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Spain update aug 2021 - Thur19Aug

Posted on
26 August 2021

 

 

Thursday 19th August 2021

It took me one week to finally be ready to write without too many tears about Marianne’s and Kris’ visit.  I thought I felt strong enough by the good news that the “Dog sitting” ladies Yolanda and Kelly after their visit to Casa Belgica arrived well in Belgium and Kelly sent her report already 2 days later. And, by the trip to Castets to meet Roel and Buffalo knowing that they arrived safely with their precious “load” and that the “mini adoption day” of the small Roel team at which the 4 white puppies and the 4 “big ones” were presented to their “new” family passed without problems. All this good news should have been enough to give me courage for Marianne’s visit, not so.  I was still worried about the reunion with Marianne… Last Thursday, the day they arrived, I was very nervous and emotional.  After Philippe’s decease I had enlarged his photo that was made in our clinic, and I had hung it in a frame in the operation room. Dirk thought it was not a good idea, but I strongly insisted. It was my tribute to Philippe and a sweet memory of the time that he accompanied Marianne to help her and that she mercilessly exhausted the poor man. Anyhow I thought that I should inform her before her arrival in the clinic…

 

As usual he followed their flight details closely and he noticed that their plane would land on time and so he left and left me behind with my worries and lunch preparation… An hour later I received a phone call that both ladies were on board and that they would arrive between now and an hour which was not favorable for my peace of mind as I was afraid to see Marianne again.  I was afraid of not being able to control my tears, I am hopelessly emotional. Even when I think “I should not cry” my tears already appear, and I cannot control it. Much to Dirk’s irritation I cry everywhere for everything that touches me, he thinks it is embarrassing. People might think we have a fight and that he is the cause of my sorrow. Men, he never cries or shows emotion… As usual after their arrival the ladies got an overwhelming welcome by the dogs, and I instantly noticed that Marianne lost some weight. After she got to me through the dogs, we could at last hug each other after almost one year and a half and I saw that she was only a third part of what she was before… which was not the case for Kris, she was still strong, and she almost squeezed me in two pieces whilst hugging me…

 

Before we sat down at the table, I showed their new bedroom which is now at the left side. Because out of necessity we had stayed more here and, in the meantime, we had bought the house (also out of necessity) we swapped the bedrooms. We now have the biggest room in front and our guests got our previous one.  Anyway, the new room was liked and unanimously approved, and we could then go to the table where we discussed about Corona, vaccinations, the dogs and the changes in the clinic and annexes. Our conversation was interrupted, as usual, by Marie-Carmen who brought the first 10 dogs and offered her deepest condolences to Marianne which confronted all of us with the cruel reality. After Marie-Carmen left the ladies prepared for the hard work that awaited them and Dirk reminded me that I should inform Marianne about the photo. With a pounding heart I went to their room and took her aside. While tears were running over my cheeks, I could not go further than “after Philippe’ decease” when she fell into my arms weeping and let her immense sorrow free for a while. Through my tears I assured her that I would take the photo away if it would be too difficult for her if not Philippe would have a place there forever.

 

 

What more can I say? That Marianne denied herself and despite her immense sorrow came to Spain to sterilize the long waiting females.  That she did that together with Kris who as usual was taking care of the teeth and premedication. That they did that during a heatwave in which temperatures had risen till 41°C in the shadow and no oxygen was in the air. That Marianne was terribly sad because during the surgery she listened to melancholic French chansons that she listened to with Philippe at that time. That she wept a lot, and her thoughts were sometimes miles away. That during the meals we now and then caught a glimpse of the former Marianne who teased everyone and made the table shake with her loud laugh. That we all took care of her well-being and did our utmost to support her. One of the most important key figures in that process was Kris with her big and generous heart which creates a bond.  Kris was her colleague, a friend who sensed her state of mind and assisted her with a smile and a tear, there was a lot of weeping but also laughing. It was a great comfort for me that I could leave Marianne in Kris’ hands without having to worry.

 

It is a period that will not easily be forgotten, and which gets under our skin. One of hard work and mourning and loving for everyone.  A period in which 50 females were sterilized and Marianne one afternoon was so extremely sad that she could “only” sterilize 5 females which was a drama for here. A drama that was partly made up for when on an evening after supper we went for a “swim”, and she could softly convince Leopold twice to join her in the pool.  A magical event which surprised all three of us.  A unique and emotional moment in which together with Leopold under the Calypo starry sky she forgot her sorrow for a while. A moment when Philippe from beyond the countless stars looked with an approving eye, I was sure of that.  I felt it and even Leopold felt how important it was, hence, his fearlessness…. 

 

As mentioned, the ladies left last Sunday and after the usual photo, I was left behind with 18 females who still must stay here before their return to the shelter. Amongst them 3 for Marianne who will stay in Casa Belgica until their departure to Belgium.  An old cripple female that was used her entire life as breeding machine, one of which the nose was cut off and a white one who had a bleeding… “Comme d’habitude” (as usual) Philippe will think smiling…

 

After Marianne and Kris left, I have sent, even though it was Sunday a mail to Dr. De Frutos to make an appointment for Fausto and for Nerva, one of the sterilized females whose black fur looked greyish due to numerous flakes and on her back several bald spots. You never know... Even before Dirk had returned, I received a reply that I was expected with both dogs on Wednesday, with Fausto for a scan of his shoulder and for Nerva extended tests. And so, we left on Wednesday to Talavera where it appeared that Fausto’s (Toto’s for intimates) shoulder gap stopped growing due to a strong impact.  The doctor showed me the photos on which the difference between his good and “bad” shoulder was even obvious for a layman.  The only solution was a pain killer and an operation to fix the shoulder at the age of 10 months!!!  I thought I did not understand him as Toto was only 4 months old and this means that he must still wait for at least 5 months, and he was nearly adopted…

 

While we were waiting for the results of Nerva’s blood and skin tests patients were continuously entering and it became busier and warmer in the reception area.  After 2 hours we could finally return home with relatively good news, there was nothing wrong with Nerva’s blood, she was clean, no diseases or parasites.  Only poverty and lack of food etc... that was to remedy with good food and 3 baths per week which meant that Nerva will stay in Casa Belgica for a while.  When we were back home, I called Fausto’s adopter to let him know what the doctor told us about a possible operation at the age of 10 months, an operation for which GINB will of course pay the costs.  After our conversation it seemed that Toto would still be our guest for some time.  We had one hope though, when Marianne had examined Toto, she told us that she will send us a supplement (medication) that could help young dogs in this case and that could avoid an operation…

Who knows, we are impatiently waiting for the package.