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Spain update april 2021 - Mon12April

Posted on
20 April 2021



Monday 12th April 2021

For those reading the updates on the site, I am back online and ready to start writing for those who are of course interested… It is not obvious to start back where I left off because about three weeks passed since the previous “edition” and a few things have happened.  Anyway, to start and finalize the previous update I can tell that the adoption days of the gentlemen on Monday and of the ladies on Saturday went well as usual and everybody was happy with the new family, the dogs as well as the new families involved. It is a joyous fact witnessed by our new regional managers for East-Flanders, Mrs. Sofie Meerpoel and Mrs. Annik Daelman, on the “ladies adoption day”. Indeed, I did not rest and find peace until I finalized my quest for new co-workers. Fortunately, Martine was aware that one of her adopters Mrs. Daelman had already shown interest and Dirk and I have known Sofie Meerpoel for years and much to my relief and pleasure we had sooner than expected 2 capable and motivated additional ladies. I was in the seventh heaven and even the news that our “old” van had to be returned to IVECO could not temper my joy.

But I anticipate the facts.  After peace had returned and the adoption day of the 7 gentlemen was over there was still the reality that I would still be alone for more than a week because Dirk would only return to Spain on Sunday with co-driver Koen Falise. Luckily, there were phone calls and movies from Dirk and my 9 dog children were behaving and let me sleep at night most of the time.  It was peace of mind for me and Dirk. Unfortunately, the peace of mind was short-lived, on Tuesday Marie-Carmen called asking if she could stop by...  Although her visits never predict something good, I could not refuse her request. When she showed up in the afternoon, I already felt a storm coming.  A female dog who just had given birth arrived with 7 barely viable puppies, 4 girls and 3 boys, it did not look good…What must be one, yes, what must be done? The clinic construction work was still ongoing, and everything was turned upside down and Julian still needed at least 2 weeks before the clinic would be “operational”. Anyway, I called Dirk with a beating heart and a pounding head and a thick throat that I could not and would not decide about life or death and that every living creature had a right to live and blah, blah and that we must try etc…etc…


And so, we decided that on short notice we would welcome a mom and her 7 babies if they would survive.  The only practical problem was that we would not be able to install them directly in the clinic and that they must stay in quarantine until the work was finished. Given their “age” they would not even notice, I consoled myself. Anyhow we would urge Julian to hurry, so far… The puppy brainstorm had barely slowed down when another surprise from Marie-Carmen shook me to my foundations… Another big surprise, one to faint as far as I am concerned…A borzoi breeder had found GINB via her and he wanted to give up 5 of his dogs who were not “exhibition” worthy because they had or a tooth too much or too little or something like that. There was a mother of 4 years old and her 4 daughters of 2 years old, if I could take care of them if not there was no future anymore for the five.  I called Dirk with the good news and told him the sad story and I added that we must do it to give them a safe haven.  Because he is as big a softie as I am I also could forget those worries for a moment, it was pure ostrich policy. Well, we would see when the time comes, I already had been confronted with such stories before.  Horrible stories of all kinds of which nothing had ever come true.


Although the fear was there, I was spared horror stories for the rest of the week with a bright spot that the puppies were still alive and that Leopold, Eusebio and Tito enjoyed their vacation in Belgium. On Saturday I was informed by coordinator Roel that the adoption day of the ladies went smoothly and that the new regional managers were welcomed enthusiastically by their colleagues and that I did not have to worry.  Despite the good news it bothered me that once more I could not be there, thanks to corona, and I realized for the umpteenth time that I had been locked up in Spain for more than 7 months now. Around 17:00h Dirk informed me that it was over, and that he was driving home to prepare tomorrow’s departure.  I was awake for exactly 12 hours and I called him.  He and Koen were at that moment 1600 km further north in Hof Rosa Canina to pick up our dogs.  It was icy cold, and he and his co-driver were shivering from the cold. As soon as they reached Paris, he would call me. After I hung up, I walked outside on bare feet to check the temperature. Like in Belgium the meter indicated that the temperature here was also below zero and I walked shivering back inside hoping to get still some sleep and to make time pass faster. Wishful thinking…

