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Spain update May 2021 - Sun25april

Posted on
12 May 2021



Sunday 25th April 2021

After a week of hard work in the “puppy crèche” and the “borzoi residence” Dirk went to the airport yesterday to pick up Roel who arrived on crutches because the tendons in his feet were inflamed. Incredible Dirk said when he called me from Barracas telling that they left in the direction of Casa Belgica. You are limping and now Roel is on crutches, it is a nice peloton he added, and he sighed, where does that go?... Anyway, after his arrival and welcome by the “troops” Roel ate with great taste the sandwich that I prepared, and he informed us about his misfortune… Thereafter we limped in Dirk’s company together downstairs to look at the renovated clinic and the puppies. Your godchildren, Dirk said to Roel, with agreement of his wife he had appointed him godfather of the 7 dwarfs. After having met his brand-new godchildren, we limped further to meet the borzoi clan. After the amazement about the works, the noble ladies, and the usual photos it started raining and we hurried upstairs where our motley crew welcomed us as if we had been away for 2 days. In the evening we had the usual aperitif, and we had my even more traditional succulent spaghetti which after all these years was still an insurance for a safe trip.


This morning Dirk was already in the shower at 7:00h, as usual he was suffering from “departure fever”, a fever that is contagious for everybody. While he was taking a shower, I was well in time with the preparation of the lunch packages for the drivers and the dogs were already at top speed in terms of stress.  It is all Dirk’s fault… The fever was widespread, also the borzois were nervous and downstairs Vali was already taking care of the puppies. Through all that busy activity Roel had no choice but to get up and fifteen minutes later we were having breakfast. As always Dirk did not take the time to eat properly and walked on and off outside. Shortly after him Roel followed him outside on his crutches. The jeep was driven outside, the van was dropped in front of the fence to let Marie-Carmen drive in and to facilitate the loading etc…etc…  Routine in fact and everything was well in time with the general in front of his troops… I was left behind in the kitchen with the dogs and looked with a tightened throat at Eusebio and Elvis.  Especially Elvis worried me, how would he deal with the loading and the goodbye?  Obviously, the fever had also spread to Marie-Carmen, she was half an hour earlier than planned when she arrived with Pili and the first travelers.


Fortunately, the borzoi ladies Fafa, Fifi, Fufu and Fofo and our Hyppolythe, Tito, Eusebio, and Elvis, who had trusted me completely and went on board willingly, were just loaded. Now it was real, especially for Eusebio because he was adopted and would be taken along by his new family tomorrow. It was 9:00h when all were on board and Marie-Carmen and Pili left.  While Dirk and Roel got their luggage, I was encouraging Eusebio and I could hardly imagine that between now and a few minutes they would be gone.  Another chapter that was closed.  I kept myself strong and asked Roel to ask his wife Kris, regional manager of Eusebio’s new family, to follow him closely and I said to dirk that he should tell Els, that if it would not work with Eusebio, he had to bring him back to Spain. When both gentlemen assured me that they understood the message and would pass it on I said goodbye and 10 minutes later I was left alone with our dogs and Astrid who was looking for her mother and sisters. When I called her, she leaned against me, she looked at me not understanding and she wined softly.  I understood her grief and let my tears flow… I was still standing with Astrid against me when the first drops fell, and I mumbled to myself that even heaven was also grieving. During the whole day it was pouring rain nevertheless Astrid continued looking for her disappeared family… 


Meanwhile Dirk and Roel were breaking records.  Burgos, Bidart, Poitiers, there was not much, or no traffic and they could continue without rain.  I was just in bed when they arrived 1700 km further north, in Doornik where they “delivered” at 1:00h the females for sterilization at Marianne’s place. An hour later they were in Hof Rosa Canina with the gentlemen and at 3:00h they were in bed. When Dirk called at 8:30h he was already taking the cloths out of the van and I had the opportunity to insist … on Eusebio and Elvis once more. From Eusebio I wanted a photo with the adoption family and Els who took along Elvis must keep me informed and send a photo etc…etc… Dirk said yes, yes, and of course and promised to do what I asked and to forget nothing. About an hour later the photo from Eusebio with his new family arrived, he was posing proudly next to the galgo of the house and looked straight into the lens. Another hour later I received a mail message annex photo from Els.  Elvis did well, he will be fine she wrote.  It was not fair she said to entrust Elvis to her because she instantly fell in love… with such a beautiful and good boy and she told me that she always had a soft spot for big black males…



