On April 21st 2007, six galgos arrived in Denver, Colorado to start their new lives in loving homes. As is the nature with most rescue organizations, the Galgo Rescue International Network employs foster homes for many of our dogs as they await adoption. Two of the new galgos went directly into their adoptive homes, but the rest moved in to their temporary but loving foster homes. And this is where it gets exciting!
Dulce, a 10 month old galga, had a very hard life before coming to the United States. Born in Spain to be used for hunting, she and her brother were orphaned at just a couple months old when their mother was hit by a car. They lived together on the street, fighting for every last scrap, until they were rescued by wonderful people from a shelter in Medina Del Campo, Spain. They lived at the shelter, Scooby Protectora De Animales, for a few months, and Dulce discovered life wasn't too great there, either. Her brother teamed up with another young male galgo. She spent most of her time alone and was often bullied by her brother.
Dulce was placed in a very loving foster home in Colorado with a veterinarian who has volunteered at Scooby and has a galgo of his own. Dulce is what we in the greyhound world refer to as a "spook" painfully afraid of humans, easily scared, and very challenging to handle. She was so afraid she even refused to leave her crate at the foster home. On the afternoon of April 23, Dulce was taken outside for a walk in a fenced yard. Next door, a remote control car buzzed frightening Dulce and she bolted, jumping the 4 foot privacy with 2 foot chicken wire extension, and ran away.
When G.R.I.N. received news of the escape, we launched an enormous search party, pasting the area with flyers, contacting all shelters and law enforcement agencies. We placed ads in the local papers, posted a Greyhound Amber Alert, and even set a humane dog trap. We came so close on so many occasions - Abby Christman had many moments when she was just a few feet away from Dulce, but sadly, Dulce would run whenever Abby tried to approach her.
We put in place a network of rescuers to be called in if there were sightings or she was captured, but still no Dulce. Finally, the Boulder Valley Humane Society Animal Control Officers got involved. They had received a report that Dulce was hanging around a lumber yard, so they placed a live trap and we started to contemplate the possibility of having to dart her (a dangerous alternative as the animals typically run when darted and are often far away before the drugs kick in).
On the morning of May 11, Abby received a delightful wake up call. Dulce had been captured in the live trap and was being held at the Boulder Valley Humane Society! Christie Jacobs and Kim Malone - two fabulous new G.R.I.N. volunteers and recent adopters - dashed to the BVHS to claim our little wayward friend. Miraculously, Dulce was virtually unscathed despite 18 days "in the wild". She had a few healing scrapes, her pads were slightly worn, she was mildly dehydrated and very dirty, but she had actually managed to GAIN weight during her unauthorized excursion!
Dulce was put into another foster home in Longmont, Colorado where she currently lives after being adopted by her foster parents, Cathy and Bob Welliver. Dulce, now named Sasha, is making progress everyday. She is deeply bonded to her human, canine and feline family members and now fears the out of doors. She is very loved and happy, and we are immensely thankful that this story has a fairy tale ending!
Special thanks to the folks who came to Dulce's aid:
Christie Jacobs, Kim Malone, Jason Cordeiro, DVM, Lisa Swartz, Stephanie Russell, Sonya Decman, Amy Clifton, Telma Shaw, FOR Greyhounds (who loaned the live trap), Rachel Langston, Jordan Graustark, Eva Andrews, Cathy and Bob Welliver, Gary Lopez, Frank Cosano, Abby Christman, Aspasia Krousouloudis, Terri Snyder, The Horst Family, Boulder Valley Humane Society, Erie Police Department, Majestic Collars, and all the wonderful people on Hound Talk and other message boards who sent their advice and prayers for Dulce's safe return.