Again 12 hours later Dirk called telling that they crossed the border and that the GPS showed that they would arrive at home at 22:00h.   I do not know how they feel it but around 21:30h our dogs got restless and they also made me restless… Barely 15 minutes later I received a phone call from Koen telling me that they were at 5 minutes from Casa Belgica…Must it be said that I now cannot tell who was the happiest, the drivers or me and of course not to forget the dogs who enthusiastically welcomed the drivers as well as their 3 traveling companions. As usual Dirk wanted to unload the van immediately after arrival, sigh, poor co-driver.  When the tedious job was done, we had a glass of Cava and chatted still for an hour and then it was bedtime for the gentlemen.  The day after the construction at the clinic was inspected thoroughly and then we went to Xanadu for a meal. We returned home early because at 20:00h Koen had prepared a compensation for what I missed, and he had planned a zoom meeting with the regional managers. After all this time I am still enjoying reminiscing…


On Tuesday the 30th of March at 6:00h Dirk took his co-driver to the airport after a short stay in Casa Belgica.  As soon as he was back, I prepared for the rendezvous at 12:00h in the Nissa clinic at the other side of Madrid where I must go for X-rays and an MRI on prescription of doctor Ladero. Finding the way was not really a problem for Dirk only in the town there were several clinics. One next to the other and the clinic where we had to go had 2 different names.  Finally, after a few rounds we found the clinic in question and then we still must manage to give the necessary explanation.  We were sent from here to there and arrived just in time where we were expected.  Fortunately, I did not have to wait long and the young nurse who must make the X-rays of my hip could speak some English. After I posed about 5 times in the position of an experienced ballerina (I thought) and the nurse assisted by a young colleague was going to put my leg and foot in a position, that in a far past I would have put without problem into a brilliant end, a doctor was intervening and finished the job in 5 minutes. Then I could get dressed again and go to the waiting room.


I did not leave the hall yet when the nurse of the MRT or “resonans” as they say in Spain looked at me questioningly when I passed by and she asked hesitantly “Mireija Broéders”??? Indeed, I had to undress again, again put a paper apron and for the umpteenth time in my life I must lie down in a noisy hard iron pipe. For the first time I got ear plugs.  After half an hour it was finished, and I could leave.  The cashier to whom Dirk paid 500 euro told us that next week on Tuesday afternoon we could fetch the results of the examination.  I received the photos and the results of the “resonans” will “not” be sent to the doctor, I must come and collect them personally. When driving home Dirk did not feel well, fatigue I replied.  I did not feel well either, I was exhausted by the MRI and photos and the hectic activity typical of clinics. I hate it and I did not want to think that once I had the results of the MRI, I must make again an appointment with the medical center in Talavero.  But I am sure Dr. De Frutos would help me with it.  I was already relieved that this was done and that I did not yet have the results. It was postponement of execution I thought… At least for now.

In the evening Dirk got sicker, he did not have appetite and at night he had muscle pains everywhere and he was sweating profusely.  In the morning he was a wreck, and he was exhausted.  While it was pouring rain outside, he was lying apathetic in the sofa, he took that day and the following days every 4 hours a strong Dafalgan and he was convinced that he got an infection in the clinic. He was not the only one because after an almost sleepless night next to my steaming husband, a night in which I was haunted by arthrosis pains I woke up in the morning with a swollen red hand in which every small joint was hurting horribly as struck by a hammer. Despite I always keep control I did something I had never done before and screamed in pain. It was unbearable and I wondered whether the MRI had triggered the arthrosis. Anyway, we both were feeling most miserable till the end of the week. Dirk lay down in the sofa and I stayed partly in bed, partly in front of my pc on which I could only type with my left hand and partly at the phone hoping that my voice would sound as normal as possible.  The “good” news was that the “borzois” would arrive next Tuesday in Casa Belgica, the day on which we had to collect my results.  Hopefully, we would be “healed” by that time.