Saturday 1st May 2021

Today is Labor Day, especially for Dirk and the co-workers who at this moment are in Belgium preparing the adoption day of the females that were picked up baby proof at Marianne’s place yesterday. Again, a big thank you for Marianne and Anne who again helped and not to forget Marianne’s regular team who are always ready…  In Casa Belgica there was hard work too because Flavie and her 7 puppies are demanding every day my and Vali’s entire attention.  Every few hours they get puppy food to save their mom and their residence is cleaned and changed, quite an undertaking.  The pee cloths are changed continuously, round the clock the 7 dwarfs produce abundant heaps and urine, sh.. is money, isn’t it? Although in this case… It starts in the morning between 7 and 7:30h and it stops only around 22:00-22:30h, or later… for the laundry machine and the driers that run 24 hours a day it never stops.  And all this in bad weather, since the drivers left not one single day has passed without pouring rain and wind which is not conducive for acclimatization of Leopold’s fiancé. Although it must be said that Astrid is behaving like royalty, a little shy but soft, kind, modest and clean, in fact a dream bride for Leopold and a dream “daughter-in-law” for us. Anyway, I will be glad when tomorrow evening Dirk will arrive on the driveway with co-driver Luc d’Artagnan because it has been a difficult week and I am exhausted.  At this moment I cross my fingers in Casa Belgica for a smooth adoption day and happy adopters, galgos and co-workers.  When all this is over Dirk will call me.  Meanwhile he has called me around 16:30h and reassured me that everything was perfect, everybody was happy and that he was already home, he prepared his suitcase and that everything is ready for tomorrow and that he will leave now to pick up Luc at the train station. I am happy with the news of the adoption day, even happier with the photos from Eusebio and his new family amongst them a couple of rabbits!! And immensely happy with the news that Els decided to adopt Elvis.



Tuesday 4th May 2021

After Dirk and Luc left as planned on Sunday at 5:00h with Tito and Hyppolythe on board I called around 6:00h as usual to know if everything was okay but I did not get a reply. Dirk’s telephone rang on “tuut”, nothing to worry about I thought it happened every now and then. I tried to sleep again but in vain.  There was a slight worry in my head after I called a second time with the same result.  I got up and tried once more with no result. No matter how silly it was I tried subsequently all telephone devices in Casa Belgica maybe there was a problem with our connection. Anyhow all without result.  Finally, I saw already a worst-case scenario and I called Yolanda worried at 8:00h, I told her that I could not reach the drivers and that I was worried and asked if she could call Luc. Ten minutes later she called that everything was OK, and that Dirk was going to call me when they changed seats. When the phone rang, and I heard Dirk explaining that the phones and the GPS were out when they crossed the border a 1000kg weight fell of my shoulders. After 25 years I am still afraid that something might happen, I travelled along many years and I have been through a lot and I have been terrified often, so…



Dirk reassured me that there was little traffic, they advanced well in the direction of Spain and I did not have to worry.  Obviously, they were pushed by the wind because at 15:30h I received a call that they passed the Spanish order and 6 hours later they drove onto the Casa Belgica driveway with the same result as usual.  A happy reunion for men and animal… When the van was unloaded, sigh…we continued chatting until midnight and then we went to bed.  Astrid who had been alone with me in the past week did not dare to leave her place between the sofa and the coffee table and was completely confused.  The next day Dirk took Luc d’Artagnan along to proudly show the work at the renovated clinic and outbuildings and finally to show Flavie and her offspring. At noon we went to Xanadu for lunch where it was very crowded due to the feast of the Madrid community, how could we know… Anyway, after the meal which meanwhile had become a kind of tradition for “exhausted” drivers we drove back home and that evening we went to bed earlier than usual because it would become a short night. Truly short, this morning Dirk and d’Artagnan got up at 5:00h and 20 minutes later they left to the airport. An hour later when Dirk was back we drove to Xanadu and Hypercor, it is our shopping day today…bah… Anyhow it is a must our fridges are empty and the cleaning and laundry products and the special puppy food and pasta for the daily warm supper for the dogs  as well as the bread and vegetables are gone, everything is gone. When we drive home it is 20°C and the sun is shining, ideal weather to take Flavie and her children upstairs and to move them to the veranda, to everyone’s relief.  Especially for Flavie who after having met our dogs walks into the kitchen and immediately tests the baskets and the sofas.  Our dogs are watching, and they must think again another one and sigh deeply just like us… Later I will make an appointment for Flavie and Astrid with Dr. De Frutos, a matter of keeping ourselves busy, isn’t it?...

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