Spain update oktober 2021 - Fri08okt
Friday the 8th of October 2021
Today at 11:00h we have an appointment with the Dutch lawyer who was handling the regularization of the building problems with which the seller of Casa Belgica willingly and/or unknowingly has burdened us. Problems that are only now behind us and for which we must fetch personally the “evidence” today. To make sure to be in time we leave at 9:00h in the direction of Madrid that is only reachable via huge traffic jams due to gigantic construction works at the entrance of the city. It is nerve-wracking especially when you must be in time somewhere. We did not know that our lawyer Ilse-Marie would be delayed with 2 hours to reach her office in the Madrid center due to a strike of train conductors. Anyway, while waiting in the office building that is situated on the 7th floor of a beautiful building, we have a magnificent view over the city and until Ilse-Marie enters out of breath we are treated by the personnel with coffee. After the warm greeting she gives us a short report about the situation and hands over the important documents that finally must free us from headaches. Once this is behind us, we chat a long time, she shows us photos of her “new” dog and we show photos of the puppies in Casa Belgica etc... etc... After an hour and a half, we say goodbye with the promise that we will stay in contact, and we tell her that she is always welcome in Casa Belgica.
When we get back outside Dirk says that there is a message from Kris Saenen telling that there are problems with Fausto!!! “MY TOTO” I ask surprised. Toto with the shoulder injury due to a severe impact (read slap or kick). Toto of whom I thought that he was adopted for life. Toto who was adopted by an adopter whom I have known for about 15 years and who adopted already a GINB galgo. Toto of whom I told that despite his injury he was active and playful, and a healthy rascal. Only positive attitudes the adopter found as there should be a little action in a puppy…Toto of whom the adopters thought that he was so smart and cool is now giving problems??? I am so stunned that I do not know whether we must call Kris, or she must call us on the busy boulevard where we are waiting for a taxi. Anyway, when I have her at the phone it appears that the adopters find it too burdensome for their old dog who fell in the past days and was lying in the garage on her belly. Kris is emphasizing the word garage and says that they plan to give up Fausto because he would be guilty of this incident. I cannot believe it, and, in my mind, I see the young man with the greased hair and the American car from long ago who is now married with child or children and who convinced me to adopt Toto despite his injury and the fact that most probably he will need an operation at the age of 1 year, an operation that GINB would pay for.
Before I finish my call with Kris, I urge her to let the adopter know that he must call me and meanwhile I blame myself for doing something that I would normally not do but out of pure sentiment and conviction that Toto could not be in a better place but much to my regret, I did it. I was so sure of Toto’s future that I sent all X-rays of his shoulder to their veterinarian and provided the necessary medication. And now this. I am very disappointed, and I could hit myself. Not much later this becomes reality when we get into a taxi whose driver, like most of the Madrid drivers, missed his calling as a formula 1 pilot. When he navigates through the busy traffic whilst accelerating and braking to our destination and unexpectedly slammed the brakes it goes wrong, and Dirk and I are catapulted by force to the front. The separation screen with the driver as well as Dirk and I are the victims!! A bad exercise for my back I moan to Dirk who is asking concerned if I hurt myself. Indeed. The pain goes through my body, and he asks me if I got crazy to take such risks. Apparently so. Because I was talking about Toto neither Dirk nor I saw the disaster coming and I was not armed against the impact. In fact, no hands ahead and no seat belt… Even though all my bones and muscles are screaming I cannot get Toto out of my head, and I can hardly hold my tears and bite the pain and not only the pain from the impact….
