The residents of Abraão love their dogs, which come in every shape and size, some small and fluffy with bows in their hair, others built like wrestlers with short bowed legs and powerful jaws. Most however are beautiful mongrels and the loveliest and happiest of all are the beach dogs who don’t have owners but live on the beachfront.
There were about 8 beach dogs whom I got to know quite well. They want for nothing as there is plenty of fresh water in the streams and locals fill up bowls with dog biscuits near the piers. They play with one another, go swimming in the sea and sleep on the beach or in front of the shops and bars along the beachfront. When they fancy a walk, they just tag along with anyone they take a liking to or simply go off on trails with their friends. They are the fittest dogs I have ever seen with really muscular back legs from all the exercise they get.
My favourite dog is a little brown dog who greets me with an excited little whimper whenever he sees. me. He slept on my verandah once – as did a few other dogs who adopted me for walks – but they are all very good when they are told to go back to the beach and never hold a grudge or expect any kind of favouritism or feeding. There is a butter coloured Labrador-cross called Manteiga (literally “butter”) who allegedly had four owners but always chose to return to the life of a free beach dog.