Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why Would You Give Up Thanksgiving Holiday for Another Volunteer Adventure at Scooby in Spain?

This is Why We Return to Scooby Again and Again... for the Animals
Why in the world would someone from California give up one of the comfiest and coziest of all American holidays to travel all the way to Spain to work at an animal rescue facility, Scooby Medina del Campo?

Further, why would anyone give up a delicious turkey dinner with family and friends to eat all meals in the communal Scooby kitchen?
Scooby's Communal Kitchen -
Many a Good Meal after much Hard Work, Good Conversation, and Socialization has been had in this very simple and humble Kitchen. It is truly a multi-national gathering place. I've shared times here with folks from 6-7 different countries - Amazing!

On top of that, why would one want to think about waking up early on a cold fall/winter morning, putting on layers of clothing, and then cleaning dog and cat pens, shoveling poop, preparing food, and caring for the needs of hundreds of dogs (many galgos), and other animals, including cats, raccoons, rabbits, horses, cows, donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs and chickens when they could be relaxing, overeating, and sleeping in every day?  So am I nuts or what? ;-)
The Scooby Medina del Campo Sanctuary
Making Miracles Every Day for Many Animals

To me, the answer is simple: If it was in your heart to do so, and you had the means to help, why wouldn't you?  Thanks to God, I have Thanksgiving week off, and can go to Spain to volunteer. So happy to return for my fifth volunteer visit to Scooby Medina del Campo in just a few short days! 

My first visit was back in April, 2011, when I went to bring back my first galga, Bless. Bless is such a wonderful companion pet. She is sweet, loving, gentle, affectionate and in a word, "perfect". Three years and four volunteer trips later, I feel more passionately than ever about supporting Scooby and helping these lovely rescued animals find loving homes and families.  You just cannot go wrong bringing one of these lovelies into your heart and home.  Another surprise for our pack is that this past Summer, we adopted another galga, Sara, from a different rescue group in Spain. Both galgas are such wonderful, loving pets!
Sara (left) and Bless (right) - Our Two Wonderful Spanish Galgas 
Leaving for Spain next week, staying at the Scooby sanctuary for seven nights and then in Madrid for two nights to do some sight-seeing.  During my time there, I look forward to seeing and caring for the animals, as well as working with wonderful Scooby volunteers and staff. Every time I visit Scooby, it truly restores my faith in humanity.  The staff, volunteers, adoption families and supporters are absolutely amazing people with HUGE hearts. All have the common goal, which is to make things better for the animals. 

During my visit at Scooby, I'll take lots of photos and videos of the animals who desperately need homes so that I can help raise awareness and expedite their adoptions. If you have a favorite that you'd like me to focus on, please let me know.

Stay tuned for more updates, as I embark upon my next Scooby adventure.

Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. More to follow. Bless sends her blessings. Sara sends smiles!

Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!

Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!

Please support Scooby!
Know an organization that will donate dog food? Please let me know.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rina and Tinga: Two Wonderful Scooby Dogs Who Need Loving Homes ASAP

I've been corresponding with my wonderful fellow volunteer colleague from Germany, Marie-Christine Meier, who recently visited Scooby in Spain.  Of course, she fell in love with the animals, as we all do.  She asked me if I would please write a blog posting to help two very special Scooby dogs who have been in the shelter for a long time get adopted into loving homes.  Of course I will! Here are the stories of two dogs who need loving homes ASAP (as soon as possible), Rina and Tinga.
Is it you?  Are you the one who will take lovely Rina or Tinga into your heart and home? I hope so! Please read on to learn more about them ...
Rina - Isn't she lovely?

Rina is so gentle and friendly

Rina gets along great with other dogs
Rina came to Scooby as a puppy, and is now 2 1/2 years old. She has gone far too long without a loving home. All she wants is to give and receive love.
Rina yearns for human companionship; beyond toys, food or even treats! Even though she is so sweet and loving, she has been overlooked many times for adoption. Maybe it's because she lets the others in her paddock shine, and she hides from the limelight.  She's truly a bright star who needs that loving home to shine as bright as she is on the inside as well as on the outside. She has a wonderful character and temperament. She is extremely intelligent and quick to learn. She´s great with other dogs, patient and friendly with her fellow friends in the paddock.

Rina is a lovely dog that will surely capture your heart once you get to know her. Won't you please consider adopting her and bringing her into your heart and home?

Tinga says, "Won't you please consider adopting me?"

Tinga and Marie-Christine fall in love. Who could resist sweet Tinga?

Tinga relaxes, chewing on a treat.

Sweet Tinga - A wonderful companion dog. She needs a forever home!
Here's a very nice video of Tinga:
Tinga is a very special dog. She arrived at the Scooby shelter in Spain in September, 2010. That means she´s been there 3 years now, which is far too long...
Tinga is a Schnauzer/Griffon-mix. She's approximately six years old, strong, sleek, smart and obedient. She has been diagnosed leishmaniasis positive, which is treatable and manageable. She is a gorgeous black beauty. Her perfect living situation would be with a male dog or alone, as she can be a bit dominant when present with other females. She is quite shy and reserved when she doesn´t know you.  But when she does get to know you, she is such a love! She is a gentle soul who loves attention, likes being brushed and being a companion with her people. She loves cuddles, and especially loves tummy rubs. Tinga watches, follows and worships you, once you are hers.  She will be the perfect devoted friend; loyal, polite and loving. Please help us find a loving home for Tinga, where she will be loved infinitely.

