Saturday, September 7, 2019

Joining Forces with Daphne Legacy Tour, 17th Visit to Scooby, April, 2019

Scooby Galgos Look for Love

In April, 2019, it was my 17th visit to Scooby. This visit marks 8 1/2 years of volunteer work at Scooby.  I spent a few lovely days in Madrid before taking the train to Medina del Campo. Stayed in a hostel near the hustle and bustle of Puerta del Sol, and saw the amazing Easter parade. I realized that it is a huge party area, and people are up until 6 a.m., so I downloaded a white noise app for my phone to drown out the hooting and hollering.

Easter Parade in Madrid
Last year, I was in touch with Christina Azaharian Taylor from Daphne Legacy Tour (DLT). She had formed a non-profit in honor of her beloved Galga, Daphne, whom she had adopted from a rescue group in Barcelona. Her mission is to work with Greyhound groups who want to adopt out Spanish Galgos into loving homes in the USA, and to transport them. Chris' organization is sponsored by Friends of Retired Greyhounds in Denver, led by Lee Simpson and a crew of dedicated volunteers who work with both non-profits to save and place dogs into forever homes. My greyhound rescue group, Greyhound Friends for Life (Barb Judson), put us in touch with each other. 

Chris was contacting various Galgo rescue organizations in Spain, and many were skeptical because she had not brought lots of dogs to the USA. I introduced her to my Scooby Medina del Campo family (because, selfishly, I want Scooby dogs to be rescued), and all of the doors opened. She was able to bring 24 Galgos back on her first trip last year, and together, we brought 39 in April, 2019, who are now in loving homes. In October, 2019, 37 more will be transported to the USA, as well by DLT.  Amazing work! God bless you all for saving these precious souls. 


On this visit, I stayed in my favorite hotel in Medina del Campo, the Reina Isabel. Comfy and cozy always, and great staff.  Chris and her husband, Dray, had rented a very large van, and kindly picked me and a few other volunteers up there in the mornings to bring us to the shelter, and then dropped us off at night. We had several very nice dinners together, as well as some excursions to Salamanca, Zamora and Madrid. Our main focus was on meeting and preparing the Galgos for their transports. We gave some baths, prepared kennels, Chris and crew did all of the much-more-complicated paperwork for all 39 dogs, which was a feat in itself.
Salamanca
Zamora

We returned on various flights over three days and the Scooby team helped us get all of the dogs and kennels safely to the Madrid airport, some traveling through Chicago, others through JFK in New York. Some of us met with new obstacles and red tape related to USA Immigration and Customs. Ended up that I was rerouted from Madrid to JFK to Chicago because American downsized all of their planes. Huge hassle. Had to go from Madrid to Chicago to San Jose, and paid an extra $1,000 for me and the two Galgos. I will provide a separate posting about tips for getting through the new rules for bringing dogs to the USA from another country. 

The two dogs that I brought to NorCal were both adopted very quickly and are in their loving forever homes. I keep asking myself if I can do this work much longer, but after all of the dust settles and they go from rags to riches, I know that I can! Absolutely!
Pumuki - Adopted!
Estabon - Adopted!
Stay tuned! I am leaving for Madrid on 9/20/19 to bring two more Galgo souls to their forever homes. Meeting up with wonderful friends, who will also bring dogs to the USA. Will share our experiences with you when we return.



Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. Bless sends her blessings! Sara sends smiles!  Bones sends kisses and hugs!
Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!
Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!


Bonesey sends hugs and kisses!


Traveling to Spain? Consider becoming a Flight Angel and transporting dogs to the U.S.A. 






Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Goodbye Jake - A Tribute

Jake
Our Sweet American Eskimo


This is Jake's story.

What is the tie to my galgo blog? He was a beloved and invaluable pack mate across all of our dogs and cats over the past 12 years, including Sophie, our black lab mix, Jocko, our Chihuahua/Dachshund mix, Daisy, our first greyhound, Wilma, our second greyhound, Brody, our third greyhound, Bless, Sara and Bones, our three galgos, and three of our cats, Cleo, Gabe and Frank. Sa
dly, we lost him on July 3, 2019, just two days before his 12th birthday.

I used to tell him his story, almost every day:

One day, I went to my yoga class at the YMCA in Saratoga, CA, and while walking to the room, I ran into two of the teens who worked at the front desk. They had the cutest little puppy that I've ever seen in my life on a leash, and he and I made a connection immediately. It was LOVE at first sight! I made ga ga over him and asked who he belonged to. They didn't know. He had wondered into the building and one teen who lived in the neighborhood said that he had seen him wondering around here and there for a few days. I kept thinking about him all during class, and told my instructor, Barb about him, and hoped that she could see him too. When class ended, I rushed to the desk to ask about him, and he was still with the staff in the lobby. Barb got to see him and scratch his belly, as he rolled over for love. I was convinced that whomever his parents were, they would grieve over losing the cutest puppy I've ever seen.

