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Spain update March 2021 - Tue09march

Posted on
26 March 2021



On to spring of 2021

Tuesday 9th March 2021

In the meantime, after Koen’s premature departure we went for a check-up to Dr. De Frutos with Elvis and Leopold.  The first one to have his paw checked and although it was perfectly healed the owner literally pooped all over Dr. De Frutos when he showed the mobility of the operated hind leg to a new intern annex colleague. It was an embarrassing situation but what can be done besides washing Elvis’s buttocks and clean up the rest.  Leopold on the contrary let them look deeply into his ears without blinking whereafter no infection was found. Anyway, the ears need to be cleaned 1 x week with a product that regulates ear wax. After a few weeks we will have to return for a check-up.  Sofar…

When I asked Dr. De Frutos if he knew an orthopedic specialist for people who could check me out and order an MRI, he told me that at the corner of the street there is a medical Center where specialists are “consulting” a few times per week and that there was a particularly good ortho-neurosurgeon amongst them. At this moment, the center is open, and he offered to accompany me to make an appointment and translate for me. Although I have been plagued with severe pain for months and I did not know if it was my hip, my back or my knee or something else which limited me in my movements I was shocked by the fact that I was suddenly offered a possible consultation with a specialist and I was afraid to say no. After all the results could be sent to Belgium, I consoled myself and I meekly went along. 

The conversation with the receptionist who arranges the appointments was one to remember. The man was clearly startled when Dr. De Frutos told him that we are Belgians and that we did not speak Spanish very well. He emphasized that he could only speak Spanish and he did not know whether the specialist could speak English or French.  Anyway, I got an appointment for the 12th of March, and at the first hour. If that was confirmed Dr. De Frutos walked back to his clinic and we must handle the rest ourselves. When we said goodbye and drove back home, I said to Dirk that I had one thing in mind which was that I would not wait longer than an hour because knowing from Dr. De Frutos’ stories, when taking his daughters to the child specialist, that he sometimes must wait for hours.   Somehow, I hoped for the same so that I would have a reason to leave.

Friday 12th March 2021

Yesterday after we celebrated Dirk’s birthday and received via mail and FB many birthday wishes for which Dirk and I sincerely thank you, we are ready today to leave at 15:00h to Talavera where I have an appointment with doctor M who let us know via the reception that he could speak English.  I am lucky that I must not do my explanation in Spanish because that would be a problem… One obstacle already out of the way, in fact 2 because this morning our dilapidated garden house has been demolished, now the rest…  An hour later we present ourselves in the still empty medical center where we are welcomed by a medical secretary who like her colleague from last time tells us that she only speaks Spanish. This is evident when she asks our insurance, and she makes several phone calls to diverse persons mentioning every time my name and pass number as if she does not trust us. We keep talking interchangeably which starts making Dirk nervous.  Sigh. 


Fortunately, the English-speaking specialist arrives just in time and explains to the secretary that we wish to pay for the consultation and that we only want proof. Once this is finished, we can enter the doctor’s tiny practice.  During the consultation I explain shortly my problems.  He is listening with increasing amazement, he asks how many times I have been operated and finally asks to my horror the question I feared most, if I can take off my outerwear, shoes, and stockings. Not that I am so Puritan, but I do not see how I can discretely undress in that small cabin where there is barely place for a desk and an examination table plus two chairs and then get dressed again, and all this “in public”. This means Dirk and the doctor but anyhow I hate it.

After the examination he writes an illegible prescription for a Scan of my spine and X-rays of my left hip, my last real one… All the rest are protheses, 2 knees, my right hip, without even mentioning the kilos of iron to keep everything together. When I suggest that specialists in Belgium arrange for an appointment for such examinations, he replies that we must contact ourselves the hospital that he recommended and that after the examination we must make again an appointment with him.  I can already imagine how this will happen; how should we get that explained? … When I call the recommended hospital in the afternoon my fears come true. The receptionist hears the thunder in Cologne and when I ask if he speaks English or French, but he does not understand anything of, I must admit, my best acceptable Spanish explanation…

I realize there is no alternative than to ask Marie-Carmen to make the appointment.  Although she is Spanish it is difficult for her to explain to the man that we are Belgians and not Bulgarians as he thinks… What do we want an appointment for?? Nobody can read exactly the doctor’s prescription and that does not help the progress of the conversation.  After I repeatedly confirmed that it is for a scan of my “columna” (spine) and an X-ray of my “cadera izquierda” (left hip) Marie-Carmen finally gets an appointment for Tuesday the 30th of March at 12:00h.  I cannot go earlier because Dirk will leave on Sunday with Dirk Buffalo and the dogs to Belgium for the adoption days and he will not be back until Sunday the 28th of March with co-driver Koen Falise. Although he must take Koen to the airport on Tuesday, we accept the appointment because it took a lot of effort to get it.

Thursday 18th March 2021

Apart from the fact that I am overwhelmed with the craziest adoption requests from not always consistent candidates that I do not even forward to the regional managers, sometimes after months, or years dogs are returned for all kinds of excuses - amongst them one was returned even after a couple of days because she was too quiet and too nice - the waiting list to dump galgos is growing steadily. Fortunately, for the moment there are none with fractured paws or other injuries.  Let us hope that it stays that way because when Dirk is in Belgium next week, I cannot go to Dr. De Frutos for examinations. One thing is certain, from the moment Dirk has left galgueros are queuing at the gate to dump their galgos and many more arrive than the ones who have left and I try not to think that some of them have fractures or worse. What I also fear is the message that our “old” van or better the “back up van” is still not repaired and the spare part that has been installed after revision must be returned to Iveco.  Moreover, the wall of the clinic is about to collapse after the snowstorm and must be cut down and water has entered the electrical lines all of which need to be replaced.


In short, the costs continue to pile up and we have no income and hence it is logical that we are worried about the future, we are at the bottom of our savings.  Bottom or not, everything must be paid, medication, castrations, sterilizations, blood tests, vaccinations, deworming, chips, food and not to forget the orthopedic operations, etc…  Everything must go on, nothing can be postponed, these are animals in distress. One should worry about less.  There is more involved than most people dream in their worst nightmares. Anyway, obviously we were not the only ones to worry. Mrs. Wauters one of the adopters of the first hour called us last week telling that she followed with pain in the heart all our “misfortunes” via updates and FB and she decided to help us with a donation.  When I heard the amount of twice 10,000 Euro, I felt slightly dizzy, and I must check whether I heard it correctly… Dirk looked equally incredulous and more incredulous when 2 days later the amount was on the GINB account.  Finally breathing room, he said.  We hardly could believe that something happened to us.  Although, when I think of what has been achieved by adopters to surpass the warmest week, I feel humble and grateful for the support of those who believe in GINB, and I thank all of you very much on behalf of the dogs.



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