William was rescued in Zaragoza over 10 years ago. He had been abandoned for over a year near a plot of land and managed to survive thanks to the building workers who fed him and sharing scraps of food with a group of abandoned cats near a rubbish container. Our great volunteer Juan Carlos, who always finds solutions to where to put a rescued galgo until we can help it caught him, and William spent another 3 months in a fenced area of one of Juan Carlos’ friends until help arrived.

Veterinarian Emi, our first secretary on the board of directors, was going to Zaragoza for personal matters and offered to make the most of her return trip by bringing William back with her. After much perseverence and a good dosage of Diazepam, William was caught and brought back to Barcelona.

Once in our home, William spent the first night outside in the garden because we had mistakenly let him out thinking he could have a nice run round the garden, though it had been a whole new challenge to get him to come inside. The next day there was terrible torrential rain but we managed to hoax him in with some roast chicken and got him inside.

Once he realized he no longer needed to run away, William showed us his loveable side and he was grateful for affection. During his first months he had some anxiety issues but he dealt with them and gradually this wonderful personality emerged and he became the very best ambassador SOS Galgos could have dreamed of. He charmed everyone he met him with his inner and outer beauty.

While his fear of open spaces never went away, he found tranquility and inner peace at home with us, and was at ease at SOS Galgos events, especially when he’d go along to schools when animal welfare talks were given as he felt at ease around kids. Thanks to William, so many children have been able to witness how wonderful and laid back galgos are. All the kids in the neighbourhood knew him from his visit to their school and a lot of galgos have been adopted thanks to people who had met him at stands or at an informative interview.

This tribute to William doesn’t have a happy ending as he recently died so unexpectedly. He was twelve and in great shape but something in his brain triggered and he had a fatal stroke. Maybe it was that that had caused him to feel so insecure outside in the open, that caused him to make him want to run away if loose (always in enclosed area of course), that would stop him from fully trusting those who loved him most, to return to safety.

We have had the priviledge of having shared our lives with such unique souls – Sooty, Scooter, Indi, Chestnut, Lisa, Oscar and Cupa, and William filled an important place amongst all of them and their special unique qualities.

Despite the pain felt from his loss, we are sure that William is now free from the fear he carried in a part of him but that didn’t prevent him from living such a happy life, rich in experience. We’ll always remember the way he would lie upside down with his feet in the air on any couch or bed available and it’s how we want to imagine him to be now with his former feline and canine companions.

And because we’ll never understand how people say they’ll never have another dog, we are sure that we’ll soon find a galgo that will be as unique as those like our beloved William that have had their place in our hearts. William you were a star and you will be dearly missed.

Anna & Albert