Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scooby Doo! Off to Spain to Get Bless

Off to Spain

I'm off to Spain tomorrow morning, bright and early.  Will travel through JFK/NYC, and then on to Madrid, arriving at about 9:40 a.m. on Thursday.  Meeting up with Diane, from Scooby. We'll pick up the van from Madrid and head over to Scooby Medina del Campo to begin our first work day.  Looking forward to a very interesting adventure!

Bless

Feeling very blessed to be able to bring back the Galga (female) that I originally selected, named "Bless".  She's a beautiful brindle greyhound, and I'm so looking forward to meeting her.  All plans have been set for her journey home.  We purchased the kennel, puppy pads, soft cushion bed, food dishes that attach to the side of the cage, leash, no-back-out collar, and she even has her new ID tag, which says that she is officially a member of the Easter family. :-)


We really pondered purchasing the correct size cage for her.  It helped that Scooby has a height measure on the adoptee photos on the site.  We bought the Series 800 carrier, which has these dimensions: 39L x 26W x 30H.  Will let you know if any hassles at the airport.  I think we'll be OK, but it will cost extra $$ to send, I'm sure. No worries about that.;-)

You'll note that Hazel is in the photos above. She's ready for her trip, in bubble wrap, and in a cushy sock in my backpack. :-) She's ready to do some good work at Scooby, as am I!

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to write while I'm there, but I have a journal to take lots of good notes, and my iPhone for photos and video, so that I can update this blog to let you know about the happenings and share the experience.  It's SO exciting!  This will certainly be a life-changing experience.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Please support Scooby!

Hasta Luego!

Margie

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Travel Partner & Good Luck Charm, Hazel

Hazel Goes to Spain!

Hazel (front)
Hazel (back)
This is kind of silly, yet fun.  Last weekend, we were in Monterey, and there is this really cool cafe on the wharf, with fantastic fresh gourmet food,  Lou Lou's Griddle in the Middle. We ate there for breakfast and lunch, and the food was superb, as always.

A few years ago, my sister, Mary and I had eaten there for breakfast, and we heard the wait staff talking about how one of their many fun and interesting collectible salt and pepper shakers had traveled the world.  Both the staff and customers have taken one particular ceramic shaker to many different places around the world, her name is Hazel. Of course, I was intrigued and it stuck with me.

This past weekend, on a whim, I asked the manager about Hazel when we had breakfast. I told her that I was going to Spain to volunteer at Scooby Medina, and she was very excited to think that I would consider taking Hazel along on the trip. :-)  So I gave her my contact info, she gave me Hazel, and everyone in the restaurant cheered and wished me well on my trip to Spain. Hazel will be traveling with me and I will, as suggested by one of the staff, take her in my back pack, in a sock.  She will have many photo opps in many locations, so stay tuned.

Hazel is going to Spain and she will be helping at Scooby Medina!:-)

Please support Scooby!

Hasta Luego!

Margie

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Preparations for the Trip to Spain

Getting ready for the trip to Spain.  Here's what I've learned:

Air Transportation

Diane, the Scooby Volunteer Coordinator, said that they generally use Delta Airlines for transporting the Galgos back to the USA from Spain.  They have been very good about their pricing, accommodations and treatment of the dogs. There is a window of time for transporting the Galgos by air, and that is 9/15-5/15.  After that window, the weather is too hot and too risky for travel in the cargo area.  The other restriction is that each plane can only take a maximum of six dogs at one time.  This requires careful coordination, as we have to travel from Madrid to either JFK in NYC or Altanta for clearing US Customs. Otherwise, the connections are to other European cities, such as Paris or Amsterdam, and then to the USA.

Was fortunate to get my ticket with Delta for a very good price, and was able to use my Am Ex travel points to purchase.  The trip is from SFO -> JFK -> Madrid, and the return is the reverse.  I'll meet up with Diane at JFK, who is coming from VA. She's also volunteering and bringing back dogs for adoption.  I'm bringing back another dog for adoption, and he will be picked up at JFK.

A Long Journey for the Galgo

Once the Galgo is put into the travel carrier for transport in Madrid, she will be locked in until she arrives at her final destination. That means that my dog will have to travel from Madrid through JFK and then to SFO, spending approximately 17-20 hours in that carrier. I will meet her at US Customs at JFK to clear her through.  She will have her own passport, medical clearance and paperwork, which will be attached to my ticket.  She cannot be let out of that carrier no matter what. I'm buying puppy pads for the bottom of the carrier, and food dishes that can be attached inside for her. It concerns me that I have to leave the dog in that cage for so long, and it will be very stressful for her.  :-( Hoping all will go well!

When I visited PetSmart to inquire about the cage and other supplies, the Sales Rep mentioned that they have cage inserts that you can purchase which omit pheromones to help settle the dog's nerves. I may try that. Can't hurt.

I'll purchase the pet carrier and other supplies next week, after I double check with Delta regarding cage size.  Apparently, different sizes of airplanes have different sizes of cargo doors. I want to make certain the one that I buy is the correct size for my plane.

Other arrangements

When we arrive in Medina del Campo, we'll stay at the Scooby Medina Rescue Centre. They have an office building and some small trailers where we can sleep over.  There's plenty of work to do there every day. More on that later!

Stay tuned!

Will provide another update with more details in the next few days.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please support Scooby!
Hasta luego!





Sunday, April 3, 2011

Introduction

The journey begins:

The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness about the plight of the Galgo, the Spanish greyhound, and about adoption.  I plan to update this blog regularly.

Background:

A few years ago, I saw an article about the Galgos in my, "Celebrating Greyhounds" magazine.  Being involved in greyhound rescue and adoption in North America, and loving the breed, gave me the heart to want to learn more about the Galgo and how I could possibly make a difference.

From the article, and my research on the Internet, I learned about Project Scooby in Medina del Campo, ES (http://www.scoobymedina.org/en/about_us/index.html).  Here's more information about the organization from the site:  Scooby started out in 1987 as a shelter under poor conditions, providing refuge for the stray cat and dog population and the numerous Galgos (Spanish bred sighthounds) discarded mainly by the local coursing fraternity in the area of Medina del Campo, Valladolid. Scooby is being lead since years by its honorary president Fermín Pérez, in daily life a science teacher at the main senior school in Medina del Campo.

Adopting a Galgo:

My husband and I want to welcome a Galgo into our family, so I connected with two coordinators to discuss adoption and volunteering at the Scooby Medina site, Eva and Diane.  These wonderful volunteers do so much for the organization. It is amazing!  Eva coordinates all of the adoptions for NA and EMEA, and Diane coordinates all of the volunteer visits, logistics of getting the dogs to their homes, fund-raising, the Scooby store, and much more.  Such great hearts and such special people!

All of this is very exciting! I'm traveling to Medina del Campo 4/27 - 5/2 to volunteer at the Scooby Rescue Centre, and to bring my adoptee home.  I think she will be a beautiful Galgo, named "Bless".  You can see photos of her on the Scooby website.

You!

I would encourage you to visit the Scooby site, read about the Galgos and other animals, the organization, and watch the videos.  It'll give you a good idea of what all of this is about:  http://www.scoobymedina.org/en/about_us/index.html


Heartfelt thanks for your support! Please support Scooby!
Muchas gracias! :-)