Volunteering dog therapy at Cape Verde

From the guestbook:

After a couple of coincidences, I ended up staying at the Simabo hostel for a few nights at the end of my Cape Verde holiday.

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I was only half aware that this was the Mindelo’s animal shelter and the hostel set up to support its activities.

Just a short, three-day experience changed a lot of my opinion on São Vicente island, which was the fifth Island on the whole trip. 

The reason for the long vacation was to avoid the Europe’s cold winter and have some time to think about my life.

These windy, dry islands and the quiet hostels were, despite few wonderful memories, in the end quite hapless, as the lone traveler tends to get lazy after seeing the local sights and can’t help feeling like an outsider.

 

After meeting Silvia, I started asking about the dogs and promptly the next morning I was on my way to visit an abandoned clothing factory built outside the city that has been converted to some hundred-dog shelter.

During the day I was able to pet and walk over 20 dogs, of which few were missing one leg.

  

The effect of the dogs is wonderful.

These neutered, fed and groomed ex-stray dogs are full of happiness when anyone comes through the gate with the leashes for the day’s walk.

During the day I began to remember how beautiful life is, in all its simplicity.

Dogs, thorny bushes, desert and sun were exactly what the over-analytical mind used to the computer screen needed.

Even though I took part in the activities for just one day, I still had the opportunity to meet and get to know some local workers and the volunteering heroes who keep the shelter running.

Thanks to all for the really good experience and I hope to see that the activity will continue for years to come if I return to visit Mindelo one day.

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