Spain update feb 2021 - Sat13feb
Saturday 13th February – Monday 14th February 2021
On Saturday as well as on Monday Dirk is going to make photos of the dogs who are ready for the adoption site, on Saturday the first 25 ladies are photographed, on Monday 15 gentlemen. As soon as Dirk gets home the photos are edited and put on the site. This job takes hours and is usually night work because anyone who has applied is waiting for the new pictures and that is why it must be fast. With the imminent departure also the membership cards and the envelopes and everything that goes with it are prepared in between to take along to Belgium. Here all days are the same there is no weekend, only work and we make sure that everybody gets a reply and is served as soon as possible. We also make sure that “Dirk’s” accounts are up to date, that my updates are written, that I handle as fast as possible the dozens of emails and phone calls that I daily receive. Furthermore, I also accept the complaints of new adopters about their brand new galgo who is still scared for this or that when they go out for a walk in the first days after the adoption, which is something that I always strongly discourage. Give the poor souls time to get used to their new family and house and all smells and colors around it, thereafter they are ready for the world. Anyway, meanwhile the next magazine is being prepared and in the end, it is all done in the company of 14 galgos 3 of which need care and Elvis must learn to walk without his external frame. Those critics who pretend that we are relaxing are wrong… On the contrary we never stop working and we must carry emotional and heartbreaking burdens but when the adopted dogs and their owners are forever and ever happy with each other the reward is great…
Saturday 20th February 2021
Last Tuesday I visited my physiotherapist Alberto for the last time this week, oof, it gives me some breathing space…Then we went to Xanadu “Tuesday-wise” to buy errands before Roel’s arrival and the related lunch packages and aperitif and supper etc… On Wednesday we drove to the bank in Talavera were Dirk finally got his Spanish bank card. The day after he cleaned the jeep that was covered with mud after 2 trips to the shelter, then the van was cleaned inside and outside for the trip to Belgium and I prepared the “surplus” luggage. Today at last it is Saturday and Dirk will drive to the airport to pick up Roel who has been sending since this morning mails and photos of his progress and at this moment he is in the air somewhere above France and Spain is approaching, the reason for Dirk to leave to Barracas.
It is 15:30h when they are “home” and after the attack of our troops Dirk takes Roel on a tour through the new outbuildings of Casa Belgica and gives him at the same time a view on the clinic’s debacle where it appeared during the construction that since years moisture has been penetrating in the outer wall masonry in Columbian style. Even I can build better than the Columbians who built the clinic in the past under the supervision of Salva. The worst of all is that the blue wall with the golden logos and the stars that I painted there 15 years ago must be cut off and I do not feel able anymore to repaint the logos lying on my knees, it really touches me. After my complaints, the adoption lists are checked and I inform our “new” coordinator about the fact that I invited our brand-new regional manager for Antwerp, Mrs. Quide to be present at the adoption day on Saturday. If he can do the honors and introduce her to her new colleagues?
Once the practical matters are finished it is time for the aperitif and the traditional succulent unique and obligatory spaghetti, the insurance for a safe trip. I see with sorrow how time passes; the night is getting closer and the hour of farewell is approaching. Even though Dirk will take along Emerence, Elodie and Fernandel who respectively will stay with regional managers Yolanda, Kris and Carine and despite the fact that also our Tito and Eusebio will travel along I will still stay behind with 9 dogs, including Elvis and I am not looking forward to it. Anyhow I do not have much time to worry because in the evening Elodie shares with us a piece of clairvoyance. How she feels it I do not know but it is a fact that she stays close to Roel as if she knows that she can go home with him. For at least a few weeks though, until she is fully recovered from her front leg operation. The whole evening, she looks at him in adoration and she cannot be close enough, it is moving to see. She has never done this before; she is funny and witty and affectionate, but she has never shown her love to us to that extent. When Kris phones I call from afar that it is “love at first sight” and Roel can only moan “tell me it is not true”. We will see….
Sunday 21st, Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd February 2021
After a short and noisy night, the reason of which must be found by the 2 loudly snoring co-drivers it was early day and yesterday at 7:30h I was already preparing lunch packages. Does it need to be said, that the departure virus again infected everybody, especially our dogs after their colleagues and family were loaded and they had to stay in the kitchen. They crowded decisively at the kitchen door so that I hardly could pass to make photos outside of the activity. After the departure of the van at least 2 packs comforting and distracting nic-nacs will be needed. At 10:00h they were gone and after the goodbye we were all left behind cheerless because we could not go along. Only 20 minutes after their departure the cold and windy weather told us that it was still wintertime and it started to drizzle. A few hours later when Dirk called telling that they were in Burgos and were going to change drivers it was pouring with rain here. The most important was that it was dry where they were and 5°C warmer than in Calypo.
