"Spanish Dogs is a fabulous journey. The author, Karla Darocas, had me look at dogs in Spain from the Stone Age through to Modern Day. Along the way she showed me cave drawings, artefacts, pictures and portraits from great masters, depicting man's interaction with dogs. The result is a fascinating adventure with dogs intertwined with Spanish history and humans. The sad part was the shocking realisation that in many parts of Spain, dogs are not protected and are often badly treated.
This book tells of many interesting and diverse facts that I had never considered before like how Egyptians worshipped a dog-like god, Anubis, and how the Roman legions trained dogs to be warriors and wear fighting armour.
It also explained how both the Greeks and the Romans kept small dogs as pets for their children and often buried the pet dog along with the child, enabling them to be together in the afterlife.
I also learned how the Muslim Conquest of Spain introduced the Berber water dogs that would assist them in fishing and bringing in the nets.
I didn’t know that in Spain during the Renaissance, companion dogs were kept as sleeping partners in order to attract the fleas that were common on Catholics who did not wash because they might be mistaken by the Inquisition as a Muslim and tossed in prison.
It was interesting to see what kind of dogs the Spanish Habsburg Kings kept for hunting and how dogs would aid beggars and blind street performers.
Even into the 19th and 20th centuries, dogs took their place in the portraits of famous people.
I found the whole of this book informative and engrossing. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good read and interesting humanist knowledge."
- Judy Dicken, Scotland