THERE’S a law in Spain relating to fresh concrete. People are obliged to tread through it to leave their mark. This also applies to cyclists and motorists; tyres must make an impression, several centimetres deep. Dogs and goats are not excluded. Owners must ensure that claws, paws and hooves are inserted. Unaccompanied animals have a special responsibility to use their initiative. Nothing is exempt . . .
Dogs are extraordinarily happy to oblige because it’s one of the few ways they can attain immortality. Unlike Miguel Cervantes, El Greco or Penelope Cruz, their opportunities to achieve celebrity are limited. Dipping their paws into wet concrete is the canine equivalent of being recognised with a terrazzo and brass star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Goats do it because they are, basically, anarchists deprived of the ability to draw an “A” in a circle.
I’m out for a walk exploring some of the back lanes of Orgiva. I take pictures of the footprints. I must admit, I feel a bit like that bloke in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film Amelie who collects discarded photographs from beneath passport photo booths. My excuse is that we English are renowned collectors of the obscure. It is expected of us. That’s what I think. And the goats agree with me.