In the fall of 2007, GRIN received an impassioned communication from Virginie LaBat of Passion Levriers in France about a Podenco Andaluz female dog, her five young pups, and a juvenile pup from an earlier litter. They had been found abandoned and frightened in the street. There situation was dire as they were in a pound, or �perrera� and faced potential euthanasia. They needed to be rescued quickly, and we knew when we read their story that GRIN had to help. Isabel, a wonderful lady working at Protectora Caceres, worked tirelessly with Virginie to get the family to safety, and they were moved to the shelter.
Still, they needed homes� We had received a number of applications from people interested in the Ibizans abandoned on the island of Ibiza. Because the Podenco Andaluz is a very close cousin of the Ibizan, we decided to share the story of the pups with our adopters. We soon had found homes for three of the babies � Marco (now Toro), Caramello (now Phoenix), and Pinta. Sadly, the mother (Memory) and the older female pup (Agatha), were so traumatized that flying them to the US would have been far too risky for them.
We worked with Virginie and Isabel to coordinate the transport for the three podenco pups to the US with travelers Charles and Jane Totten and Shirley Durbin as part of the �Shelter Aid to the Rescue� mission. On September 16 and 17, GRIN members in Denver and Atlanta greeted the three pups, along with 11 other Spanish dogs from Scooby (Barbitas, Olive, Romario, Justin, Devin, Roxana, Alita, Marioneta, Marta, Lola, Giselle and Gus), as they arrived in the US. It was an amazing collaboration involving rescuers and families from four countries (France, Spain, Canada and the US). The true heroes are Virginie, Isabel and Fermin, our friends across the ocean who never gave up hope for these sweet souls! The dogs from this transport mission now live in eight states and from Washington, Florida and in two countries � Canada and the US.
Shortly after the arrival of the September dogs, GRIN discovered that the last of the five pups (one had been adopted in France), was in need of a home as her scheduled adoption to a family in France had fallen through. When Phoenix's parents, (GRIN board members Chris and Stacey Plaskett), heard that puppy Meg needed a forever home it was clear to us all that she would be making the trip to the US with our October rescuers. Meg was reunited with Phoenix who was thrilled to see her as he never forgot his little sister. Although they are quite different, she very timid and no doubt overwhelmed by her whole experience, she has adjusted beautifully and has that silly galgo trait of being quite a clown, in fact, she is the silliest of them all! They are reunited and living the good life in her new "adoptive" home.
Virginie told us about another girl, Anubis, an Ibizan hound still on the island, who had suffered through horrible abuses at the hands of hunters and had required surgery to fix her badly damaged hind leg. Anubis was doing well medically, but she, too, was facing an uncertain fate. She needed to be moved off the island � quickly. We soon found an adopter for Anubis and began planning her transport to mainland Spain. Fermin Perez, founder and president of Scooby, offered his help and picked Anubis up from the Madrid airport, then housed her at Scooby for us.
In addition, GRIN took 10 dogs from four different shelters with the October mission. From Refugio Kimba in Cadiz came Cervantes the podenco; Recal Extremadura in Almendralejo gave us Alex the terrier; Miko, a galgo puppy, came from Amigos De Milord; and from Scooby came Cowboy (a mastin), Stella, Pablo and Sarita (galgos). Our travelers, Rob Park and Jason Cordeiro, spent a week at Scooby before returning with them.
The final piece of this amazing international collaboration came when Isabel from the Caceres refuge, introduced us to Bola, a lovely young wirehair Ibizan hound needing a home. GRIN welcomed Bola with open arms as well. Bola was fostered in Denver and just recently found her forever home in Canada.
GRIN would like to thank everyone involved in this adventure � Isabel from Caceres; Virginie from France; Fermin from Scooby; Maria Jose from Refugio Kimba; Mada Sanguino from Recal Extremadura; Elena from Madrid (who fostered some of these pups while they awaited transport and brought them to the airport in Madrid); our travelers and adopters, our foster families (including Karen Mariani of Ibizan Rescue); and the adoption groups (Sonia Strateman of Elite Greyhounds in Florida and the ladies of Chinook Winds in Canada), who made this all possible!