Thursday, May 19, 2011

4/30/11, First Full Work Day at Scooby Medina del Campo

Loving Galgos - Please Adopt me! 
Scooby Medina del Campo, photo Louise Stanforth

Woke up early in the morning, even though I'm on California time, and I should be very tired, must be adrenaline from the excitement of being here.  Of course, "the Wave" of dog serenades began early this morning, and that was a factor for my early rising.  Got dressed and ready to work. Made some really great coffee that we bought at the local store. I think it had chicory, and not certain what else, but it was mellow and delightful. Spain is just so great, in so many ways!

Diane and Lydia (Scooby USA Board) joined me as we set out on our first day of work. We took the quarantine area clean-up, which consists of 12 pens of about 65 dogs, mostly Galgos, and some other breeds. All of the dogs in this area are either going to be adopted, or they are going to be shipped to other adoption locations, such as: other parts of Spain, France, Germany, or the Netherlands.
Making Dog food at Scooby
Lydia Best and Diane Ward
This was a special day for me, as it was the day that I met the very dear volunteers from the UK: Ellie, Jacqui, Heather, Lucinda, Trevor, Louise and Keith. I want to give a super HUGE shout out to all of these wonderful folks who gave their hearts and souls in all of their good work while they were there. They had arrived a few days prior. By the time we arrived, they were so into their very hard work, such that I couldn't tell if they were if they were employees or volunteers.  They were all so kind and helpful.  Since I've returned home, I've connected with all of them via Facebook and email. (More on this later.)
Thank you Keith and Lou! You two worked so hard, sun up to sun down.
Keith, your masonry work is a marvel. Lou, your work with the animals, invaluable, and your photography, amazing! Thank you both!

The wonderful  UK Scooby Volunteers! Trevor, Heather, Lucinda, Ellie,  and Jacqui!
I have participated in numerous volunteer efforts, and have yet to see any team work harder and with such compassion. Heartfelt thanks to all of you!
The Scooby facility was full to capacity, particularly with Galgos, rescued from Seville, so we all watched over the quarantine and paddock areas during the morning and evening feedings to make certain that everyone had a chance to eat,  and fights didn't break out. We shouted, rattled fences, made ourselves the alpha, etc., when necessary, to keep the peace. We moved the gentle, shy ones, away from the grumpy, aggressive ones, to make certain everyone was safe, as best we could.

Visited the quarantine areas and paddocks throughout the day and evening, getting to know the dogs. When you enter, some dogs are very social, and they come right up to greet you and ask to be petted. Others are shy, and downright afraid.  They wait in line for you to notice and acknowledge them, so that they can receive your attention, and then share trust and love.  They are *so* starved for love and human attention, that it makes your heart ache.  It is wonderful to know that so many of them will go to good homes, or they will become retirees at Scooby!

This little girl was so sweet. 
Every time I entered her pen, she was the first in line, and then she jumped up and put her paws on my shoulders. She has so much love, just waiting to give to someone... adopt me?

As for the work day: Folks in Spain generally take Siesta, which is around noon and lasts for 1-2 hours. (Shouldn't we all do this? :-) )  I can't say that the Scooby staff takes the full Siesta, but because of it, and their routine, they do eat dinner very late, their time (9-11 p.m.) as compared to what we are accustomed to in the USA, which is bedtime for us.

Delightful evening

On this particular late evening, all of the Scooby volunteers gathered in the little town of Medina del Campo, in a very nice and friendly restaurant, to celebrate Fermin Perez birthday, the Scooby founder and caretaker.  Volunteers were from the US, Spain, UK and the Netherlands. It was so great!
Fermin's Birthday dinner with the Scooby Volunteers
We socialized and then ordered dinner, where we tried to figure out the menu offerings, which was Spanish fare and listed in Espanol on the menu.  I asked about a beef dish, thinking that I'd get something in sauce, and somewhat light.  What I actually received was a large "Fred Flintstone" rare t-bone steak. I think most at the table were surprised at what they had ordered, once it had arrived.  The restaurant was very kind and took back my steak and cooked to medium. There was so much food, and it was so late, so I decided to take a doggie bag, along with Lydia's left overs, who had the same order and experience. We knew the Scooby dogs, including Bless, would be in heaven, with this steak surprise.  We took everything back to Scooby and settled in for the night.

More to come. Thank you for reading my blog!

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Hasta Luego!

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