The Filmmaker Dog Bore
Dog Bore: Yeray López Portillo
Job: Filmmaker (Yo Galgo - a documentary about the Galgo) / Graphic Designer,
Dogs: Bacalao & Tzatziki
Galgo (Spanish Greyhound)
Bacalao is from a breeder and Tzatziki was found in the trash.
How did you meet your canine companion?
A couple of years back I was living in Denmark and I was suffering from a bad depression. I was recommended many things in order to feel better; one of them was to get a dog. So that’s what I decided to do. I went to Spain where I met Bacalao, a tiny, tiger striped Galgo, just a couple of days old. When she was two months old I travelled to Spain again and brought her with me back to Denmark. Back then I didn’t know that this sweet, energetic puppy would indeed save me and change my life in so many ways.
Our second dog, Tzatziki, entered our lives completely unexpectedly on a Sunday afternoon a bit more than a year ago. Some of my parents’ neighbors had found a Galgo puppy in the trash, and they called us asking if we could take care of her for a couple of days until we could find her a new home. We jumped in the car to go pick her up, and just before we entered the house to get her, I told my girlfriend, “Don’t fall in love, we are not keeping her.” Five minutes later I was the one who was in love and found myself asking my girlfriend, “We’re keeping her, right?”
What’s the story behind your dog’s name?
Bacalao’s name was decided years before we actually got her. My girlfriend and I were playing with the thought of getting a dog, and were talking about possible names. My girlfriend is from Denmark and was learning Spanish at the time, and she suggested Bacalao (a new word she had just learned), which means cod in English. I thought it was hilarious and we agreed on that name. When we finally did decide to get a dog, we tried to think of another name, but Bacalao kept popping up. I’m glad we named her that, although we do get some weird looks when we call out her name in the park.
The story of Tzatziki’s name is quite different. All of a sudden we had a new family member – a nameless puppy – and my girlfriend and I were driving back home with her trying to think of a name. We thought of other fish names, but none of the suited her. We found ourselves circling around names of different dishes, and after having discussed ‘Hummus’ for a while, I suggested ‘Tzatziki’. We both love the dish Tzatziki, and well, now we have a dog named Tzatziki that we love even more.
How has your life changed since you have had your dog?
My life has changed in a million ways. When I got Bacalao I was living in my own little depressed bubble. With her I found a battle so much more important than mine. The Galgo is a hunting dog, and every year in Spain around 50,000 Galgos are discarded or killed when no longer needed. Bacalao had pulled me out of my depression, and when I looked at her I couldn’t help but wonder, what would have happened to her, if our paths hadn’t crossed. I had been filming Bacalao since I first met her, and all of a sudden I realized that I should do a documentary about the plight of the Spanish Galgo. I returned to my home country, Spain, and for the last three years I have been working on my documentary YO GALGO. I would never have started if it wasn’t for Bacalao. With Bacalao and Tzatziki in my life I am a much happier person than I was before. I have made many new friends, I spend more time outside, and they have actually also changed the way I eat; I no longer eat meat.
Which 3 words best describe your dog’s personality?
Bacalao: Loyal, observant, loving.
Tzatziki: Social, playful, silly.
Who’s your dog’s favourite person?
I think they like me and my girlfriend the same. But when they are in a playful mood they mostly come find me, and when they want to receive a bit of extra care and attention they go to my girlfriend.
Bacalao always wants the pack to stick together. If my girlfriend and I walk separate ways in the park, you can see that she is uncomfortable, and she will just run back and forth between us.
Tzatziki is more independent, and will just run off and play with the nearest dog.
What’s your dog’s superpower?
Although she is a sighthound, Bacalao’s sense of smell if quite superb when it comes to detecting which dog owners have treats in their pockets.
Tzatziki gets along with everyone – dogs and humans. That must be her superpower.
If your dog had a job, what would it be?
Bacalao would be a baker, mainly baking for her own supply! She looooves bread.
Tzatziki would be a personal trainer. No one can get all the dogs in the park running quite like she can.
What’s your dog’s most unappealing / most embarrassing habit?
If Bacalao is either hungry or bored, she will start howling. It doesn’t help to ignore it or to say no. Usually I think it’s hilarious, but she has been in many business meetings with me, and then it gets a bit embarrassing when she starts howling. Even though Tzatziki is more than one year old, she is still just a big puppy. She still uses her mouth a lot to explore everything and loves to bite hands, gently, but it’s still a bite. Sometimes in the park if a runner passes by, she will run after trying to give the runner’s hand a little bite. Well, for some reason not all runners think that’s a charming habit!
Where can we find you hanging out with your dog?
Finish this sentence "a dog walks into a bar….”
…and eats every crumb on the floor.