During the weekend Dirk started to feel better, my hand was not swollen anymore only the redness continued.  Anyhow on Tuesday we both were feeling well enough to go to the clinic as planned to collect my results and take the opportunity to have both a PCR test. It went smoothly, the only candidate let us go first.  24 to 28 hours later we would receive the result of the test by mail.  After the “nose picking” we could leave and we returned to Casa Belgica to be in time for the borzois, sigh, I was nervous about it. A little earlier than 16:00h Marie-Carmen rang that she was at the gate with the owner. When Dirk opened there was a shiny van at the driveway ready to drive in. After the owner and his son of about 40 years old had greeted us, they opened the sliding door.  My mouth fell open with amazement and I did not dare to look at Dirk.  The 5 borzoi females were shy, neglected, skinny and they had long nails and obviously their fur was cut to eliminate the “dreadlocks”.  A mother and her daughters, all of them were nameless and they were kept in loneliness in a terrain waiting for what???  Even though their father was a champion the daughters were apparently not fit for breeding and they had reached their terminal now. Fortunately for them that terminal was Casa Belgica… only I was afraid that it would be a precedent for more….


Before he left the owner showed proudly his “achievement” and the borzois from his friends who had been champions. I had my own thoughts, I thanked him for entrusting the dogs to us and said goodbye. They left with the message that they would contact us if needed.  The 5 borzois who in the meantime were in their residence were already forgotten. For us and for them it only started… The next day they had a blood test, they were vaccinated and got a chip that took them out of anonymity. As we are 2021 now which is the year of F in Casa Belgica they got names like Fafa, Fofo, Fifi, Fufu and (F)Astrid.  Even though I had sworn not to keep one of them, Leopold decided otherwise, and it was love at first sight, or should I say at first bite with his preferred one. Who are we to forbid the awakening love?  Hence the name Astrid is it not? Leopold 3 and Queen Astrid… In the evening I sent a message to all regions asking if someone had a place in their house and heart for a borzoi needing a home, I absolutely wanted to keep them in the family…


The next day Dirk and Vali gave the 5 a bath, a work to be proud of.  I filmed the event for posterity and helped with rubbing dry. From the moment the borzoi ladies had freed themselves from the superfluous water by shaking they continued what they started yesterday. Eating, eating, and again eating.  It feels good to watch them.  After a few days they became less suspicious, and they reluctantly followed mom Fafa’s and sisters Fifi’s example who from day one had searched rapprochement. Only Fufu was apathetic and she had a lot of pus in her eyes and crusts on her nose. I was worried and even though we made an appointment on Friday to have Astrid sterilized I did not wait, and I made an appointment for Fufu and we could go on Tuesday the 13th of April.  I was happy for Fufu and for myself because I could stop for a while keeping up with the promised updates and even more happy with the fact that we received good news that Dirk as well as I had negatively tested for covid.



We left at 9:00h for our appointment at 10:00h and as we drove the van it was not obvious to find a parking place.  During the whole trip there was a regular heartbreaking lamentation from Fufu as if she were scared that her luck was going to end.  I reassured her, just like her sisters and mom she was adopted by a regional manager and she would stay in the GINB family for the rest of her life. She was adopted by Sonja and big Dirk, Fafa by Marianne, Fifi by Christel, Fofo by Annick and François and (F)Astrid by us till death do us part. Dr. De Frutos had less good news for Fufu.  She had high fever and the blood test showed leishmania. When on Friday we would return with Astrid she must come along, the titer values in her blood would be calculated by then. Meanwhile it is Thursday and this morning the puppies and their mom arrived.  As soon as the beautiful beige brindled mom saw us, she laughed with all teeth, she was so happy that she and her offspring finally arrived in the promised 5-star hotel. Tomorrow will again be a busy day, at 12:00h we go to Talavera to Dr. De Frutos with Astrid and Fufu and at 16:00h to the neurosurgeon… But I should not worry anymore, the update is up to date!!!