After I had spent a few weeks by myself in the little flat on the edge of El Pinós, Jay put the dogs into a van and sent them off into the night to be delivered 2 days later to the quiet and out-of-the-way road behind a half-finished apartment building around the corner from the flat. Why there? Well, they are Lapphunds, after all, and it was going to be late at night when they arrived. I figured they would be pretty excited to see me, and I also figured my neighbours in the apartment building would not appreciate hearing all about that excitement. So, deserted street on the edge of town it was sandwiched between the derelict-looking half-finished apartment building with no windows and waste ground stretching to the main road. It would have made a good location for a movie drug deal. I think the guy driving the van was a bit bemused by the spot. I'm glad I wasn't the one driving the van to that distinctly un-illustrious rendezvous point.
Jay then got himself on a flight, and so it came to pass that there were 2 humans and 3 dogs in the flat that I figured was just about big enough for one person. Two, maybe, if you weren't the squabbling sort.
The flat did have a few great features in its favour. For one, the views in most directions were pretty fabulous, especially from the roof terrace.
It did also have one or two features not in its favour in addition to size. For one thing, when I arrived it was way too hot to put on the oven, so I subsisted on anything I could cook very quickly on the hob. Or eat cold. Which was just as well, because when the weather was more cook-friendly, I discovered that the oven wasn't. Its main problem was that the rack inside didn't fit properly so it was perched precariously, threatening to crash to the bottom of the oven every time you put anything on it.
For the dogs, there was the floor of polished marble - both a blessing and a curse. So nice and chilly to lie on, but so slippery under fluffy paws. The girls adapted straight away and had no problems on the floors. But Keskiyo was another matter. He was fine in the flat, but on his first night he slipped on the high-shine floor of the apartment building corridor and gave himself a screaming fright. Poor boy. For the next couple of weeks we were coaxing him past that spot with treats, but he did learn to step carefully and didn't slip so much much again.
You might think that moving to Spain from the UK is a big ask of 3 Lapphunds, the youngest of which is 9 and the oldest 14.5 years, especially transported by strangers. It's true they were a little confused on arrival. And Tuuli had picked up a case of conjunctivitis that resisted my normal cold, black tea treatment so she needed a trip to the veterinaria pretty much straight away. Above all, I'm pretty sure they didn't sleep a wink the whole way because they came into the flat, had a drink and immediately fell into a profoundly deep, twitching sleep.
But Lapphunds are nothing if not resilient, and the next morning it was business as usual as if they had spent their whole lives in a flat listing out the patio doors to foreign language (which caused Tuuli to adorably twist her head side to side on more than one occasion. How funny that she recognised it wasn't English she was hearing!) Before long we fell into a routine and the dogs got used to going up and down the lift. And we got used to having to take them down and up the lift several times a day for their wees and poos. We also found a great dog walking route near the flat - early mornings of course, before the temperature rose over 20º C.