I asked the staff what they planned to do with him. They planned to put up Lost Dog posters and would try to see if they could find his home. They didn't know what to do with him overnight. We had three dogs at that time, so I offered to take him home for the night and take him to my Vet the next day to check for a chip. They agreed. I loaded him into the back seat of the SUV, and then called my husband to let him know about the surprise. "Guess what?" "What?" "Guess what I have?" "A dog." "How did you know?" "I know you!"


Jake was welcomed and fit right in with all of our three dogs immediately. He acted like he had always lived in our house. When Darrell came home, Jake greeted him at the door with the other dogs, as though he was always ours. That first night, we had him on our bed between us, and he slept like an angel, like he was always ours and belonged there. Of course, we fell in love with him.

The next day, I took him to the Vet. They checked, and he did have a chip. The Tech called the chip company to learn more. We found out that he had come from Oregon, and was registered there with the name Garth. They then put the Tech in touch with the woman who registered the chip. She worked for a Vet in Oregon. The Tech relayed their conversation. He had come from a puppy mill. He was a rescue, and the only survivor of his litter, as all had Parvo virus. He was a 100% AKC registered American Eskimo. The Vet she worked for nursed him to health, she adopted him and gave him to her sister, who lived in Saratoga. Her sister was going through hard personal times, had cats and was impatient with having a puppy. He was only six months old, and she put him out into the streets. I relayed that we wanted him. She said that if her sister did not respond within three days, he was our dog. Three days passed, and we even tried to call her, but no response.  She didn't want him, which to me, was crazy. But it was our lucky day. We changed his ownership to us and renamed him, Jake, which suited him perfectly.


Jake was our angel dog. We always said to each other, "Where did he come from?" He brought so much joy, energy, fun, love and light to our lives, each and every day. He was a live wire, always playing, barking, wanting to give and receive love. He was my guardian angel. Whenever he went outside or we went anyplace, he would run into the house and look everywhere until he found me. He would not go to sleep until I did. He came to check on me numerous times every day or laid near wherever I was to watch over me. We had such a special connection. I had special songs that I sang to him, "How much is that doggy in the window?" and one that I made up, "You can keep the prettiest puppy that you ever did see." He would lay in my arms and I would sing him his songs. He loved stuffed animal toys and treats, digging holes, guarding his home, and barking at anything he felt like.  We had 11 1/2 years of pure love and joy.

In September, 2018, we moved from Jake's original home in West San Jose, to Carlsbad, CA. We feel like we live in paradise here, and the dogs love it. Jake has had a glorious 11 months here. We noticed that he had been failing, but we did not realize how serious it was. Over the course of the past 4 weeks, he fell very ill and even with excellent Vet care, there was nothing that we could do to keep him here with us. Exactly one week ago, he passed away peacefully in his sleep. I knew he was leaving us that day, and stayed up until 2:30 a.m., singing him his songs, telling him his story, and telling him to let go,  Woke at 5:15 a.m. and he was gone. We cried our tears and are still grieving. The Vet Tech came and took him for cremation. We have his paw print as another memory, along with those of our other babies we've lost. The music that his life brought us has stopped, and we go on alone without him. The World became lonelier last Wednesday when we lost another piece of our hearts. 
Jake - Just a few days before we lost him :-(

Jake, we love you and miss you so much. Looking forward to seeing you in Heaven, our angel dog. 



Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. Bless sends her blessings! Sara sends smiles!  Bones sends kisses and hugs!
Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!
Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!


Bonesey sends hugs and kisses!


Traveling to Spain? Consider becoming a Flight Angel and transporting dogs to the U.S.A. 

Please support Scooby and Greyhound Friends for Life














Saturday, March 16, 2019

Sweet 16th Visit to Scooby in Spain, 8 Years of Love

Scooby Galgos

This was my 16th visit to Scooby to volunteer and to transport galgos to the USA for adoption, in late November, 2018. 


Madrid Skyline

Decided to travel to Spain a couple of days early to spend some time in one of my favorite cities, Madrid, before my travel companions arrived. Stayed in a small apartment near Plaza Mayor, close to all of the action. Had time to catch up from jet lag and visit my favorite haunts. One of my friends arrived on day three and I stayed in a lovely boutique hotel for one night and day, as we waited for our third friend who flew in that evening. We all met at the airport, picked up our rental car and drove to Medina del Campo to the Hotel Reina Isabel to rest up for our first full day at Scooby.

