Tradition vs Common Sense

Last weekend a guide dog for the blind, maddened by the incessant detonation of fireworks, ran from the house and plumeted down a barranco and died.

GRA Rubio the Guide Dog Killed by FireworksMonachil, like so many towns and villages across Spain, includes fireworks with tracas, (jumping jacks), cohetes (rockets) and petardos (bangers). During the evening of fireworks, Rubio, as the dog was called, stayed close to his master at home; 70-year-old, Juan Navarro.

“Each time a firework went off, Rubio became unsettled and hid under furniture that he even found difficult to squeeze under,” explained Juan.

But it was early Sunday morning when they started launching distress rockets (no visual display, just a loud detonations) that the dog panicked and fled.

Juan also felt a rising panic when he realised that his companion was not there, so he called the Policía Local for help in finding him. A large part of the town turned out to find the well-known dog. Several hours later Juan received the news that there was a dog lying dead at the bottom of a barranco.

The 70-year-old blindman and the 8-year-old dog had been inseparable since 2016, when Rubio first came into Juan’s life. Normally, Juan was always able to comfort the dog when the fireworks came around each year, but this time the distress rockets were launched much earlier than normal, when Juan was still in bed, so there was no-one to calm the dog.

GRA Juan & Guide Dog RubioTo say that Juan was devastated when the police confirmed that the dog at the bottom of the barranco was Rubio, is a gross understatement because Rubio was not only a constant companion, but he was also the Juan eyes, so without Rubio’s help, Juan helpless.

It will take between four and five months to be issued another guide dog by ONCE yet although the new dog will be new eyes for Juan, he won’t be his old friend.

Editorial comment: his case is especially sonorous because Rubio was a guide dog but every animal in every village or town where there are fireworks suffers, all in the name of tradition and culture. And it is not only animals because people who are autistic suffer greatly, as well, as do babies, the elderly and people with heart problems.

The most senseless tradition is the ‘Alegre Despertar,’ which is an early morning bombardment of distress rockets, fired off in salvos of twos that serve no other purpose other than to target those that went to bed late and probably have a hangover. It’s sadistic and is far removed from ‘Castillos de Fuego’ that light up the skies during fiestas.

(News: Monachil, Sierra Nevada, Granada, Andalucia – Original story Alberto Flores/Ideal)

  1 comment for “Tradition vs Common Sense

  1. Patrick Barry Storey
    August 31, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Traditions eh. Some are best slowly forgotten.! Fireworks at all hours day and night. Always since I have been here. Grown to be a pain in UK. Animals wild and domestic and their owners suffer too.
    Sad for this poor man. I guess the back door of his casa was open. ?
    Some traditions should be viewed in today’s world. I dislike Bull killing. It’s barbaric.
    The way Donkeys are used and abused. Both farm and tourist.
    Yes ,yes. Not all.!!
    Non neutering of cats and dogs and the casual abandonment of them.!!
    Good will one day overcome the nastier traits. But in the meantime. Laws can be enacted.??

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