Day 32 – Las Herrerías de Valcarce to Triacastela

34.5 km ~ 48,494 steps

Song of the Day: Wild Things – Alessia Cara

Another day in the mountains? What did I do to deserve such greatness? This morning we woke to a chill in the valley so strong Maverick and I could see our breath. After a beautiful climb up to O’Cebreiro, the temperature was still barely in the 50s and what an adorable mountain town it was. We were on a high entering Galicia and reveling in the beauty and heritage of the area. Everyturn showed even more beauty. But there was of course a bump in our road, because it’s us so of course there would be.
I had been warned of the dogs in Galicia. So far, we’d faced no problems regarding other dogs. They tend to go crazy barking as Maverick comes by, as if they can smell on him he’s a foreigner. But most often, dogs that aren’t leashed will come up to him, they’ll sniff around as dogs will, and Maverick will come with me as I call him and continue walking and that’s the end of it. Very natural dog behavior. One dog, warning a newcomer off his territory, but seeing that he’s just passing through warrants no actual confrontation. Today we even made friends with one farm dog named Rocky! (His picture is included)
Just before Triacastela however, a dog came charging down a driveway to us. The owner was outside and said the dog’s name, but the dog didn’t stop. Then two more dogs, mastiff mixes that dwarfed Maverick, came charging out as well. I ushered Maverick along but the largest dog did not find that enough and took two bites at Mav’s back. I was almost in tears and screaming while the owner stood watching and saying nothing while Maverick and I literally had to run away.
Now I know, people warned me of bringing my dog and how other dogs whose home it was would hate that. But I am appalled by not the dog’s behavior, but more so the owner’s. As a dog owner, regardless of your culture, if your dog is off leash it should be trained to obey your commands and to not attack other dogs or people simply passing by and posing no threat. In our time here, I have found this sentiment is not present in Spain, which is glaringly obvious in this incident. I am lucky Maverick is not hurt and I am lucky we were able to get away. It pains me that the people around could care less for the safety of a pilgrim and her dog, most importantly the dog, when in history it has been depicted many pilgrims who walked this way did so with their dogs. But in today’s time, it is shunned.
However, tonight we rest happy to know we are whole and unarmed and wake up tomorrow for a new day.