Galgos Ready for Forever Homes
We spent five days at Scooby as volunteers, cleaning paddocks, socializing and loving dogs, helping with loading up a transport of dogs for Germany and unloading a bread truck with food for the dogs.  It was a wonderful experience, as always.

We drove to Salamanca and visited for a few hours (cool city). 
Salamanca

Then returned to Madrid and had a great BnB flat City Central, from which we walked to see many sights and experienced great restaurants.  

We also had a heartwarming day trip to 112carlotagalgos.com to visit their lovely family, dogs and sanctuary in Malaga, southern Spain.
112 Carlota Galgos Yearning for Attention

All too soon, it was time to return home. One friend adopted two Scooby galgos, a boy and girl, and returned to California with both. Another took two to California for adoption via Greyhounds Friends for Life. That day that I was to fly, we learned that since the weather was too cold in JFK (NYC), they would not fly the dogs. Since I am retired, I decided to stay in Madrid until the weather got warmer in NYC. So the two galgos bound for NY had to wait back at Scooby, I waited and had an extended stay in Madrid for four days. Of course, it was so lovely being able to spend extra time in Madrid, and I even took a day trip to Toledo as well, which is one of the coolest places I've ever seen!
Beautiful Toledo

Once I was able to travel through JFK, it all went smooth. Scooby brought the two galgos to the Madrid airport, we waited and had some changes (as usual), we went through security with the dogs, I got to the terminal and had time for lunch, we boarded, and off to JFK. This time was a charm because I met a wonderful JFK TSA agent who had met the folks who were waiting for our galgos, and he helped me get the two dogs through Customs in seconds. The couple who picked up the two galgos were amazed, as was I, that everything was so easy. I had time to relax before my flight to SFO. Once in San Francisco, my Sister, Mary, and Brother-in-law, Dan, picked me up and I enjoyed a night with them in the SF Bay Area. Even had a tour of our old house we sold in July 2018.


Since my trip, both of the galgos that my friend adopted are doing great, the two brought back by my other friend are doing well and will soon be ready for adoption, and the two that I brought to NYC are in loving homes and doing fantastic.
Handsome and Shy Gabino
Handsome Pilo

I am returning to Spain and Scooby in April to work with a wonderful group of 7 volunteers who are part of the Daphne Legacy Tour, a non-profit whose charter is to transport rescued galgos from Spain to the USA. We will bring a record 30+ galgos to the USA between the 8 of us, and all will go to Greyhound groups and will be placed in loving homes. I am so proud and happy to be part of this group, and I thank Christina and Dray for all of their efforts. They are true Rock Stars, as this is not easy!


Please stay tuned for more updates and information.


Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. Bless sends her blessings! Sara sends smiles!  Bones sends kisses and hugs!
Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!
Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!


Bonesey sends hugs and kisses!


Traveling to Spain? Consider becoming a Flight Angel and transporting dogs to the U.S.A. 




Sunday, September 2, 2018

Spring 2018: Best of Times with Marie in Germany and with Nancy and Nancy in Spain

Spring 2018 Trip
Galgo Puppy :-)

In April, 2018, I made a visit to my dear friend, Marie in Aachen, Germany, and then met up with my two other dear ones, Nancy Young Hanson and Nancy Waddell, fellow Scooby volunteers, in Medina del Campo, Spain. I am so overdue in telling you about this wonderful trip.

Germany
Me and Marie!


Flew into Aachen via SFO to London. Great flight with extra seat in between made it more relaxing. Fun to be in London for a brief time. I so want to spend more time there!  Crazy gate change had all of us running to our connection to Aachen. All worked out and, once again, had an entire row to myself on the connection. Arrived to meet up with my dear, Marie and beloved Scooby dog, Abba, at the airport. I'm always so delighted that Abba remembers me, every time I visit. Dogs have such an amazing memory!  Marie and I had such a wonderful visit, as always. I had a lot of time to rest and catch up on sleep, while she tutored her pupils on the piano. Brilliant work, and she loves and cares for each and every student so much. The highlight of this visit was having one of the best dinners ever with Marie's Mother in Trier.  She had a very special 4 course dinner for us, and it was so fabulous. I will never forget it! We also had a lovely tour of Trier, which is a magical German  village that everyone would love to visit. On the morning of my flight to Spain, we ran into terrible traffic on the Autobahn, which caused me to miss my flight by about 15 minutes. Marie came to the rescue and we had another unexpected day to enjoy together, which ended up being another gift.  Thanks you so much, Marie, for your hospitality and for everything. Looking forward to our next visit!

