It was love at first sight: the huge pale-green eyes, the ruffled tawny hair and the cute way he held his head to one side. What really swung it, though, was his feet being way too big for his body, his ears too big for his head and that, while trying to look brave, he was obviously terrified. Charly was the first of what grew a large family of abandoned Spanish dogs taken in by Jackie Todd and her husband Stephen, upon emigrating in 1997 to Frigiliana, a picturesque Spanish village in Andalucia. By the time Charly was four something magical had happened: the people of the village had become true close friends and the Todds' memories of their old lives were as weak as British sunshine. Fourteen years on from that first arrival they have ten dogs and eight cats of their own and regularly foster tiny strays that need bottle-feeding until they can be found homes. In 2007, 123 puppies and kittens passed through their door, in 2008 it was 119 and the tragic procession continues today. Millions of people dream of turning their summer holiday into permanent reality. "Dog Days in Andalucia" is the heart-warming and inspirational story of an ordinary British couple who did just that, making a mighty impression on the village, its people and its surrounding animal population along the way.
Jackie Todd retired early from her job in marketing for the design industry and emigrated to Spain with her husband, Stephen, in 1996. Aside from looking after their family of ten dogs and eight cats, she writes for the Costa del Sol News and other local publications.