Spain Update July 2020 - Fri10Jul
Friday 10th July 2020
Yesterday, after Dirk assembled during the whole day the Ikea cupboards (a lesson in patience and perseverance) sweating all over his face it is barely 9:00h when we install Ophélia on board of our old jeep. It is difficult for me, if it were not Jacky and Alain who will adopt her, she could have spent her old age with us, an unspoken decision that Dirk as well as I had in mind it seems. Anyhow also in Benissa a princess life if waiting for her and she will have 2 sisters and on top of that she will get lessons in good manners and etiquette. This means wash paws, the usual kiss before meals, brush teeth after meals, wash bottom and pee hole after toilet and wash paws before going to bed and lie down on a comfortable mattress next to her owners.
Whilst driving a few kms, during which I try to suppress my tears and Ophélia barks raw with a hoarse voice a suspicious smell is spreading in the car. When we think she let one off out of emotion, we are wrong… Fortunately about 5 pee cloths are under her and she did not step into the respectable heap that she produced… We will not stop until the next service station to eat breakfast and to get rid of the smelly package. After our quick breakfast during which I had to bite my teeth on a “tostada” from toasted (old) French bread we buy a donut for her that she is eating with taste after her sanitary stop. Again a (presumably) wish that she can check off her bucket list, I think.
When we leave, she stands up for about 10 minutes to look to the world around her of which she was not aware in the vegetable garden. When she looks tired, she lies down with a sigh to think about all her new impressions. That is how it looks, and I wonder what it is doing to her. One thing is certain, during a week spent with us she was attached to us and we to her and just like us she is confused because she had to leave Casa Belgica that she already considered it her home. Oh no, I say to Dirk, I cannot take it anymore. I know that at Jacky and Alain heaven on earth is waiting for her, but I do feel guilty, and again I was moved. The fact that he is confirming that she will be in good hands, which is the truth, is a comfort but it does still bother me, and I have the feeling that I betrayed her. In this short period of time she became part of me.
For once we arrive first in Honrubia and when Dirk calls Alain they still must drive for half an hour due to heavy Friday traffic. After we let Ophélia out we wait on the terrace. Twenty minutes later they drive onto the huge parking lot. As always “the girls” need to get out before joining us on the terrace. We do not have much time because all of us have to drive a lot of km and after having coffee Jacky and Alain are going to meet our “Hortelana, prisoner of the vegetable garden” who goes through life as Ophélia now. There are a lot of tears involved because Jacky as well as Alain are shocked when they see the “real” Ophélia. Hearing a story and being confronted with shocking reality is far apart. Both are in tears when they see the old exploited and worn-out female, I bravely cry along and let my tears run free. Before they install her on board Alain firmly says: we will bring her back in good condition. I am convinced they will.
Back at home we have again 420 overheated km behind us, the air conditioning of our 18-year-old jeep started to fail on the way back and was blowing hot air instead of cold. In Casa Belgica everything is quiet. After Ophélia’s departure apart from our 10 dogs we only have 2 extra guests in the house, both abused outcasts. One is Saroya, the female with the ingrown collar, the second is Bonito, the “blue furred” or the mouse-grey male who was languishing at a galguero place and who arrived from Badajoz a week before our arrival. In the meantime, he has been adopted by Martine and Dirk Buffalo. When we go look at the pups in the back, they are sleeping heavenly on Kika’s throne, indeed… However, this was a sensitive subject because Kika and her legacy are sacred to me. Anyway, after Dirk’s persuasion I made Kika’s two-seater available for Eustasche and Eulalie who are both also adopted. The young lad is adopted by our co-worker Annie Dusquenne and the lady is adopted by an adopter with an organic farm who already has 4 galgos.
When I look at them lying in their two-seater under the ventilator and enjoying their life, I do not regret that they are lying on Kika’s throne. What Kika will think of it from heaven is something else, she did not like to share. But who knows she might have changed now that she is an angel…? When we enter the kitchen, we see that our 12 dogs are also on the floor. Outside the heat and the flies are unbearable. After I broke up about 5 fly swatters and complained day and night Dirk finally ordered 2 electrical appliances with 2 blue tube lamps each that attract flies and electrocute them. Appliances that are used in professional kitchens and in farm stables, they are not so nice in a beautiful interior, but it works, and how!! The only disadvantage is that the dogs are shocked at every electrocution. If I had to choose between being shocked a few times or terrorized by flies I would now my choice, they will soon know also.
While we are terribly busy here the adoptions and of course the returns are bravely going on in Belgium. The regional managers are working around the clock, and so is Hof Rosa Canina. One dog must leave because they have ordered a pedigree kitten… two females because they no longer can support them. Another is returned after only 2 weeks adoption, after having been a week or more under care of the owner on sickness leave. During the first and/or the second day at home alone she has urinated umpteenth time in the house, had jumped on the cooking island, chewed at the curtains etc…The owner said he had not paid a high amount of money for his house to tolerate this and he had no intention to tolerate this for a long time and clean up every day when coming home etc.. etc…I would not call it patience, let alone love and understanding for these poor animals…
Would it help if they would see in what condition the dogs arrive here, how badly they are terrorized and abused?? Would it help if those who complain on the adoption photos about a supposed wound or crooked ear would see this?? Would it help if they would see the emaciated skeletons of which we sometimes do not know how to take them?? Would it help if they would see the wounds of 20 cm diameter swarming with maggots and smell it?? Would it help if they would see the legs with open fractures?? Would it help if they would see the suffering, the sorrow, the raw misery?? Would it help if they would see where the dogs come from, what they have overcome, how much courage they had, their fight for survival?? I do not know, and it hurts me so much, and not only me but all co-workers because these noble tortured and exploited animals deserve the best love and care a human can give them. Unfortunately, there are always people who think differently…