Marie's Mom, Me and Marie!
Spain and Scooby
Since I had to change plans for my connecting trip to Spain, I decided to fly in as soon as possible, which ended up being late evening, and then booked a hotel room right by the train station, so that I could leave from Madrid to Medina del Campo early morning. Worked out great. Price was right, nice hotel and walking distance to the station. Got into Medina early afternoon, checked in, freshened up and met up with Nancy and Nancy, my two fellow volunteers from the East Coast, USA. We had a nice chat and then on to Scooby to meet the dogs! We spent some time there, as they had already been the day before, and then went back to the hotel and town for dinner and then rest.  Two lovely companion travelers, and we all had so much fun! :-)
Happy Scooby Galgo :-)
We had a fulfilling visit and time working at Scooby. We met and fell in love with the dogs, cleaned pens, socialized them and helped where needed. For all of us, it is soul food to be at Scooby with the animals.
Scooby Galgos Going to Forever Homes :-)

Surprise Trip to Segovia
Much to our surprise and delight, our friend, Sabine, who lives near Medina del Campo, offered to take us on a special trip to Segovia, one of the most beautiful places that I've ever seen! She picked us up at the hotel and took us on the grand tour of the entire village. It was unbelievably gorgeous! Thank you so much, Sabine, for this wonderful, magical day! :-)


A Few Days in Madrid
We had three nights in Madrid, staying at a wonderful Hostel, downtown, that Nancy Young Hanson booked for us.  Loved the staff, place, room, peacefulness and so economical. What a find! We walked all over town and into interesting places that I've never been. Madrid is so walkable and safe. I always feel at home there. We went to the Prado Museum and enjoyed our day there, as well as visiting our familiar haunts. We saw another excellent Flamenco show, visited some very cool restaurants and bars that Nancy Young Hanson had the genius to find, and had a fabulous time. 
Our Hostel

Me and Nancy and Nancy :-)

Flamenco Show in Madrid

Bringing Timon and Aurin to California
On this trip, I brought two very handsome galgos to the USA, Timon and Aurin. I had met Timon in June, 2017, and knew that he was a very shy male, found with a little girlie puppy, Nymeria, who has a wonderful life in Vancouver. They thought he may be her daddy. To date, he is still being fostered and will be placed in the perfect home in NorCal.  Aurin is the other galgo that I brought, and he has since been adopted to a wonderful home in NorCal. We traveled from Madrid through JFK and then to SFO, and all went well. We brought both dogs to our home for one night, and then Julie, from Greyhound Friends for Life, picked them up and took them to Windsor.  Both are happy and doing well! Thank you GFFL!

24 Scooby Galgos Come to the USA!
On another note, we had the good fortune to join forces with Daphne Legacy Tour Group, headed by Christina Azharian Taylor. She and her partners rescued and brought back 24, yes 24, Scooby galgos for adoption in the USA. Their efforts were astounding and we love them so much for loving and finding loving homes for the 24, including Jayne, adopted by Christina and Dray. We love you so much! :-)
Timon!
Aurin and Timon!
Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. Bless sends her blessings! Sara sends smiles!  Bones sends kisses and hugs!
Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!
Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!


Bonesey sends hugs and kisses!


Traveling to Spain? Consider becoming a Flight Angel and transporting dogs to the U.S.A. 

Please support Scooby and Greyhound Friends for Life












Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bringing Bones Home



Scooby 14th Visit: On a Mission to Bring Bones Home
My Bones, My Heart



Gotta Get Bones!
In September, 2017, I returned to Scooby to bring my heart dog, Bones (Huesos), home to California. It was another of my very best trips to Spain. The weather was perfect and all travel went smoothly.  In my previous blog posting, I wrote about Bones and how I had fallen in love with him. Fermin, Scooby President and Founder, agreed that I could adopt Bones because he knew that I would take excellent care of him and he would have such a great life with us in California. Off I went on another Scooby adventure!
NOTE: Follow Bones on Instagram: BonesTheScoobyGalgo. Hoping to get enough followers to raise funds for Scooby.
Bones When Rescued from Murcia

Bones Looks So Sad and Sick -  But.... He is a New Man Now!




Bones was rescued by Scooby from Murcia in the Spring of 2017. Of course, he was surrendered by his galguero, I guess. He was a horrific case of neglect, with Leishmania and was heart worm positive. They did the one month Leishmania treatment on him at Scooby,  but his kidneys were compromised. They did not expect him to survive. 



