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Spain update sept 2020 - Tue22sept

Posted on
30 September 2020





Tuesday 22nd September 2020

On Monday I called my friend Chris (Carry Goossens’ wife with whom I go out for years every two months to have a meal) that I normally would be operated the next day but that due to Corona and code red our meeting would be postponed indefinitely. Today I was reminded again by an adopter that without the lockdown I would have been under surgery, I was surprised that people had thought of that… Honestly I had not realized that today it was the 22nd  and also forgot that on the 18th September it was our 16th wedding anniversary when Roel woke us up at 7 hours in the morning with a movie in which he showed his ballerina talents with congratulations, the first of many… I had too much to worry about since Dirk’s return it had rained and thundered almost all days and nights.  It meant that at night we had to endure the barking and howling of all scared “outsiders” and there are many in Calypo (amongst them the new ones from next door). If that was not sufficient every morning before dawn rain or shine, there was shooting much to the dismay of our scared dog children (except Leopold who is never worried). If the wind was right, we even heard in the distance the barking of the alarmed dogs in the shelter. 


What a dog life, and it had yet to begin. Maybe code red could prohibit hunting, at least there would be something positive about it.  Meanwhile during the day our dogs were aware of no harm and were scattered over Casa Belgica in donuts, sofas, and couches carelessly napping and yawning with boredom. Another way of dog life… Today is the first dry day and the sun tries to come out of the clouds. Anyhow it will not shine for everyone because on Thursday we have an appointment with Dr. De Frutos for a dog with a deformed leg, an old fracture… Before that happens, we put the dogs’ baskets outside in the morning, Dirk is trimming our palms and then he continues the magazine and the website tasks etc… etc…  I start a new update and relax by watching for the umpteenth time our co-workers performing the Jerusalema dance after the adoption day… Every time I must laugh, and I feel happy, and I also become happy from the fact that people let their creativity run at full speed to make up for the loss of the warmest week.  Thank you so much.


Thursday 24th September 2020

We just returned “wet” from Talavera where we had an appointment at 9:00h with Dr. De Frutos for “Conchita”, a dumped young galgo lady whom Dirk picked up at the shelter this morning at 7:30h. Despite the pain in her deformed hanging hind leg she turned out to be a cheerful dog who during the whole trip looked with interest to the scenery and the raindrops.  Fortunately, we must not stand in line for the clinic and much to my relief we could enter immediately. Because stand up for a while is not evident, I could even sit down which is a luxury nowadays in the almost “chair less” waiting room. In the meantime, Dr. De Frutos examined the leg and his immediate conclusion was that the tendon was gone. Because we did not know her history and not even knew whether she was chipped Dr. De Frutos checked her and it turned out that she was still on the galguero’s name who dropped her off at the shelter and that her name was Marinera. Could it be any uglier than Cochita? Indeed… 


As expected, X-rays of her leg under anesthesia were needed so that Dr. De Frutos could have an impression of the size of the injury and to make a correct diagnosis. The diagnosis we heard half an hour later and it was not the least.  Before she was dumped there had been some patching up (or better some tinkering) at the severed leg of which the bone showed several holes and the tendon and the muscle are almost non-existent.  Thus, the tendon as well as the muscle had to be built up again with a special net after which the leg had to be stabilized for 6 weeks with an external frame.  My face spoke volumes, before I could say something Dr. De Frutos said “I know you hate external frames” and he added that it was the only solution for the surgery of which he could not guarantee the success because we did not know how old the injury was. There was a second possibility where the leg would be completely fixed but with less chance of success. 


While Coco, the name I give her is more chic..., was still anesthetized I had to decide her fate and so I said to Dr. De Frutos that he had to do whatever it takes to help her, if not her future in terms of mobility, pain and adoption would not look bright and she was still so young. We agreed that the operation would be performed tomorrow, Dr. De Frutos would keep us informed and without notice to the contrary we would pick her up on Saturday at 11:30h. And so, we drove back to Calypo in the rain without her and underway we thought that we would have to turn our wallet inside out and if needed wring it out for the last Euro to pay for the operation.  Everything for the dogs, so it will be, in this case for Coco who probably will be the first in a range because the hunting season has yet to begin. If only we could win the lottery I said to Dirk for the umpteenth time.  When we were back home Dirk unloaded the rest of the donated food in the jeep and we drove together to the shelter much to our dogs’ frustration who barely recovered from their welcoming ceremony. Before I got into the car, I promised them that we would be back immediately… 



Saturday 26th September 2020

At 9:30h we leave with Pistorius on board to Talavera to get Coco and at the same time have our grumbler checked who had more problems with his pawless leg lately. We want to know what the reason is for his nocturnal wandering around and wining. It is no pleasure for the ear nor a blessing for our nocturnal rest.  When we arrive in the clinic a happily wagging Coco is let out by one of the assistants under Dr. De Frutos’ critical eye. The “Eiffel tower” around her operated leg apparently is not bothering her too much and the doctor is satisfied.  We are surprised that she is already so mobile… When Dr. De Frutos sees us, he raises his thumb and beckons us inside. Even though Coco has only seen us one day she is very enthusiastic and shows her displeasure when she must sit in the back and must make place for Pistorius’ examination.


For safety reasons we have put a muzzle on our moody grumbler, even though he is with us since years he has not yet forgotten his past and his long agony and does not trust anyone. Hence, he is already responding when you only point at the leg with which he many years ago fell into a trap.  A trap out of which he broke free and thereafter walked around for months with a gruesome wound dragging a piece of his ripped-off foot behind him.  After he was “caught” by a couple of which he has bitten the man out of pain and fear he was brought to us with a temporary bandage.  Anne who was in Spain at that moment has operated him and reconstructed his stump as “comfortable as possible”.  Because he had no intention to leave us, he stayed and I named him Pistorius, yes, that Pistorius…


After Dr. De Frutos examined him there are not many options left.  For an advanced operation, during which a spindle is placed in the bone to which later a prosthetic can be attached, he is too old and too fragile.  The only option is an amputation or pain relief, what we are doing now. After having considered and explained all possibilities Dr. De Frutos advises to leave it that way, if it gets worse, we can still consider the best possible operation or treatment.  After Coco is taken care of Pistorius is hopping relieved in the company of Dr. De Frutos and the assistant to “his” familiar van and jumps happily in his box.  Coco is already installed and is lying down at ease, as if it was her umpteenth trip. She is clearly a woman of the world, what else do you expect with such a name? …