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Spain Update Nov 2019 -Wed13Nov

Posted on
22 November 2019




Wednesday 13th November 2019

After a hectic week, in which we had to meet existing commitments and reschedule others, to make the necessary purchases for the Halloween walk in Betekom, to prepare the hall on Saturday  for this event and the successful exhausting first edition  of the day after I could not fall asleep despite the fatigue. I relived the whole parade while I was tossing in bed much to Dirk’s displeasure. Especially the last day that started so promising and successful was overshadowed by the news that our co-worker Françoise Stoops, who had received the visit of a GINB team the week before, passed away in the morning. This news caused a true shock wave amongst the co-workers and some of our adopters.



Anyway, I tried to change my mind by thinking of the beautiful decorated hall, the many participants, the “luck” that the weather was nice, the fact that Françoise must have been watching friendly from heaven etc… When even that did not help, I tried in vain to remember the very young assistant who accompanied Louis the day before Buffalo’s arrival in Spain, to clean the teeth of the adopted males in our clinic. No matter how I tried I could not imagine the girl, was she tall, small, fat, skinny, I did not now anymore but all distractions were good. Dirk pointed out to me several times that I had to get up a few hours later but despite all efforts I kept on worrying till at 4:00h, and after a few busy short dreams and shivering with cold I started to put my war colours on.


An hour later we closed the door from “casa” De Pinte behind us and left with a full load of food that Yolanda collected, half of our belongings, Leopold 3, Tito and a nasty Kika, on a Monday instead of a Sunday (the only day on which I venture to drive on the highway) in the direction of the highway.  Dirk was able to convince me that it was a holiday and that trucks were not allowed.  The closer we came the nervous I became but indeed “the highway to hell” was quiet. After our breakfast in Aire St. Leger traffic became somewhat busier when approaching Paris and here and there “Eastern block people” did not respect the rules for freight transportation but it was feasible.  At 9:00h we left the Paris ring behind us and half an hour later we drove onto the “direct” to Bordeaux.  My relief that the worst was behind us did not last long, the rain took care of that, and not a little bit of rain but pouring rain during hundreds of km. A little before Bordeaux it stopped.


When an hour and a half later we drove onto the hotel parking lot it started to drip again.  We just had time to let the dogs out for half an hour on the fenced parking and to feed them before it started pouring rain again and we stumbled under the GINB umbrella to the hotel with our luggage.  At 19:00h when we went out for dinner in the Hyppopotame it was still raining. It would continue raining cats and dogs during the whole night and I knew it because to Dirk’s frustration I could not fall asleep again.  I was worrying about the “emergency call” from Marie-Carmen telling us that more than 50 galgos arrived during the weekend amongst them a black male with a broken leg, 1 or 2 pups of 3 months old, 4 pups of 6 months old were expected, and another black male of 7 year old with an old fracture and disformed leg and another one that was half blind…The information was not exactly contributing to a good night’s rest… Moreover, there was the constant swelling noise of the increasing number of trucks that were heading for the Spanish border in the dark night in the pouring rain.  That was promising for the next day.

A few hours later we joined the double row of trucks driving in the ever-pouring rain in the direction of Spain. An hour later we passed the border without a stopover in Le Bidet… Dirk could hardly believe that I did not want to stop, a tradition that after many years I cancelled, incredible!! The only reason was that I was terribly upset to insert between the many trucks that were descending to the border and thus I drove by Le Bidet with much regret…Of course it was also raining in Basque country, it rains there most of the time.  When we drove in the province Castilla y Leon the rainwater tap was suddenly turned off and the temperature rose. Another 400 km and we would be back “home” I comforted myself, to be patient for about 5 hours with as only interruption a sandwich in the “Far West”, a tank station right before the mountains where years after years we stopped to eat our “damp prepacked” sandwiches.  But the times had changed because recently we ate a “fresh” sandwich in the cafeteria, a luxury, especially for Dirk when he must make a stop and in cafeterias…


After we squeezed ourselves through the traffic jams on the Madrid ring we drove into “our” Casa Belgica and we were welcomed by our dogs with a joy concert that was obviously contagious because also the pups in the garden joined them with a deafening performance.  Calypo must have known that the “Belgians” are back in town.  As usual Vali was yelling a flood of words on us and gave a detailed report about the past 10 days.  The peace had hardly returned when Marie-Carmen called asking if we were home and I answered affirmative and added quickly “right now” … Despite the information she asked if she could bring a pup, a female of barely 3 months old found in the fields. In the evening when she brought the pup and I told her that we had an appointment in Talavera the next day, the rain and wind started.  At 8:00h the day after she would bring the 2 black males, the broken and the deformed leg….

Consequently, we were at Dr. De Fruto’s with Nana, who during our absence was picked up by Marie-Carmen in Talavera and had to go for a checkup with the two black handicapped gentlemen.  Because the “broken” leg was wearing the collar of our late winged Maurice we named him Maurice at the registration.  The “deformed” leg we named Triphon after Dirk’s grandfather, appropriate because he walks on three legs. After X-rays have been made from Maurice’s leg and the doctor told us that he will be operated this afternoon it is Triphon’s turn for an X-ray. Just before he leaves painful screams and noises of falling material are heard in the operation room. Apparently, Dr. De Frutos has been bitten by a half-awake Rottweiler and hence he must go to the hospital.  Maurice’s operation must be delayed until tomorrow because De Frutos’ injured hand needs to be treated in the clinic.  After everything is back to normal after the departure of Dr. De Frutos and when Triphon’s X-rays are made we return to Calypo an hour later.


While we are driving home, I call Marie-Carmen as usual to report on the event.  When I finish my explanation, she tells me all about Triphon’s agony.  When I hang up, I tell Dirk the incredible story. Years ago, Triphon was dumped with his deformed leg by a galguero after which he ended up in a small shelter where months later, he was taken along again by the same galguero and put to work. After rendered services he was dumped a second time and weeks later he was found emaciated and neglected in the fields by a lady. Apparently, the lady knows the galguero (who in the meantime also dumped a galgo in Las Nieves) and the story of Triphon who is in Las Nieves since July. She tells his story to Marie-Carmen. It is an exception, usually we do not know the exact history of the galgos.  We only know that they all suffered terribly.

During our ride I philosophize about the fact that more than once we get criticism because we spend a lot of money for the operation of fractured legs. Obviously, this phenomenon is spread, as more and more are coming in at Las Nieves. Anyway, even though I know that the update on the website does not get many comments I would like the readers to make a one-time exception and give their opinion concerning the high costs involved with the operation of fractured legs. Must we, as some suggest refuse the dogs, euthanize them and consider our financial means or must we help them on their way to a new painless and hopefully happy life. For me it will be the last option regardless the criticism if not I would undermine my own position.  GINB is there to help the dogs unconditionally whether they have broken legs which will take quite a slice out of the budget.  What do you think???

In the evening Dr. De Frutos sends a mail message that his hand is okay and that he will operate Maurice tomorrow.  He will keep us informed and on Friday he is expecting us at 13:00h in Talavera to discuss the situation because for the poor Triphon he does not have good news…