Igor’s story: Sun, Jan 11, 2004

It’s a funny ole world isnt it? Stood in the middle of Lanjarón main street last Tuesday was certainly a somewhat surreal occasion. In one hand I had a ham sandwich as my other held a plastic bowl with blood covered scalpel. Cowboys rode past and loud Flamenco music blared out. Tourist cars passed by unaware of the unfolding drama! Let me elaborate…………….

Kings Day is the 6th January. Its the day the Three Kings visited Bethlehem and gave presents. Here it’s an excuse to have another national holiday. My clients wished a day off from the high peaks, so I was free to have a day off myself. Sarah, Tracy, Phil (my Welsh buddy) and myself decided to have a horse trek up in the hills. It was a bright sunny day again as we “desparados” rode the trails. Leo (the famous Leonberger), Roger (small brown hunting dog) and Igor (the Dalmatian) came along too. The dogs love to run with the horses and they charge excitedly all over the place. A perfect day, so it seemed?

We were about 2 hours out from Sarah’s place when Igor came limping out of the bush. Blood was pouring from a side wound. It didn’t take long to figure out that he’d been attacked by a wild boar that had gored him! There were boar scratch marks at the side of the track and it was typical “boar country”, with lots of trees and undergrowth. Sarah galloped back to her house for the car with her horses, wildly following. The three of us then tried to stem the flow of blood by holding gauze pads, tissues etc over the wound. It was like some American Vietnam war drama! Igor went into shock and we seemed to be losing him although we did a good job of stemming the blood. We were also very concious of the fact that the boar(s) was still around and would attack humans if pressed. We were all a little nervous, I think.

After an hour and a half wait Sarah’s car screemed up the dirt track and we managed to get Igor onboard and into the boot. Although Lanjarón was only 3 miles away as the crow flies the twisting, tortuous track and our efforts not to hurt Igor meant it was nearly an hour before we reached town. The town was in full swing celebrating Kings Day with lots of people and stalls selling beer, jamon etc. The town vet was probably much the worse for wear as we located him next to a beer stall. His scruffy beard and appearance was exacerbated by the low slung jeans and “builders bum”. We parked in the middle of the street and he gave Igor a quick examination. He then went home for his “tools of the trade” and returned. He asked me to hold the plastic bowl whilst he proceeded to put Igor under and then open him up. Not a pretty sight I can tell you. The boar had gone in and then ripped up through his shoulder. At precisely this time Tracy and Phil returned with beer and jamon sandwiches ………………….. Buuuuurrrrrrggggggggghhhhhh. They were laughing and giggling at the sight of the rear of the car. Sarah and I were at the sides of the boot, whilst in between the butcher with a builders bum was performing major surgery. The butcher, sorry Vet, sewed away with all the precision of a blind arab that had a prior conviction for stealing.

Not a pretty job, but effective as the good news is that Igor is now up and running, though somewhat stiffly and lopsided. Just shows you what can happen doesn’t it?

Written by:
Richard Hartley

Richard is an avid blogger and the founder of Spanish Highs Sierra Nevada. He is author of the Cicerone Guidebook Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada