Spain update May 2024

18 May 2024

Saturday the 13th of April 2024

At 14:15h Marie-Carmen is at the gate with a young black injured galgo female of indefinable age, a puppy of about nine months?? She is very small, very thin, starved, and full of wounds, she was wandering in the old village of Calypo on the other side of the highway where she followed a woman with 2 galgos... Fortunately the woman called, and Marie-Carmen went to pick her up and handed her over to us barely 10 minutes later. When she has left, we take her to the clinic, accompanied by the dogs, where we discover numerous wounds. All 4 of her legs are damaged and she has large festering wounds on the outside of both hind legs. On the inside of her left hind leg, she has a deep smelly funnel wound in which a finger disappears, and it looks like it has already given shelter to maggots. As if that was not yet enough, there is also a piece of her tail dripping blood and the skin of her nose has been damaged by rooting for food... Judging by her wounds and condition, the poor girl was not wandering around since yesterday and the fact that she followed someone with galgos shows that she was most likely thrown at the door by a galguero because she did not comply with his wishes. How can people be so bad, I think when I hold her in my arms and whisper comforting words in her ear whilst Dirk professionally washes and cares for her wounds and puts a bandage on her tail. She clearly feels that she is safe, trusts us completely and lets Dirk do his thing in peace. Even though it sometimes hurts, I even get a lick. She certainly feels that her misery is over. After taking care of her, she cannot get to our dogs quickly enough. She allows herself to be extensively sniffed, examined, and then confidently eats snacks in the large communal snack bar. Both we and the dogs are open-mouthed to see so much self-confidence. An asset that made her fight against the fate that awaited her and saved her from death. Between meals she walks to us limping and gratefully jumps up to us despite the pain. After all the misery she feels that this time she is welcome and has nothing to fear. After this intermezzo she continues to enjoy her first meal in a long time. Her character reminds me of the old lady who sponsored our first van and subsequently became a dear friend. Unfortunately, she died unexpectedly 2 years ago during our stay in Spain without us being able to say goodbye. Thinking of her, I name the puppy Irène and know that someone in heaven will be very happy. I blink away a tear at that thought because I miss Irène very much. When we go inside, the little outcast follows at our heels and lies down in a donut, as if she has never done anything else. In the evening, she eats her first supper, then goes back to sleep. Before we go to bed, Dirk, smart as she is, must show her just once how to go through the hatch. Then she sleeps all night in “her” donut next to Innocent and goes to pee outside in the morning. A trend that will continue throughout the week. While Tasch and adopters prepare the first Pajotten walk, Irène eats her fill all week. When Tasch lets us enjoy the atmosphere of the walk via video on Sunday, the 21st of April, and in the evening, she happily lets us know that the walk she was so worried about was a great success, Irène is just as happy and a kilo heavier when hearing her story.

Tuesday the 30th of April 2024

On Thursday we received a message from doctor De Frutos that the parts for Innocent had arrived and that the operation was scheduled for Tuesday, the 30th of April. So, this morning at 8:00h we left for Talavera together with Innocent and little Irène, whose wounds are almost completely healed, has now gained one and a half kilos, and is completely settled in. After the doctor shows us Innocent's “construction kit” upon arrival and once again explains in detail what a serious operation awaits him, Innocent leaves with hope for the operating room where he is prepared for the arrival of the doctor who in the meantime examines Irène, takes blood and determines that she is one year old. Because after checking her teeth we already thought she was much older than we initially assumed, we were not surprised at all. Anyway, even if she still grows a little, she is the smallest galgo female we have ever seen in our long "career", so we ask doctor De Frutos for an appointment to sterilize her. Despite the company of Loulou, who always supports the dogs that leave for Talavera for treatment, she cries desperately, just like on the way there, the entire way back home, she is so afraid of losing everything that happened to her now.

Once home, she cannot cope with herself when she sees the dogs again. While I sit down at my PC to write and update the update and Dirk does the same with the accounts, I must wait for an email from doctor De Frutos who is currently taking care of Innocent's deformed painful leg with which he has been wandering around for some time. Hopefully everything will go without complications, he deserves it so much because despite his serious handicap he is one of the wisest, most tolerant, and most affectionate dogs we have ever known. Always content, always patient, always sweet, and so incredibly grateful. A tried and tested boy who knows what life is. He certainly deserves a good home when all the misery is behind him. Let's hope... At exactly 14:15h we receive a message that Irène is in perfect health and Innocent's operation has been done and was successful and we can pick him up at 19:00h. At 20:30h Innocent is home and is welcomed extensively and carefully by the dogs. The brave little guy is in a lot of pain but for the first time in his life he has a straight right front leg, although it is thickly wrapped, it is STRAIGHT!!! As soon as he is inside, he lies down in a donut and the remaining anesthesia continues to work. While he sleeps, Dirk transfers the first payment of 2,400 euros to the account of Clinica el Parque. He must already return to Talavera on Thursday to have his wound treated and have a laser treatment to promote healing. Once it is healed, he can start his rehabilitation.

