Jack & Daniella – The Story


By: Martina
August 20th 2004

Now in retrospect, I truly believe the whole event was fate! Iain and I were looking for a last minute holiday in the sunshine. We had just been connected to the internet and so used the web to find our holiday. Neither of us had ever visited the Algarve but all of the sites we visited seemed to be suggesting Carvoeiro. It seemed to have all we were looking for – great beaches, nice restaurants and a relaxed pace of life. Little did we know how our lives would change after our visit!

We arrived in Carvoeiro in the last week of June 2002. Unfortunately the accommodation we had booked through First Choice was not what we had hoped for so found ourselves new accommodation in the town in Casa Cubo. Was this fate too? Being in the village we obviously made the most of the great restaurants and facilities.

During the first week I had seen a few street dogs throughout the village – most of them seemed to have adapted to life on the street but then there was two that didn’t seem as confident or comfortable. The two dogs, Jack & Daniella seemed unsure and Jack seemed far too timid to be a street dog. (They had been named so by the wonderful people, John, Francien- Maxime's and Joke – Carvoeiro Bar as the day they turned up a guy in the bar was drinking Jack Daniels and then they realised Daniels was in fact a Daniella!)

I tried to ignore them and took comfort in the fact that Jack actually had a collar on. I kept telling myself that he had a home but I knew it was not true! In the second week, I spoke to one of the staff at Carvoeiro Bar who confirmed that Jack & Daniella were indeed on the street but the staff really cared for them so again I placated myself and tried to ignore them.

However one night we were sitting outside the Carvoeiro Bar waiting for our table at Maxime's. (I need to say here that the staff at both the aforementioned places were truly wonderful. Given that two stray, scruffy, begging animals was not exactly good for business, they were all trying to help the dogs in the anyway they could!

They actually gave me the courage to do what we did!) This particular night Jack & Danniella were lying on the paved area outside the Carvoeiro Bar. A man walking along saw Jack and kicked him to get out of his way! Iain recalls the story of the day I became a Super Hero as I stood and shouted aloud “That is the last time that dog will ever be kicked” I am so pleased to say that that exclamation was the truth!

Now I knew I had to do something. The next day I called the APAA (Association for the Protection of Animals in the Algarve). Poised with my phrase book in my hand I had worked out how to say in Portuguese that I wanted to rescue Jack & Daniella. My relief when I heard the beautiful English voice of Linda Pixley on the answer machine still has no rival in my memories! Linda responded to my message and we talked through the options.

I also talked through the options with John at Maxime's also but we resigned ourselves to the fact it was going to be a long, drawn out process. The day we left Carvoeiro, Jack & Daniella came to wave us off. My heart broke all the way home but I knew that that day they were also starting a journey as Joke from the Carvoeiro Bar was taking Jack & Daniella to Linda at the APAA.

A whole year passed and Linda and her staff looked after Jack & Daniella for us. Jack had Heartworm and another disease, Leishmania caused by the Sandfly and these conditions had to be cleared before they could start the process for their Pet Passports. During this time there was another couple interested in Jack & Daniella’s situation. I only know them as ‘The Murray’s’ but they too sent donations to Linda and were a great source of encouragement.

On July 30th 2003, Iain and I travelled to Gatwick to meet Jack and Daniella from their flight from Faro. I cannot describe the feelings that day when we arrived at the Animal Reception Centre and were told that their flight had landed and their papers were being processed. Within an hour we were allowed to enter the centre and we watched as the two animal containers were wheeled across to us. We saw Daniella first and then Jack. After hugging them as though we would never let them go we put them in the car. Before we had reached the motorway, Jack & Daniella were fast asleep on their new beds!

We have just celebrated their first year with us. Jack has passed his assessment to be a ‘Pets as Therapy’ dog and we will soon start to visit old people living on their own – I know they will love to hear the story of how Jack came to visit them! Daniella is now known as Danni and enjoys her comfort, how she made it on the street I will never know! She loves it down on the beach chasing whatever moves but even more she loves coming home to a comfy quilt and something tasty for tea! I hope the pictures capture how happy they are in their new life!

Linda Pixley has my gratitude and admiration for the work she does for all the animals in her care. John, Francien and Joke have my gratitude for their kindness and encouragement. Our trip to Carvoeiro became a journey of hope for Jack & Daniella. Today they bring us hope and love in abundance!

Thank you


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