Our visit to your shelter, July 2011
By Sonja A. Buholzer and Stephan Nyffenegger
July 2011. We are travelling to Madrid, to continue our journey by car to Scooby Medina, the shelter that gave us our wonderful Donna, a galga who came from the Sevilla Horror of El Cuervo in 2007 with massive trauma and was saved by Fermin and his crew. Who received a second chance at life at Scooby and was adopted by us. Sadly and broken hearted we had to let go our lovely galgo-girl Donna in April 2011, after three operations due to suffering from cancer.
We were left behind, feeling utterly lonely, abandoned and desperate without her. She, our Donna, who learned how to laugh so quickly, who got away from her life of trauma into a life of tenderness and loving care and healed, also healing us in the process, as the wonderful singer Maria Daines puts it so aptly in her Galgo Blues, giving a voice to the voiceless – „I rescued her, she rescued me!“
We loved to visit the shelter who rescued our galgo-girl back then, in honour of Donna. Now here we were. Welcomed by a loving Scooby crew, with German volunteer Sabine leading us through the paddocks. There was also wonderful Sandra whom we had met before. She was the one who took Donna to us by plane, into Switzerland, together with 2 other galgos. I was touched meeting her again. She was the one who put Donna in our arms at the airport and told us: she is a healing dog, she is so wonderful. And there she was. We embraced. Donna, our beloved Donna, the film playing inside my head, it hurt so much. Your real life began in our family back then, but only for 15 short months, until your suffering from cancer separated us and desperately we had to give up our battle to save your life.
On we went. Through the paddocks. So many wonderful dogs, so many galgos and so many fates. Some deeply touching, some shocking, some just merry encounters. It took me a while to register a very thin and graceful galga repeatedly nudging me. She came closer and rubbed her head along me, clung to me with big eyes, wouldn’t leave our side. Others who dared to come even closer to us than her were gently nudged away by her, and she was all smiles and simply stayed put. As if she had always belonged to us. Wouldn’t give an inch. She adopted me, yes, us. She followed us. Everywhere in this paddock. This ritual repeated itself with all three visits we took in paddock „Skinny“ – how I soon called this young, thin galga. She would be waiting at the door, hopping towards us and dancing with joy every time we re-entered her paddock. What happened? Meeting again. Destiny? I found myself barely able to leave that paddock without hurting. She was waiting at the door. She just stayed there.
We slept it over. We didn’t need to waste many words though. It was all crystal clear. Again, a deal made in heaven.
The next day we took another visit to her paddock. She was waiting, came running for us joyfully, we embraced. Yes, at this time we were dead sure!
Our new family member travelled back to Switzerland with us, accompanied by Sabine, who also flew back to Germany the same afternoon and by the way adopted a girl from Scooby herself, named Rosa!
She is brimming with joy for life, is very confident and mischievous, wants to catch up on everything she had to miss out on in her early life, she is conquering all her fears step by step – fear of men, of certain sounds, of steel rods, of loud men’s voices. She knows she’s safe now, life is giving her love and warmth, she knows she matters so much to our family, she is loved so much and she is wonderful just the way she is! She doesn’t have to achieve anything anymore, she is allowed to just be, she loves cuddling, running and playing, and building herself a cot and she prefers to sleep amidst a pile of warm, soft blankets, covering her. A gentle, loving and sensitive, strong and independent galgo-lady, who knows what she wants and what she can do, and so much more! Who loves running on the greyhound field, jumping around the garden every day, who adores mice and likes teasing her galgo-brother.
Allright my girl, now you have finally gotten a real life and we will do all we possibly can to make you and your brother happy!
Scooby, we would like to thank you for your wonderful work, for both of our galgo-girls saved by you.
For every life you save from the traps of unspeakeably cruel execution rituals performed on galgos and other dogs in Spain. For Fermin’s engagement and that of all those other people we had the privilige of meeting in Scooby Medina, who impressed us by the sheer depth of their love for and dedication to these animals. Muchas gracias!
We support Project 3000 and recommend it to everyone!
Dear Fermin, dear Sabine, dear Sandra and all of you – you are a piece of heaven for these animals.