Thursday the 2nd of May 2024

Unlike usual, we must have today a check-up with Innocent at 14:00h instead of 9:00h, that promises... Despite the discomfort, he undergoes the journey to Talavera calmly and quietly, as we are used to from him. He is “one of a kind”, unique, who since his operation has been experiencing pain and disability exemplary, patiently, courageously and above all without ever complaining. When we drive onto the “De Frutos direct” in Calypo, the road is extremely busy and when we reach our destination it is even busier in the town of Talavera. Fact that is due to the 1st of May and the bridging of the weekend. Nevertheless, (fortunately for Dirk's mood) there is still parking space for the van at the back of the clinic. In the waiting area of doctor De Frutos and co it is a different story. All nine seats are occupied, and the rest of the waiting customers are forced to stand up with their respective pets and chat happily. Feels like a marketplace. And I thought that there would be no patients during those days off, but yes there were, and literally because in addition to the dogs and their owners, there were 2 customers with impatiently complaining cats. I am getting short of breath by the crowds, and I wonder when it will be Innocent's turn. When Dr. De Frutos comes out of the operating room after about ten minutes, after a satisfying talk about his patient's condition, he takes Innocent for photos and care of his leg, which must be done under general anesthesia. Dirk goes along to take pictures; I have now been given a chair and I have no choice but to wait. I hate waiting.

Anyway, after an hour and a half the waiting room slowly empties. In the meantime, Dirk comes telling that doctor De Frutos is satisfied because Innocent's paw looks good and he is slowly waking up from his anesthesia, luckily!! One less thing to worry about. Despite the good news, we cannot leave until 16:00h and, to the dismay of our dogs, who insist on having their supper on time, we only get home at 18:00h. I feel like I have run a marathon, and I cannot think about it that we are expected back on Monday at 14:00h and that most likely the same awaits us as today. In the evening everyone is exhausted, especially Innocent who is still suffering from his anesthesia but still finds the courage to put his head on my lap to be comforted. Such a sweet, well-behaved animal, I say to Dirk, who, just like me, is touched by his affection. While I push away another tear, I firmly say that if he is adopted after his recovery, it must be by golden people. Dirk answers that I should not worry about that yet because his recovery will take some time. I do worry and rightly so, I answer cranky...

Wednesday the 8th of May 2024

Because I absolutely did not want to leave the dogs alone for so long, Dirk left for Talavera without me last Monday at 13:00h for Innocent's wound care and laser treatment. Around 15:30h I received a phone call that everything was okay with his paw and that we were expected back on Wednesday at 9:00h. So, we got up at 6:45h this morning and an hour later we left for Talavera with Innocent for his treatment. It is not yet 9:00h when we are at the clinic where doctor De Frutos welcomes us and takes Innocent along. While Dirk walks back to the van for his phone, I hold Innocent while doctor De Frutos removes his bandage and shows me the mobility of his once crooked leg. When Dirk is back, I return to the waiting room while he takes pictures during the laser treatment. In the meantime, the first patients arrive; while I watch the activity, Mrs. De Frutos comes for a chat and offers me a coffee from the vending machine. When she leaves with her first patient, I am left alone with my thoughts and wonder how many times I have been waiting for a dog and how many years we have been customers at the “De Frutossen” and especially how many kilometers we have already traveled to come for a consultation. There must be a lot because I estimate that we have been customers for about 7 years. We have already driven back and forth 4 times in the last 2 weeks and we are expecting to go back on Friday, which is 640 km. Including his first consultation, that is 800 km in 3 weeks. If Innocent's treatment continues like this, we will have covered the distance between Spain and Belgium by the time he is healed.

In any case, if he heals well, that is the most important thing and even more important that a good life awaits him with a loving family. Today, the 10th of May, we leave at 7:30h back to Talavera where we are expected at 8:45h for Innocent's laser treatment. Everything runs smoothly and at 9:30h doctor De Frutos asks to take him outside for a walk. I hold my breath but to everyone's delight he occasionally leans on his "new" paw!! When we proudly and contentedly say goodbye to doctor De Frutos, I compliment him that he is the best orthopedic surgeon ever. When we get back home, we already have 160 km more on the van's odometer. Next week again to Talavera every 2 days.