Spain update dec 2020 - Sun06Dec
Sunday 6th December 2020
Today is Saint Nicolas day, the elected ones can leave for Belgium!!! The “good” children could not wish for a more beautiful Saint Nicolas present: a trip towards a new life and a new family, finally their own family, waiting for them at the end!!! We wake up at 7:00h, eat breakfast, I prepare lunch for the gentlemen and meanwhile I try to cheat our dogs who know what is going to happen and as usual they are nervous, just like papa Dirk, sigh… Incredible what can happen in 24 hours… Yesterday big Dirk left St. Lenaarts around 10:00h, he arrived at 15:30h in Casa Belgica, we had a late lunch together, and the two Dirks got in the evening my usual world-famous spaghetti. After a relatively quiet night Marie-Carmen and Diana arrived this morning at 8:30h with the first travelers and they can start loading. At 9:45h the stressful “boarding” is finalized, and the ladies leave again to celebrate the Spanish day of the “Constitution”: about Saint Nicolas, who originated from Spain though, nobody ever heard. A few minutes later the gentlemen leave, and I wave them and their precious cargo goodbye at 10 minutes to 10:00h.
Once they are out of sight, I am left alone till next Sunday with our 10 dogs plus Eusebio-the-complainant and Emérence-the-quiet. Of course, I should not forget my upstairs neighbor lady Vali-the-noisy one who as usual has been appointed by Dirk to watch over me. Big Dirk was barely in Spain for 18-19 hours after his arrival!! Fortunately, he slept well last night as they will be on the way for about 20 hours. After the long drive, the first stop is at Marianne’s where 15 females will be unloaded for sterilization including the small hunting dog with the fractured paw for medical rehabilitation…Thereafter they continue to Hof Rosa Canina where the arrival team is waiting for them to help unloading the passengers and to take care of them, to feed them and quench their thirst. Only a few hours later, on Monday, there will be a “corona proof” adoption day for the galgo gentlemen and a few ladies. It is a busy agenda for Dirk because on Tuesday there will be another adoption day. While I am philosophizing about the coming days and I am happy that I have only 12 dogs under my care I realize that I already miss Elliot, Bella, Coco, and Daisy. I even miss the fierce looking raw-haired teckel Eros, an ex-kennel mate of Daisy, whom I saw during a visit at the quarantine and with whom it was love at first sight.
Meanwhile the rough gentleman with the gingerbread heart has been adopted by Sonja and big Dirk and moved yesterday morning from the shelter to Casa Belgica, our 17th guest!! To my frustration he could not come earlier because due to the cumbersome care and housing of Phara, the hunting dog, we had no more room in our house. Fiercely against my will at doctor’s prescription she must stay in an inside kennel in order not to strain her leg and wear a collar and a muzzle. Anyway, yesterday Eros has already been able to meet his future bearded daddy (like father like son isn’t it?) and at this moment he is sitting behind him in his travel box in the van bumping his way to the promised land. The land of milk and honey, literally then. That is the least you could say from big Dirk’s and Sonja’s house… Also, Elliot and Coco are going in the same direction, they also stay in the family. Elliot will go to Madam “Pee-cloth” Nancy and Coco will go to Claire and Raymond. A great thing for my peace of mind. I can only hope that all others on board are also on their way to the land of everlasting love….
At 13:15h I receive my second phone call. It is still spooky quiet on the road…almost no traffic. In the Somosierra it was minus 2°C now and they are in Burgos to change seats and it starts snowing. At 5:00h when they cross the French border Dirk calls to tell me that they just left Bidart. It stopped snowing he adds, and there is a slight drizzle now. The dogs are quiet and behaving and in France there is virtually no traffic and there will be even less Dirk predicts because the curfew is in effect here. The French cannot go out from 23:00h till 6:00h. When he says so… At midnight I call them a last time informing them that I will go to bed and that a strong wind has risen. Before we hang up Dirk tells agitated that the GPS lady is warning constantly that the highway is closed as from Orleans, I can feel up to here that he is worried, and I ask him to call me when they have arrived. Sleeping is not possible while outside the wind is blowing even stronger and is howling at all doors and shutters of Casa Belgica and it makes me and the dogs restless.
Monday 7th December 2020
Thanks to Eusebio, who did not like the noises caused by the wind and expressed it by wailing, I have seen last night all hours of the clock pass slowly and hence I had a lot of time to worry about past times, normal times… About the times that I traveled home by plane before the drivers and waited for them in De Pinte. Due to Corona a half year has passed since I have been in Belgium or at the adoption day and I feel very terrible about it. Anyway, to fly home does not make sense because I will have to go in quarantine and thus, I will not be allowed to be present at the adoption day and there is no other option than to stay with the dogs who are also forced like me to stay in Casa Belgica.
Because I did not call the drivers during the long night and I did not hear from them yet at 8:00h I call Dirk, but he does not answer the phone. He might still be sleeping because he and his co-driver were going to stay in Hof Rosa Canina. Even though the gusts are blowing rain in my face I go outside to get fresh air and to wait for news.
After about ten minutes outside I have Dirk at the phone who tells me with a floppy tongue that last night they arrived at Marianne’s place at 3:15h, that an hour later they were in Hof Rosa Canina and that he had a short restless night (read 3 hours). You would for less. Short night or not, tired, or not, everybody is ready, and they will start in good spirits, but first a strong coffee and a croissant I add. Because he knows how much I suffer for not being there he promises to send photos and to keep me informed. Later, when it is finished. As promised, I receive a photo, one from Elliot with his new family. He is obviously too busy for more. Around 16:00h I receive the news that everything went well, that everybody was happy with the “new” family member(s). Currently all co-workers are saying goodbye or are already gone but he must clean the van first, which is not his favorite job. While Dirk is cleaning the van thoroughly Nancy “pee-cloth-angel” sends the first photos from Elliot under the Christmas tree.
Tuesday 8th December 2020
At 8:00h Dirk calls that he is ready to leave for Hof Rosa Canina for the second “small” adoption day of a few elected ladies and gentlemen, but he first wants to check whether our dogs and the 2 guests have behaved last night in Casa Belgica. Not so, just like previous night they have been impatient, they were whining, quarreling for a place even though 4 guests have left for Belgium! And Tito, who made it a habit to bark in the middle of the night because he wants to sleep in the living room, has given me a hard time. Incredible, Dirk says, when I am at home, they do not do that. Indeed, of course they do not do that when he is at home but when the cat, in this case the explosive tomcat, is away the mice or better the galgos will play, isn’t it? The only one who keeps his dignity is Leopold, the rest do not behave. Before we hang up, he promises to call me when the day is over. And thus, I receive a few hours later the news that all went well and again everybody was happy with the new family member(s), both humans and dogs.
Next Friday the 15 ladies who have been sterilized by Marianne and Anne will be picked up by Dirk in Doornik and on Saturday is the apotheosis, they will finally be introduced to their adoption parents!! Which all of us have been looking forward to for so long!! This festivity I will not be able anymore to write down in time due to my “deadline” because in Belgium Dirk is starting with the preparation of the magazine. Anyway, you will hear about it later.