APRIL 25 – MAY 5, 2013 RESCUE TRIP TO MALAGA
112 Carlota Galgos, Alhaurin de la Torre, Malaga Spain
It was a Wednesday afternoon and I was ready to meet Char once again and ride with her to the vet. We had a very special boy with us..yes Ebro was on his way to be finally be sterilized after all the months of recuperation from surgeries of his front legs. Anyone who has followed the posting on FB about 112carlotagalgos knows the story of Ebro and I was so excited to meet this brave survivor! He like many galgos suffered at the hands of hunters who thought nothing of breaking both his legs and discarding him..they thought that was the end, but no, he survived and fought for his life. People from around the world rallied around him and raised money for his surgeries and by a miracle Ebro is now able to stand and walk although wobbly but each day a bit stronger. I must admit that I was overjoyed to finally throw my arms around him and tell him how much we all cared for him. It was one of those moments that is etched in your heart that you can’t forget..his strength, his sweetness, his endearing nature..Ebro what a champ you are!
UPDATE 6/3/2013 all pins removed from Ebros legs!! He's walking!
We left Ebro and went to pick up the kids at school..much to my dismay we came across a nice looking galgo that is brought to the school daily, tied to a rail while mom goes to pick up her kids..oh nooooo….anyone can steal this boy! A friendly well cared for fuzzy galgo..Char is trying to find out who the mom is to have a bit of a chat with her about galgo thievery..that was hard to walk away from.
We picked up Ebro and drove to the Finca (in Spanish that means a small farm/ranch) that 112carlotagalgos calls home. I had visited the finca in Oct. when they were in negotiations to rent it and now I was going to witness the transformation. I must say I was so impressed by the work the del Rio family had done to make the shelter so inviting for the galgos in their care. Nicely arranged mini casas for groups of galgos and pods in the midst of an orchard, on a hillside overlooking the countryside..so peaceful and healing for the poor galgos who come there so traumatized..it is what is needed and with the help of a few volunteers the dogs are well taken care of and happy and content as was I. I must say I so enjoyed my “duties” giving the galgos baths, some their first baths of their lives with shampoo! I was in galgo heaven!
The galgos and pods spend their day sunning, playing and snoozing either outside on their dog beds under a tree, or inside their casitas. Their choice! I spent lots of time just sitting and letting whoever wanted love to come over to me and that was the best part of being there. Connecting with these sweet souls who luckily were now at the finca waiting for the next part of their journey.
There is one word to describe life at the finca..action! The del Rios live on the property with their three children, their own two galgos, Ebro who is recovering, a ranch dog Niebla who guards the home and ranch, a tiny pod named Belen and a beautiful horse named Bailey and two cats. From time to time other galgos start their life in the home area to get accustomed to people before being integrated into the pack in the orchard. When I was there little Emily a frightened little galga who had been ripped from her pups, had mastitis as well as filarial had just been brought to the finca. She screamed and wined constantly for two days..while I was there I took her under my wing and took her on mini walks on the patio petting her so she would know life was just getting better..little by little she was calming down..I hear she is finally able to mix with the larger group of dogs..that is what the finca is about..rehabiliation.
Another really fun activity that the galgos need is the pack walk. Char, Susanna and I took a group of 6 or 7 dogs at a time and walked the beautiful windy country paths with the dogs. It is good training as every other finca in the neighborhood had dogs charging the walls and gates barking and carring on as we walked by. Good method to work with the galgos to learn manners!
As dusk approached, time to feed the dogs, shake out bedding, fluff the pillows and give meds began. Lots of playing was going on with all the new toys I had brought the podencos! The galgos spend their days learning a routine to get them ready for home life.
Up until now, many were left abandoned fighting for their lives and their next meal. Many hovelled together in dark sheds, many hurt, sick and injured..here at the finca those memories begin to fade, and soon their wonderful personalities begin to flourish. That is what is so up lifting visiting our shelter friends..We see the transformation of these beautiful creatures. They are so full of love and life and thankfulness..you just feel THE LOVE!
I also met some amazing friends of 112carlotagalgos who drop by to help Char with many of the chores around the kennel.
Once done we took a break and had a nice lunch “a la fresco” outside in the patio. No lack of house dogs doing what they do best, begging!
I want to thank our GRIN supporters for the donations I received to take to the shelters I visited. To 112carlotagalgos the greyhound rescue group Leaving Tracks in GA donated for this cache of food for the dogs! It was so welcomed!
..and for the other donations of goods I was happy to bring two suitcases chocked full of supplies! Thank you everyone, April Lamb, Asa Barbani, Dr. Herman and all our GRIN supporters!!
The time wizzes by so fast and my time with the 112 hounds left me energized and happy to have been there to spend the time with friends both two legged and four!
Part III follows as I leave Malaga and begin the journey home with two galgos on their way to the USA..stay tuned..