Enter Margie Easter, friends with super-hero volunteer, Melissa Beamish, in June 2017. Melissa introduces her special Bones to Margie and she falls deeply in love with him -- so much so that she left and decided to go back to Scooby to bring him home, if he could make the long journey to California, half-way around the World.  Fermin had more blood tests run on Bones and I reviewed them with my local Vet to ensure that he could make the trip. He felt that they could truly help Bones, so I booked my ticket and returned in September to get my Boy!
Melissa is the One Who Saved My Bones for Me - Thank You!


Journey to Scooby
Had a smooth flight on American Airlines from SFO to JFK and then on to Madrid. Took the train from Madrid to Medina del Campo and then a cab to the comfy Reina Isabel Hotel in Medina, freshened up and then Melissa fetched me from the hotel to Scooby.

Downtown Medina del Campo
The first place we visited was Bones' pen in Quarantine #9. He remembered me!  It was such a joyful reunion.

Melissa took me around to visit all of the dogs and shared their most interesting stories. I was tired because of the 9 hour time change, so she took me back to the hotel and I turned in early to get a good night's rest and to be ready for my first full day at Scooby.  

Days at Scooby

I am Going Home!
Galgos All Ready to go to Forever Homes
Gorgeous and Friendly Brother and Sister

Fantastic days at Scooby, working with Melissa and the other volunteers. Lots of loving for the dogs, cats and other animals, including visiting the farm horses, goats, sheep, cows, ducks, geese and perimeter dogs.  
The Scooby Farm
Special volunteers this visit included four ladies from Slovenia, two from Belgium and a couple from Switzerland. Everyone worked so hard and seemed to enjoy their experience at Scooby.

Bones is Spoiled by the Belgian Volunteers


Bones Being Spoiled by the Slovenian Volunteers

Nymeria:  A Happy Story Resulting from My Blog :-)
Nymeria (was Linda) Now Lives a Grand Life in Vancouver, Thanks to this Blog!

I met Linda (now Nymeria) in June 2017 on my Summer visit to Scooby. She had come with an older male galgo, Timon. Everyone assumed that he was her father, but who knows? He was very shy and she was a firecracker puppy, all full of joy and play. She looks to be a podenco mix and is gorgeous. Serendipitously, a woman in Vancouver found and read my entire blog. She so wanted to adopt a Scooby dog, and she specifically selected Linda for adoption. We spoke on the phone. I told her about Scooby and the adoption process and she was determined to get her girl. During my June visit, I spoke with Fermin about her wanting to adopt her in Vancouver. There was a good chance that she would have gone to Holland within the week, but with the Canadian contacts, lots of effort from the adoption Mom (even a GoFundMe) and other things, Linda, now Nymeria, lives happily in her home in Vancouver, B.C.  I could not be happier about the outcome! (BTW - Timon still needs a home. He is an excellent boy. Check him out.)  



Morena (now Lilly) Adopted by My Friend, Mora


Morena (now Lilly) - Selected by My Friend, Nancy, in June, Brought Her to California
My Friend, Mora, Fostered and then Adopted Her


Another happy story! When we were at Scooby in June, my friend, Nancy, selected this very sweet girl, Morena, and was determined to get her adopted. Since I was returning in September, she was the perfect choice to travel with Bones to California. Ended up that my friend, Mora, fostered and then adopted this girl and she is living the BIG life in her new home. So happy! :-)

Bones and Me
Here are gratuituous pictures of me and Bonesey at Scooby. I love him SO MUCH!







I Love Madrid!


Took the train from Medina to Madrid. Once again, I stayed two nights at one of my favorite hotels, the ME in Madrid. They even upgraded my room so that I had a view of the Plaza. Did a huge walk-about and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

The Journey Home
On this trip, I flew American Airlines from Madrid to JFK to SFO.  All went well!  The young Steward at the JFK airport was golden. He even took us to a dog park so that I could take the dogs out to refresh them for the second leg of the trip to SFO. It was another very long day, but it was worth every single second to get two precious souls to their comfy and loving forever homes.

Thank you to to Scooby for saving these two lovely galgos. Thank you to Melissa for saving Bones for me. Thank you to Nancy for selecting the very special Morena/Lilly, and to Mora for adopting her. Thank you to Yoshi for saving Linda/Nymeria.

Next 
I may have great news about a possible linkage with UC Davis Vet School. Stay tuned!
I will be visiting Scooby again in late April to volunteer again with Nancy!
Bones is doing fantastic! Cali Boy! Look at him!

Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. Bless sends her blessings! Sara sends smiles! Bones sends hugs and kisses!
Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!
Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!
Bones, Our Handsome Galgo

Traveling to Spain? Consider becoming a Flight Angel and transporting dogs to the U.S.A.