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Featured Read: Out of the Madhouse and into the Dog House


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If you love dogs like I do or if you're stuck in a soul-destroying job like I was and dreaming of down-sizing to a warmer climate then this book may be for you. I write of how I quit my stressful social work job in Glasgow and went to Spain where I ended up working with dogs. It isn't a, 'how to,' book about how to escape the rat-race. I made many mistakes and if I had to do it over I'd have planned it better but despite this I can say I have no regrets.Dogs are always happy to see you, wagging their tails and licking you. All I ever got from the people I tried to help in social work was drug and alcohol fueled abuse. I even had food and shoes thrown at me.After more than two miserable decades I'd almost reached breaking point. I finally snapped when a false accusation was made against me at work. Feeling let down by unsupportive management I told the Social Work autocrats what they could do with their rotten job.I sold my flat and found myself homeless and unemployed for the first time in my life. It was scary and some people thought me mad. With the menopause snapping at my heels I took off blindly and, with no forward planning, I headed to Spain in a battered old caravan. I'd no idea what I'd do when I got there but whatever lay ahead had to be better than my former existence as a social worker. After many mis-adventures I ended up marrying a Swedish man called Olof and together we ran boarding kennels. I write, humorously I hope, of the many dogs I encountered, first in the rain drenched streets of Glasgow and then in the stunning sunshine of the Andalusian mountains. I first introduce you to Pluto, a starving mutt which I saved from a gang of stone throwing thugs in my home city. He was very grateful to be rescued but nearly scuppered my travel plans. In Spain you'll also meet meet Harry Hound-ini (Houdini), named after the famous escape artist of that name. He was our first boarder at the kennels and we needed eyes in the back of our heads to out-smart him as he masterminded one escape plan after another. The humans were just as interesting as the dogs. My traveling companion was Max, a multilingual, dope smoking musician with big 'Bambi,' eyes who had a mysterious past. His eccentricities ensured that our journey was never dull. In Spain Max became embroiled with Miguel Mafia a shrewd misogynistic con man with ripe banana legs. Together they conspired to trick me out of my dream Spanish home. I invite you to laugh and cry with me as I recount my struggles to survive in a foreign land. I'd like to thank Chris, my long suffering husband for all his support and encouragement. I will donate ten per cent of the money I make from selling this book to a dog rescue charity.

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