Spain update Sept 2021 - Wed25aug
Wednesday 25th August 2021
I do not know if I will start with the good or the bad news. Let me start with the good news. Five minutes after I told Dirk yesterday that my last message regarding Toto on the answering machine of the candidate adopter, who already adopted several GINB galgos, did not get any reaction and thus I must find a solution for him etc... etc…, I received a phone call from the gentleman in question. The fact that at the time of my message they were travelling was the reason why he only now replied from his travel destination to tell me that they heard my message and that they go for it. They had called their veterinarian and decided to adopt Toto. It sounded like music in my ears, and I was over the moon. I assured him that I would send the X-rays of his shoulder to his veterinarian and added that until now there is nothing to be seen, and he is a very active, playful, and intelligent rascal. And at the age of 10 months GINB would keep their promise to finance the operation costs. Even though the night before my knee was failing with severe pain and I was less mobile I suddenly felt much better and again as strong as a hundred… Knowing that Toto could make the trip to Belgium together with his inseparable girlfriend Fiona and that he was adopted just like her was the most important, my knee would get better. I knew both adopters and I was sure that a loving and bright future was waiting for them. As for the bad news, last weekend a young blackbird was dying in the garden where autumn signs were already seen. After Dirk talked to the bird he could easily take it and we put it in a bench at the side of the house, with soft sand on the bottom, water and food, we also put branches with leaves in the bench so that it could hide and we installed it as “cozy” as possible. At night when Dirk went to look everything was still okay and it was sitting under the leaves, we were reassured. Despite all our efforts it was dead the next day and I felt guilty, we could not have done more Dirk comforted me. Anyway, its death was the beginning of several less pleasant events. Yesterday Marie-Carmen called telling that she received a phone call from a woman who wanted to give up a galga with 10 puppies!! What should she do? I told her about my fall with the consequence that Dirk and I realized that we could not go on like this because my condition went from bad to worse and that we booked flights to Belgium for the 5th of September and that all appointments with the neurosurgeon, the orthopedist etc... were made for the 6th and 7th September. Dirk would stay in De Pinte for 5 days and then return to Spain where Dirk Buffalo would arrive on the 14th of September to return as co-driver with Dirk and the dogs. Meanwhile I would stay alone in De Pinte for a week and then attend after more than a year and a half the adoption day on the 18th of September. Most of our dogs would stay in Casa Belgica under Vali’s care, only Barzois Leopold and Astrid would come along because Astrid is not behaving when I am not there. Sorry for Leopold as since Marianne could convince him to join her in the pool, he discovered his swimming talents, and I cannot do my daily aqua exercises without him claiming his swim.
In fact, we could not take the puppies immediately and we decided to put the mom and kids in quarantine and they can come when we will be back. The day after Marie-Carmen called again telling that the mom and what was left of her puppies had arrived. They were extremely skinny and in bad condition and the woman already had given away 4 poor souls… the 6 remaining were brindled and black, 2 males and 4 females. I did not feel good and told her that the next day she could pick up the puppy food and that I would come to visit the puppies, knee, or no knee while Dirk was angrily looking in my direction. Again puppies, what if you would need surgery and must stay away for a longer time Dirk complained, what then? I did not want to think about it yet, I had already enough headaches!!! The previous 2 litters, 12 puppies in total, with food and doctor’s bills included had consumed a sloppy 4200 euro of our budget and that is a mild calculation, but it is still 1000 euro more than the contribution of the adopters. Raising puppies is a very expensive and exhausting job, many more we cannot afford anymore, but so be it, when they come, they will be cherished. Besides it is not the only cost that we have, the trips Belgium-Spain and vice versa are also expensive, we do not drive with water and unfortunately, we are not sponsored by the gasoline brands, the “péages” are not free and the many operations and fractured paws also cost a lot… And then I do not mention the medication and anesthesia and the antibiotics for the sterilization of the dental equipment which also needs regular replacement and the 2 new air conditioning devices in the clinic and the veranda to keep the dogs cool, and the huge amount of food. People have no idee. Anyway, the misery and the necessary help and medication we cannot put on hold despite the high cost after all we exist to ease the suffering, don’t we? In fact, if we cannot save money on that we decided to save on other things and with much regret we made the decision for the first time in 17 years not to release a calendar for next year!! Even though the logistics and payments were not perfect it breaks my heart but so be it. Very maybe we will release a timeless birthday calendar with galgo aquarels, if our finances allow it… Fortunately we hear from all corners of the world that the “Respect the Galgo” troops under supervision of Raymond Buekenhout are gathering to start their actions which gives hope and hope gives life. In other words, I still have faith in our future, and I am looking forward to the adoption day and to the reunion with the adopters, the first event that we organize again after a long time, almost 2 years. Who knows with a delay of one year we can still celebrate 25 years of GINB at the beach walk if it can take place. Hope is always possible, and many co-workers and adopters hope with me given the amount of participants in the “4 Days of the Ijzer”. People are longing for walks, events and mostly for their friends. When I saw our group marching in the square in Ieper under loud applause, I could not hold back my tears and I was very proud, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for not having forgotten us.
Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th, Monday 30th August and Wednesday 1st September 2021
Yesterday Marie-Carmen informed us that Suzanne from Era, a “rescue group” who until today is still active and years ago brought Pistorius to us who lost his paw due to a fall and had wandered around for months, had contacted her for a galgo who probably had a broken leg and whom they tried to catch. The dog was left behind by gypsies who moved to other places and abandoned him. There was also a female galgo but there was no trace left of her. When in the afternoon we went to the shelter to visit the puppies Suzanne and a co-worker were waiting for us with a dog, obviously a lost soul. After my visit to the 6 puppies, she followed us to Casa Belgica and brought him to a bench in our clinic. The poor soul who limped badly seemed to be in a lot of pain due to the big wounds at his front leg and he looked apathetic… When we put him on the operation table and cleaned his wounds, he whined softly but he willingly underwent the treatment. Like so many dogs it seemed as if he understood that his agony is over, and that he had nothing to fear from us. After his care we installed him on a bunch of soft pee cloths and gave him a food bowl. He was so surprised by all the kindness that he could hardly believe this was happening to him. He stared ahead and dared neither look at us nor touch his food and he might have thought when I do not look at them, they might not see me.
When Suzanne asked if the name Gano was okay, I hesitated and said that in Casa Belgica the names start with F this year. A matter of remembering who had been cared for and “educated” by us in 2021. I asked her if instead of Gano also Fano was okay, she replied “si, si” but I saw that she was not happy. Anyway, before they left, she took the time to hug the surprised Pistorius and meanwhile her helper was busy with Leopold, the first Borzoi he saw, and with the rest of our dogs and the 2 puppies who all demanded the most attention. When they left, I promised to keep them informed about “Fano” and after their departure I sent a message to Dr. De Frutos that a found dog had arrived with probably a fractured leg and if I could get an appointment, as he also needs castration…After an hour Dirk received a mail message from Suzanne that Fran would also be a nice name because Fano had no meaning, and thus I changed it to Frangano, everybody happy now… What’s in a name, isn’t it? For Dirk who thought that Fran is weird and said it is just like Frank without K and for him it will always be Frank without K…. After this was settled, I received a mail from Dr. De Frutos that we are expected on Thursday. Until then we would take care of his wounds daily, he would get delicious food, a lot of attention, a lot of love and we would also take care of his wounded soul, of all the things he never experienced. As soon as we knew what was going on with the inside of his leg and that he was castrated he was allowed in the garden with the three ladies …
On Monday after problems with Marie-Carmen’s car who would bring us Jade at 9:00h but did not show up, we left much later than planned to Honrubia where we had an appointment at 12:00h with Alain and Jackie from Benissa. Jade is a white galgo lady who at first was on the site as a 3-year-old one but the 1 was missing, and in fact she was 13 years old instead of 3… Understandably she had missed her adoption after I informed the adopters who not long ago adopted a relatively young galgo. I fully understood that they preferred a younger galgo to match better with the age of their dog and thus Jade was again for adoption but this time as a 13-year-old one… To make a long story short, after Jackie and Alain from Benissa had seen her on the site they called to tell me that they wanted to adopt Jade to give her a nice old age in their “Le repos des veilles dames” (rest home for old ladies). We agreed to bring Jade to Honrubia, our usual rendezvous place. Anyway, due to Marie-Carmen’s car breakdown we left almost one hour and a half later than planned for our drive of +-400 km back and forth and I had to inform Jackie and Alain, who always are punctual and are already underway etc… To make again a long story short we still arrived at 12:30h at our appointment after Dirk had rushed over the dangerous hairpin bends. After a happy reunion with Ophelia, who after her beauty and health cure in Benissa looked 50% younger, and after a coffee and a chat we returned home with Jackie’s homemade cake and Alain’s cookies for the dogs. I warned Dirk that this time he must drive home and not fly home, otherwise I would walk home…
On Tuesday evening, after weeks and weeks of extreme drought and heat (except for a few drops and one stormy Sunday…) it suddenly started to blow, to rain, with thunder and lightnings. We were startled from the first thunder and our most scared dogs were seeking a safe place, only Leopold was very interested, and he went to look at the terrace where the party was… Dirk and I found it great and terrible at the same time because the day before he had ordered entrance cards at the Reina Sofia Museum for modern art and the weather forecast predicted for the day after also rain, he told me. My annual obligate “excursion and art immersion” that could not take place last year due to corona would not take place again due to the weather conditions. Do not worry Dirk said the weather forecasts are sometimes wrong and our cards are valid for 2 visits, so…. During the whole night it was pouring rain, in the morning it was still raining but softer, milder… Anyway, we left and the closer we came to Madrid the sky cleared. We were lucky I said, although… When the taxi dropped us off, we found it strange that there were not many visitors in the line to Reina Sofia, maybe they all ordered cards in advance Dirk said. Not so, inside we had a (partly) illusion because ¾ of the rooms were closed due to refurbishment. I was disappointed and I had terribly sore feet. Nothing to do about it, Dirk said. When I looked for comfort in the museum shop the offer was less than half the normal collection and my feet were even more painful…
Thursday 2nd September 2021
At 8:00h we leave with Frank without K or Frangano and our Fifi whose eyes need to be checked to Dr. De Frutos where we arrive promptly at 9:00h and Theresa will test Fifi’s eyes and Dr. De Frutos will take X-rays from Frangano’s leg…
At 11:00h we leave again to Calypo Fado with nothing but good news!! Our new guest’s leg is not fractured only the bone is infected due to negligence of the wounds and he needs antibiotics. Dirk gets all his points, and he must take further care of the wound as before. Fifi’s blind eye is still blind but not completely, she sees “vaguely” and only shadows and her other eye did not get worse despite her high leishmania values. And so, we drive happily and satisfied back to Casa Belgica, much to the satisfaction of the meanwhile castrated Frank without K whose leg is not fractured and the visually impaired, but relatively healthy Fifi whose good eye is not threatened by leishmania. At home we keep our promise and Frangano can join Marianne’s 2 ladies and Nerva in the garden, he is happy…
As mentioned before, on Sunday Dirk and I leave by plane to Belgium, and I will write again to you after the adoption day.
Anyhow I will keep you informed.
Thank you for your attention.