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Mio, the bodyguard

We have been a team for almost 11 years now and look after each other: Bardino mix Mio and human child Anni.

Labrador Lima was the predecessor

Actually, I never wanted to have a dog again. For 17 years I had the blonde Labrador lady Lima by my side and after she died I believed that no other dog could ever take her place. I also enjoyed being able to travel independently and freely again, which was not possible in the last years with Lima. But that is another story.

Without a dog to Lanzarote

After an appropriate period of mourning, my life as a travelling street musician began with my new freedom. About a year after Lima’s death, I landed on Lanzarote with my mini guitar. A damp and cold November weather had arrived in Germany and I had caught a cheap flight to the island, which I knew well from my childhood (see article: “Island? Which island?” , but had not set foot on for almost twenty years.

Street music in the markets was difficult

I wanted to try to earn a living with my music at the tourist markets. Because I didn’t know how well it would go, I hadn’t booked a return flight. To be honest, it went miserably. For anything and everything you need official permission, which of course is easiest to get through connections or bribery. Neither of these were options for me.

Puppies under the caravan

But now back to Mio’s story: By chance I witnessed on Lanzarote that the twelve-headed litter of a Bardino bitch was to be drowned. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon on the island, but I didn’t know that at the time. I knew Adrenalina, the Bardino bitch, personally and had already wondered about her misshapen appearance. One day, when I noticed that she was suddenly slim and slender and gestured questioningly at her belly, I was led to an abandoned caravan, under which Adrenalina immediately disappeared. A blink of an eye later I heard a heart-warming snuffling and rustling, accompanied by soft squeaking and smacking noises. Now I understood.

Rescuing the little ones…

Of course I couldn’t keep my mouth shut when I heard that the puppies were to be drowned. I knew it was none of my business, but I couldn’t help myself. At that time my knowledge of Spanish was rudimentary. However, I suspect that my stage-ready pantomime performance expressed my inner attitude very clearly. Anyway, I actually got the promise that the little rascals would not be killed.

…but only if I take care of it

But with a small condition: I should take care of their upbringing and their later placement. Oh dear, I had got myself into trouble again! How good that I had only booked a one-way ticket. Without hesitation I accepted the task, not knowing that the next two months would be some of the happiest in my life. If you look at the photos, you can well imagine that I wore an amused and happy smile on my face all day.

I did not want a new dog

Because I knew that a dog would again reduce my freedom to travel, I had decided from the beginning not to keep one of the little heartbreakers and wanted to place them all with loving people. It was not easy to resist the unbelievable charm and exuberant lust for life of these enchanting creatures. I had taken each and every one of them into my heart and more than once my decision wavered. And one day Mio managed to change my mind:

Mio follows the sound of my guitar

As so often, I had retreated to the shade of a palm tree to practise my guitar. The tree was on a steep slope near the house and from there I could see the puppies happily romping around the little building. Around noon it became quite hot and the little rascals retreated back into the house or into the bushes to sleep. Only one stood alone in the blazing sun for a while and looked around searchingly. Because I was playing my guitar quietly, he spotted me quite quickly under my palm tree. He looked back at the house for a long time and I expected him to snuggle up for a siesta with the other ruffians. But instead he made his way with clumsy steps in my direction. Well, way is perhaps too much to say. There wasn’t even a trail. He had to fight his way through thorny bushes and cactus barriers and the slope was really quite steep. But he didn’t give up and didn’t take the slightest break. So that he didn’t lose his orientation, I kept playing the guitar. All in all, it must have taken half an hour before he finally sniffed happily at my feet.

Mio turns the tide

In the meantime I had put the guitar aside and spoke to him tenderly, “Yes hello, what are you doing here?” Eyes shining, the whole dog’s body wagged so exuberantly and joyfully that I thought he was about to roll back down the slope. I quickly grabbed him and put the sun-warmed ball of fur on my lap. He sighed deeply once more and immediately fell asleep. I too made myself comfortable and watched the clumsy, much too large paws moving in his sleep for a while, as if he were still climbing up to me. When I woke up later, he was still snoring comfortably to himself.

From then on he belonged to me

I don’t think I need to explain much more. This little creature was, of course, Mio and I have never regretted that I threw my decision overboard and that from that day on he never left my side.

In the meantime Mio is a comfortable old gentleman, but in my eyes he is still a real beauty with a very special character. I feel honoured that he chose me back then. 🙂


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