When I phoned at 23:30h informing that I was going to bed it was still raining. Meanwhile the drivers were in Poitiers and still had 600 km to go till Marianne’s place. Before we hung up, we agreed that Dirk would call tomorrow when he gets up. If I thought to have a quiet night, I was wrong. Only Beauregard and Fifi wanted to sleep in the living room, the rest wanted to sleep in the kitchen. It had consequences, I must get up 4 times because Elvis who has the habit to stand in his basket with his hind legs and to lay on the couch with his upper body to relieve his leg was disturbed by double format Leopold who needs the whole bench. Regarding Elvis’s vocal cords nothing is wrong, the real Elvis would have been jealous. In fact, when he fears not to have space enough and opens his throat you wake up immediately…
At 8:30h Dirk called telling that he arrived at Marianne’s place around 3:30h to unload the females for sterilization. An hour later he arrived in Hof Rosa Canina where the gentlemen were unloaded and around 4:30h he was in bed and right now he is walking on the meadow. When he asked if I got up and if it was still raining, I could tell him that I was absolutely awake and that a pale winter sun was breaking through. He was also ready and preparing the adoption day. While I was listening to my husband’s story, I thought that meanwhile Marianne, Anne and Co in Kain were probably already busy with the sterilization marathon of the 24 females. We agreed that I would not call but that he would give a sign of life when it was all over. It lasted till 15:30h before I received a phone call informing me that everything went well. Everybody was satisfied and happy, although one of the males hurt his tail and he went to the veterinarian where he had to be picked up because the adopters will be there one hour later. The icing on the cake was that Luc, husband of regional manager Carine Soenens, brought the new van with in its “belly” the aluminum boxes made and placed by him to Hof Rosa Canina where everybody admired its “outward” and “inward” resulting in many ohs and ahs from the co-workers. Tomorrow the governmental veterinarians will inspect it to grant the permit. I am curious about their response…
In the meantime, it is Tuesday and Dirk just let me know that the inspection by the government is done and the competent veterinarian, with admiration for the craftsmanship and the comfort for the dogs, has measured, inspected, and approved it for service and he praised our new transportation vehicle which passed the test with flying colors. Next Friday it will drive for the first time to pick up the females at Marianne’s place, there could not be a better start … On Sunday, the first real job will start to drive for the first time to Spain, the first of many, I hope.
Our old van is not in such a good shape, after each trip it goes to the garage for a check-up and now it appears that it needs an urgent revision of the gear - case. Again, a cost of more than 1.500 euro. In one month, it takes more than 7.800 euro from our budget, hopefully for the last time….
Sunday 28th February, Monday 1st March 2021
After yesterday’s successful adoption day and a short night Dirk and Koen Falise, the co-driver on duty, leave at 5:00h to Spain. When I call them at 5:30h they are in Hof Rosa Canina loading Tito and Eusebio who of course will drive “home” again. Dirk says shivering that it is icy cold, and I do not insist and wish them a safe trip and before we hang up, he promises to call me once they passed Paris. That day there are still a lot of phone calls before they land at 22:00h in Casa Belgica and as usual they are overwhelmed by our pack of tomboys who are excited and happy not only because the little general is back but also their 2 companions are back!!! I am watching how Eusebio, the black pearl, is welcomed as one of the family by the rest of the dogs and wonder if he will stay forever… a needless question….
Koen who even though his dog unexpectedly was hospitalized in the Merelbeke veterinary clinic with a thrombosis was willing to be co-driver, receives a phone call from his wife in the evening with the sad news that his dog was given morphine and will not survive.
The next day I hear he is already early at the telephone and I suppose he will not get good news, I was right. His wife is alone at home and they want to say farewell to Ella together, she asks if he can return home today instead of tomorrow. And thus, Dirk is looking for a flight and fortunately he can find one and less than an hour later we bring Koen to the airport. A day later after his farewell to Ella she is cremated and back home. Her soul is on the way to heaven, on the way to the many galgos who preceded her….