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Spain update oct 2020 - Tue13oct

Posted on
26 October 2020

 

 

Tuesday 13th October 2020

After last week’s rains and thunderstorms summer is back.  In fact, only during the day, at night it is cold and till 10:00h in the morning it is barely 12° to 14 °C.  Once the sun comes out the temperature is following and at noon it is just below 30°C. Anyway, everything points to it that these are the last convulsions of the summer. Nevertheless, it is heavenly for our dogs to lie down in the warm sunrays while it is still possible because soon resting will be over. Ahead of us there will be times that will make us as well as them restless and scared because together with the Spanish national holiday yesterday the hunting season has started according to adopters who moved to Spain and are living in their new habitat since 2 days. They are living in a rural area and at their first walks they were already confronted with galgueros with stacked galgos in their cars… Stacked on top of each other, in the trunk like sardines in a can, running for their life attached behind cars, I have seen it all and it is not a nice view, a view that is burned onto the retina and disturbs your dreams..

A view that is announcing the galgo genocide that is following every year, with the knowledge of a blind watching government hundreds of thousands of greyhounds are killed in the most gruesome way. But we are aware of that already and all we can do is to take care of the outcasts and fractured ones.  Coco is already under our care and she is doing well considering the circumstances and since yesterday she has a fellow sufferer, who was dumped and fortunately walked into someone’s fence who informed Las Nieves. And that on the national holiday… Marie-Carmen, who is feeling better now, received a phone call and then she called us. Last night when the temperature had cooled down considerably, she brought us, straight from the street, a skinny light-grey brindled female with beautiful eyes.  After our dogs’ approval she went hiding in fear in the garden. Only around 22:00h I could touch her, and then Dirk succeeded to bring her to the kitchen.

 

As always, our dogs were generous and understanding and I am almost certain that they reassured her. Maleficia even offered her basket and that is a big achievement…  After an hour she lay down but every time we looked into the kitchen, she was shocked and left the unfamiliar comfortable thing she was lying in.  Finally, she fell asleep tired and we could also go to bed.  When we got up this morning she was still lying in the same place and there was not a single pee in the kitchen…  Normally the shelter people will pick her up but neither Dirk nor I can let her go, my god, we are softies, and it is even getting worse...  Besides, I have already given her a name, Belladonna, Bella in short, thus… Anyway, I do not know if it will be feasible because meanwhile Roel is underway to Spain to leave tomorrow with Dirk and 35 galgos to Belgium and consequently I will be left behind alone with our 10 dogs and Coco and Bella. While he is waiting for his flight Roel has sent photos of an unreal empty airport, which seems images out of a science fiction movie, abnormal times…  Later, when Roel arrives we switch back to normal, Dirk and his co-driver switch to their departure modus, and I to spaghetti modus…

  

Dirk who is following closely the trajectory and the progress of Roel’s plane leaves around 14:00h to the airport and 2 hours later he delivers Roel intact and ready in Casa Belgica where the dogs and I are welcoming him warmly.  Especially Leopold is doing his best and shows an example of his jumping capacities when he towers above Roel’s head during his welcome greetings…  After he survived the welcome procedure he goes to look in his new bedroom that is now to the left instead of to the right and instead of 3 beds there are now only 2 beds because during my uninterrupted corona asylum I decided to move to the main bedroom.  Like most of the gentlemen co-drivers he thinks it is all fine and after having put his luggage down he is eating with gusto the “smos” (sandwich) that I prepared for him. Thereafter they go in departure modus till aperitif time. When this is finalized, and Dirk has found peace it is time for my obligatory traditional and succulent spaghetti with “de slimste mens” (tv program) for dessert.

Wednesday 14th October 2020

The day starts badly, in fact good because we are ready on time, but the transportation of the dogs is too slow.  While Marie-Carmen is waiting in Casa Belgica Diana and Pili go get the dogs in the shelter but it is not fast enough, there is too much lingering and talking and Dirk worries because departure hour is approaching and is exceeding… At last they leave almost an hour later… Like previous time I am left alone, this time with 12 dogs, luckily for only 5 days instead of 10 last time.  At 13:43h Dirk calls for the third time since they left!! After the too long run-out loading procedure and the lost time this morning the police in anonymous cars stopped them to the irritation of the drivers to inform them that the back door was open and Dirk had to explain that it was necessary for air circulation and that is was safe…Now the highway past Burgos is closed!! The police made them turn around 16 km and now they are in a traffic jam to drive onto the national road. I may hope that everything normalizes as soon as possible, such situations are not improving my husband’s peace of mind, fortunately Roel is a catalyst… The misery continues, after a cheerful phone call telling that they just crossed the French border and are in Bidart I receive a call that at 18:40h they are in Cestas in a double traffic jam.  The reason:  4 trucks collided. They have been standing still for 15 minutes, the dogs get restless and during our conversation the fire brigade and police are making their way to the accident through the traffic jumble… Half an hour they are still not moving… At 21:00h still.  Now the dogs have been loaded 9 hours ago. They are still behaving, and quiet Dirk says. It is an advantage that they are used to long trips and in less comfortable circumstances than in the van.  Anyway, I worry more and more, and I light a candle, if it does not help it does not harm my late grandmother said…

