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Spain update Feb 2020 - Mon17feb

Posted on
24 February 2020



Monday 17th February 2020

Although I wanted to save her this, we left this morning with Kika to Talavera under loud protest from the 17 that stayed home. Despite the conclusion of several veterinarians that she was old and worn out and that little can be done about this we are really worried about her condition which is going from bad to worse. Apart from wavering, falling, forgetting and the usual bad moods that she had her whole life she is not eating since 2 days and Dirk does not wake her up to go outside to urinate (she refuses to go through the hatch) to go looking at the stars for fifteen minutes depending on the weather. I watch her with sorrow and cannot imagine a life without our one-out-of-a-thousand-diva’s, hence the appointment with Dr. De Frutos. During the trip she is rebellious and despite her balance disorders she refuses to lie down. I am watching her, feel my first tears coming and think that she had a princess life as Dirk always says.


She always did what she liked to do, she never allowed herself to be forced, she did not want to socialize with our other dogs, and she lived her life as she liked it. Her will was law, it still is.  In short, after she adopted us more than 11 years ago we were allowed to live with her rather than vice versa…This is the truth but in her defense I want to emphasize that she like many galgos had a bad start in life and suffered immensely through people’s fault.  She was living with an old lady in the Madrid Centre who became ill and had to be brought to the hospital and asked her neigbor to take care of Kika while she was gone.  Unfortunately, the lady did not come back and the neighbor neglected Kika.  Only after many days or was it a couple of weeks she was rescued and arrived in Las Nieves more dead than alive where she refused to eat and was urgently brought to Casa Belgica with thick swollen legs and open wounds.

So far, her story in a nutshell. Anyway, even though her body was hardly functioning she was determined not to eat and certainly not to trust people anymore. It took us many bruised fingers and painful hands to make her change her mind because she literally and figuratively bit us hard if we tried to bring food in her neighborhood. The weaker her body became the stronger became her will to die.  Not strong enough, in the end we finally won. For which she was not thankful at all because it took several months before she tolerated our presence and before we could touch her let alone others. Marianne, John, Anne and Fred and many others including our family doctor in Belgium can testify. If the doctor needs to visit us one of these days he will ask if “the white” one is still around.


Considering her behavior and much to our surprise she lets Dr. De Frutos and his wife examine her and install a catheter for a heart examination and X-ray.  This “exercise” would not have been possible a few months ago. While we are waiting for the diagnosis Marie-Carmen sends a photo of a young black male whose chip has been removed from his neck with a knife. Yesterday on a Sunday he was brought in bleeding…Whether it is a weekday or a Sunday the cruelties never stop.  After half an hour Dr. De Frutos and his wife come to tell us that Kika has a serious heart condition and that they will call the cardiologist who is doing the weekly consultations.

During our call the cardiologist seems already to be in her car, and she will return our call between now and 10 minutes.  While we are waiting Dr. De Frutos comes in to get Dirk to show his sound-free room where the dogs can spend the night without bothering the upstairs neighbors.  If needed Kika can stay there.  I thank him and we wait and wait… for the call from the cardiologist. After half an hour I cannot wait anymore and ask Mrs. De Frutos to send a mail message.  While Dirk installs Kika in the car she comes to tell us that we are expected tomorrow at 17:30h.  I wonder whether it is 17:30h Belgian time or a stretchable 17:30h Spanish time, we fear it is more likely to be the second one…