristoforo Colombo to the New World. The Spaniards wiped out the Berbers on the islands through trickery, but evidently their dogs survived the massacre.
Santa Claus` owner was delighted when we recognised his breed and spoke to him in Spanish about his beautiful dog. Evidently few Britons, who live in Malaga in large numbers, do either.