 

 

Murphy’s law keeps haunting them, in Lille there was a burning car wreck along the highway and finally it was 6:00h when they arrived at Marianne’s to unload the females. This is Roel’s story when after many anxious hours and a sleepless night I call the drivers with a scared heart.  A night in which I walked around in my sleeping shirt at a temperature of 3°C bare footed because Bella, our new guest, did not dare to enter and while doing this she struggled over a step.  A night in which our growling Pistorius was constantly whining and Tito at first did not stay in the living room because Dirk, his “sofa mate”, was not there. But then he changed his mind in the middle of the night and was barking aggrieved because he wanted to come in anyway. A night in which Leopold ran in and out 10 times, Coco decided to read magazines and the rest of the group was impatient due to “cold feet” because I left the door open for Bella… It was terribly tiring but it was “peanuts” compared to what was happening more than thousand km farther.  The candle that I lit for St. Tropez was not helpful. It was not able to reverse the situation and to fool the dogs who through my agitation knew there was something wrong…

 

Anyhow everybody was unharmed, in the meantime Dirk called at 9:00h informing me that he was on his way to De Pinte and that everybody had arrived safely and that the dogs were unloaded and had food and drinks and are installed in their sleeping places. For him there will be not much time to sleep… At 9:30h he has an appointment at the bank, then he returns to Hof Rosa Canina to clean the van and at noon he is expected in the garage to have the winter tires put on the van. When I remind him that last night he said “I do not want to experience this twice or I quit” he denies, he has long forgotten already… Neither Roel does remember anything anymore. While Dirk is cleaning the van and Christel and Kris are taking care of the dogs, he is sleeping off his fatigue in his camper and I am sure that last night’s “trouble” will not keep him awake and certainly will not make him hesitate to take up his task as co-driver again when we ask him.  Men… sometimes they deserve our admiration. Meanwhile in Kain Marianne will have started the sterilization of the galgo ladies, which also deserves our admiration….

 

Saturday 17th October 2020

Yesterday a mini-adoption day was organized for 7 out of the 35 lucky ones and today the remaining dogs can go home… Thereafter Dirk, “the tireless” returned home and prepared the van for departure. On Sunday he drives back with Koen Falise who will undergo his fire baptism… This morning he left early to Kain to pick up the sterilized females at Marianne’s and then he hurries back to Hof Rosa Canina where the adoption day starts at 10:00h for the remaining 28 elected ones.  Apart from the fact that this time the Jerusalema will not be danced I suppose that all goes well. After the phone call I received before he left Marianne, I do not hear anything anymore from Dirk and my last mail dates from yesterday evening… Because I know by experience that it is inconvenient to receive phone calls during the adoption day, I do not call him and my anxiety and bad temper is increasing slowly… I look at my pc about 50 times, but nothing enters…

 

 

When Dirk finally calls asking if I received the video and the photos, I reply displeased “NO!!”. As usual he replies much to my irritation and even before I finished talking, with the typical “THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!”, it irritates me… After discussion of yes and no and commands what to check and which “buttons” to push on my pc I tell him to forget it and ask how the adoption day went. It went well, everybody was happy, adopters brought presents, letters, and cards for me etc… etc… Furthermore, everybody missed me etc… Currently they are waiting for the last adopter during the after-meeting together. Then he goes to De Pinte and promises that he will go to bed early tonight because tomorrow he has to get up at 4:00h. Koen Falise who will be co-driver for the first time will come to De Pinte at 4:45h and then they will leave to drive to Madrid in one go and subsequently to Casa Belgica…

Sunday 18th October 2020

It is 9:00h when I receive my first phone call telling me that they already passed Paris and are on the “direct” to Bordeaux.  The calls continue to enter with the regularity of the clock to keep me informed of their progress.  Earlier than expected I get the news that they passed Bordeaux and are on the way to the border… 2 hours later close to Burgos and after a more than 1600 km drive they arrive at 8:45h on the Casa Belgica driveway and are overrun by the dogs.  Thereafter it is time for a well-deserved late aperitif and tapas. Koen undergoes Casa Belgica, its residents and everything that goes with it. Tomorrow the most impressive awaits him, as a starter a tour of Casa Belgica and as the “main dish” a visit to he shelter.  We will see how he copes with it…

Monday 19th October 2020

After a good night and a nice breakfast, a tour of Casa Belgica and a cozy lunch Koen left with Dirk to the shelter from which he an hour and a half later returned thoughtful and quieter than normal.  During the obligatory spaghetti supper that every newcomer must endure he said several times that the visit had left an impression that was slowly processed. We know that from experience… After conversations about the past and the present Koen went to bed because the next day Dirk had to bring him to the airport already at 6:00h.  In the afternoon we received an email from Koen in which he told us that only on the plane he felt the effect of what he had been through...