Saturday the 9th of October 2021
After a sleepless night with a couple of pain killers I receive at 9:00h a phone call from Toto’s adopter who starts his speech with excuses for the early call and blah blah. Because I have pain everywhere I absolutely do not feel to have an endless conversation and I interrupt him to tell him how disappointed I am and that I find it not very useful to listen to the fallacies why Toto will be returned. When I ask him were his dogs are staying, he replies that they stay in the garage when they are not at home. The garage I reply cynically, and I add that I did not give Toto to him to spend half of his life in the garage and add that his older dog will still fall often in his garage, even without Toto. I end the conversation with the message that we will call him when and where he can “dump” Toto. I am so angry and feel so miserable that I wonder how long I can and will continue this comedy. In the evening Toto is dropped off at Yolanda who offered to take him, she was in Spain when we took Toto and Fiona to Casa Belgica after a visit to the shelter and she feels involved in his fate. On the photos that she sends us he looks orphaned and lost. Like Kris Saenen notices it is the 5th place where he stays since his birth. After the galguero gave him his shoulder injury he was dumped in Las Nieves, then we took him to Casa Belgica, thereafter he was adopted by his enthusiastic new owners and now he ends up with Yolanda. What is next? Like Dirk already said, after my operation we can take him back to Spain. Unless half a saint would offer to adopt him. Although, these so-called saints are sometimes disguised, it was evident from Toto’s adoption, an adoption that lasted barely 2 weeks…
Hunting, exploitation, and cruel entertainment at the detriment of….
Saturday the 19th of October 2021
In the world “World Animal Day” was commemorated here and there with a single mention, a photo, and an article, that was it. In Belgium Els Lernout, GINB regional manager for Brabant went to a senior residence with a few of her adopters and their dogs to “brighten up” the residents and to make them aware of the special day. As I already mentioned Spain celebrated that happy day with the opening of the big game hunting season, i.e., rabbits, wild boars, and others because the rest of the year they can “only” hunt poultry or whatever similar. In fact, a big party for the hunters who since that date are not letting hop by any rabbit or hare without chasing it with their skinny galgos who must run for their life, indeed. If not, the disposable fast runners will be punished with a slow and painful death and “fresh skeletons” are used who in turn try to escape death.
Since the 4th of October gun shots are heard in the fields from sunrise to sunset and there is fun shooting at everything that moves. Also, this morning. We never get used and every year again I am very annoyed by these horrible massacres and exploitations of which we in Casa Belgica know the results all too well. While the shots are still ringing out and the farmers drive to their fields on their tractor, big Dirk and Koen Falise started In Belgium distributing Kevin Steyl’s 300 portions of delicious and successful sauces that Kevin and his team had prepared like last year for the “Respect the galgo” action. In De Panne Martine, Dirk B., Katrien and Marleen and Vincent are representing GINB on the esplanade Leopold 1 during the “Kwispel” (wagging tail) festival. Here in Casa Belgica Dirk is climbing on the roof of the clinic to repair the blue wall before repainting it, the restoration of the logo and the stars will be done by me. You are crazy, Dirk says, and he asks if perhaps I do not trust him. We will see I reply carefully, and I look at the incoming photos from Belgium. Meanwhile the puppies are watching attentively the works and giving comments. While I keep an eye on them, I think that it is only 2 weeks before Roel, co-driver on duty, will arrive and that they will leave on an adventure accompanied by about 30 adults on the way to a new life. It will go fast…
Tuesday the 22nd of October 2021
I had no reason not to trust Dirk because on Sunday he painted in the burning autumn sun with success and know-how the wall in bright blue and with precision he preserved “my” “logo and stars” that must be refreshed with silver and gold after a second coat of blue. Unfortunately, in the evening he got severe headaches and my usual Sunday pasta with tomato sauce did not digest well in his stomach. After a miserable evening he must vomit during half of the night and was stuck in bed yesterday until the eve. When he got up and had a toast and some yoghurt, he installed himself in the sofa for the news, which is as far as I am concerned always the same, and he looked at the messages on his cell phone. After a few minutes he showed his phone to me and he said significantly the prophetic words “read this”. After I had read the message a couple of times to make sure that I was not wrong I had tears in my eyes and Dirk asked: and happy now??? I asked him to give me Yolanda’s number and went to the bedroom because Dirk was sufficiently recovered to watch the “football news” and he called after me that d’Artagnan, Luc in fact, would also watch the news. Anyway, I could not wait to thank them for willing to adopt Toto, “my” Toto. I did not win the hoped for 220 Euro millions, but this was just as good, if not better… Toto could stay with Yolanda and Luc!!!!