Spain update March 2021 - Fri19Ma
Friday 19th March 2021
Today is the beginning of the end because in the afternoon Dirk Buffalo will arrive, co-driver on duty who worked his last day of work this week and his status is now retired and with his wife he will move soon to the seaside. Fortunately, both will remain active in the organization if not so, an admission in the psychiatry for me would be expected. Martine as well as Dirk are valued co-workers for us and their GINB colleagues and we can hardly miss them. Anyway, with the arrival of Dirk Buffalo I can start counting down: when they are back from the airport, they will go for lunch according to my little general’s plan, then they will install the new floor covering in the van and tonight they will eat my succulent spaghetti… Thereafter they will sleep two more times and then they are gone. But first when everything is done, we will take Buffalo tomorrow to Xanadu to celebrate his “retirement” in Casa Carmen. Then one more sleep and I will be left alone for 10 days with “only” 9 dogs. Just like last time Tito and Eusebio, our black panther, will travel along to Belgium where they will spend a week “on playing leave” at Aunt Christel’s place.
Anyway, it will not be vacation for me, being alone is something I look forward to reluctantly and with some fright. Something I also look forward to with fright is the fact that Dirk Buffalo during his stay here told me that Martine and he will unexpectedly move earlier than foreseen!! Earlier than foreseen means coming May!! Only one month and a half and Martine will be Katrien’s and Carine’s colleague in West Flanders and will be responsible for the coastal area… I was shocked when Dirk Buffalo informed me, and I felt a slight turbulence in my head when I realized that by that time, I must find 2 new regional managers for Martine’s East-Flanders section which is too big for one person. However, that meant that during Dirk’s absence a nerve-racking week was ahead of me and that the hunt for capable and motivated “regional ladies” was on…
Sunday 21st March 2021
While the gentlemen eat breakfast, I prepare the lunch packages for the drivers under great interest of our impatient dogs who are thinking, it is again that time, and they walk excited up and down the kitchen. Even after 20 years Dirk is still having departure fever that already started yesterday… and after his short breakfast he runs in and out nervously. Fortunately, Dirk Buffalo is very calm and a good opposite... Before Marie-Carmen arrives with the first load Tito and Eusebio are installed in their compartment. After insisting I can convince Dirk to also take Leopold along, in fact his 2 playmates are on board and in Hof Rosa Canina he can stretch his legs and run around because here Julian is still working in the clinic and must pass the dogs ten times per day with a wheelbarrow and material, so… Punctually at 8:30h the first dogs go on board of our new mode of transport. After the third ride the two gentlemen go on board and Marie-Carmen and Pili return home.
After a last look on the passengers I say goodbye to the two “Dirks” earlier than usual, it is barely 9:40h when under a pale morning sun and the budding blossoms of our old pear tree I wave them goodbye, and Vali closes the gate behind them. I wait for a while until the noise of the motor fades and then I let our dogs out. Anyway, they hear much better then I, they know too well that they again missed “the boat” and they walk back inside disappointed. To comfort them I throw 2 packs of “nic-nacs” and let them run around the still covered swimming pool. That the six gentlemen under the watchful eye of the two ladies are urinating enthusiastically against the fake hedge does not bother me if they are happy. For me, the waiting can start now… Meanwhile my first task is to inform everybody of Martine’s early move, first her current colleagues. Thereafter I can start to think about her replacement and who will be eligible. It is not an obvious job as good regional ladies are scarce, and it will be a memorable and nerve-racking quest.
Barely 2 hours later I receive a phone call from my husband informing that they are in Burgos, they have changed places and now they will have a coffee and a sandwich. He adds that it is cold and that in the Somosierra it was only 3°C. When he asks about the weather in Calypo I reply that we currently have 10°C warmer. So far, the weather information… Even though they were held up at the border by the customs, who wanted to see the dogs and one of the ladies calls her colleague/friend who loves the greyhounds and wants to have one because she knows the Spanish horror stories, they are ahead of schedule. Around 2:00h they arrive at Marianne’s place to unload the ladies and an hour and a half later the two Dirks are in bed at Hof Rosa Canina while the reception team, i.e., Kris, Christel and Roel are taking care of the travelers.
It is almost 8:00h when he tells me the story that I just wrote down and that he starts preparing the mini-adoption day for the 7 males. Before he hangs up, he adds that he just saw Leopold, Tito and Eusebio racing over the meadow and that meanwhile Leopold let himself down in the pond, I can imagine something. Before we finish, I ask him to make an appointment in the dog beauty salon on Saturday for Leopold. At 15:30h I receive a call on his way home. Everything went well, everybody was happy, the van has been cleaned already and is again ready for departure etc…etc… When he concludes and asks if the dogs have behaved, I reply convincingly “of course”. Although… they had some turbulences in their head because they were a little lost… after the departure of their mates they always are. The first night there are always struggles and quarrels, even though they have more space but of course they all want the same place. They are like children, my children…