Rocío talks about Thor, an eight-year-old labrador, as if he were a child. "I had him first," she says. "I always say I have a human son and a canine one". So it is easy to understand how she felt on Saturday when, at 12.30pm, she received a call from her husband to tell her that the dog had been stolen.
Bruno had popped in to the pizzeria he runs in Playamar, Torremolinos, for a few minutes, and left the door open and Thor tied to a lamp-post. "When I came out, he had gone. I started searching for him, rang the family, and that's how it all began," he says.
Rocío was on duty with the emergency unit at the San Miguel medical centre when she received the call. "I was devastated. There was no way I could work. I had to look for Thor," she says.
Bruno had obtained a photo of the possible thieves from a security camera: a man in his twenties and a woman of about 40, walking away with Thor on a lead. Rocío, whose job often takes her to poor districts where there are squatters, thought she recognised the man. She found him at home, but there was no sign of Thor. "He said he didn't know anything. I suspected they had sold him," she says.
Meanwhile, Bruno had posted photos on social media and asked for help, and the response was phenomenal. "It went viral," he says. "The police shared it, vets shared it, animal rescue societies, individuals, it was incredible." Then on the Sunday night, a woman rang and said she thought she had just seen Thor in Capuchinos. The police searched the area, and finally found the dog, in one of the squats. "No sign of the woman or the lad, but at least Thor was safe. It was less than 48 hours, but felt like weeks and weeks without him," says Rocío.