Contacts for more information about adopting Rina or Tinga:

Spanish language:
English language:
German language:
French language:
Dutch language:
Italian language:

Thank you for reading my blog!

Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. More to follow. Bless sends her blessings. Sara sends smiles!

Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!

Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!

Please support Scooby!
Know an organization that will donate dog food? Please let me know.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

July 2013 Visit to Scooby - Another Wonderful Volunteer Experience

Margie Falls in Love Again with this Galga and a Spaniel Puppy
The galga is a gorgeous tiger brindle sweetheart and the puppy is a survivor from his litter

In July, I had the pleasure of returning to Scooby for seven days to volunteer with my super-hero volunteer  and dear friend, Melissa Beamish. My husband, Darrell, and I had a two-week Viking River Cruise vacation, prior to this, and had spent time in France, Luxembourg, Germany, and the Czech Republic.  When Darrell returned to California, I traveled to Madrid, and then Medina del Campo on the train. (Blessings to the families and friends who lost their loved ones in the recent train crash. It's the same route that we take for Scooby. Very sad...)
Melissa picked me up from the train station, and then we did the grand tour of Scooby. She introduced me to all of the animals, and we had a chance to give many pets and love. I have never seen so many gorgeous galgos in all of my life, and even puppies!

Such Gorgeous Galgos! I have never seen so many beauties at Scooby.

The Puppies are a Blast!
They won the award for the messiest kennel every day while I was there. ;-)
During the rest of the week, we did our usual routine after we woke up: cleaned the puppy, kitten, rabbit, raccoon pens, and then had lunch. From there, we helped make the food for the dogs, and then cleaned paddocks, socialized with the dogs, and did whatever else needed to be done.  Melissa often gave out the medications, so she would go non-stop until late evening. I had caught a horrible virus/cold during the vacation, and stayed in the Scooby dorm.  I coughed all night and the dogs sang all night, so we kept each other entertained. ;-)  I find it so comforting to be in the dorm. After the first night getting used to the howling and barking, it becomes part of your soul.

Melissa Loving the Scooby Galgos

A highlight on this visit is that Sabine, Scooby Germany, and her two dogs moved to Scooby for good.  She has been an active supporter for years, and she made a very daring move to be a permanent part of the passion of her life.  Congratulations, Sabine! I loved meeting you and look forward to working with you in November.

Sabine is One of Two Who Make Scooby Germany Look Big -
She is a Lovely Lady Inside and Out, but very Shy about having herself in photos

Joyce, from Holland, Sabine, from Germany & Melissa, from England, All Super Volunteers with BIG Hearts - Loved working with them!
And yet another highlight is that I met Joyce, from Holland, who is a volunteer that found Scooby via her heart and has been there a few times now doing animal behavior research for her education. She's also lovely and has that great big heart for the animals. It was such a pleasure working with Joyce, Melissa and Sabine. We all spent our lunches and dinners together, did our chores together, and even spent our Sunday visiting and socializing the animals and walking the entire Scooby ranch to visit everyone we could.
Every one of us who love Scooby should be delighted about how well things are going there.  There are new paddocks and kennels, the newly rescued horses and donkeys have much more room to graze in the pastures adjacent to the Scooby grounds, and the Scooby sanctuary overall is looking and doing so very well. In addition, the local outreach that Fermin and Dani have done is making a difference. While I was there, three young ladies from Medina del Campo signed up and began coming Monday through Friday to volunteer for four hours each day. This is a major breakthrough, and I believe will help to change the culture. Thanks to everyone for your support. We are making a difference. You can truly see it when you visit! :-)
I have more to report about this trip, but was way overdue in catching up on my blog postings to let you know what's going on.  I shall have some follow-up postings soon..
Hooray! I'm planning to meet up with Melissa again at Scooby in late November, so stay tuned for that.
Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. More to follow. Bless sends her blessings. Sara sends smiles!

Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!

Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!

Please support Scooby!
Know an organization that will donate dog food? Please let me know.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Surprise! We Have Another Galgo. Welcome Home Sara!

Introducing Beautiful Sara, Our New Galga from Sevilla
Completely out of the blue sky in early May, I received a call from Barbara, the leader of our local greyhound adoption group, Greyhounds Friends for Life, through which we adopted our first greyhound Daisy, and second Wilma. She said that a galga named Sara had been brought from Sevilla, Spain, via the G.R.I.N. team for adoption by a sponsor, Mora, in the San Jose area.  I learned that Sara wasn't compatible with the greyhound in her new home, so they needed to place her as a foster until they could re-home her. 

At first, I thought of all of the reasons why we could not take Sara. Wanted to be realistic and fair to Sara and our pack about this decision. Wanted to think it through carefully, as I did not want to shuffle her around from place to place, since she had already been through so much to get here.  I spoke with my husband, Darrell, and he agreed that we would take her as a foster and maybe even consider keeping her, if she was compatible with our pack.  

I had a long conversation with Mora about what she was like, her history, and the situation. We arranged a time for her to bring Sara over on a Sunday. When they arrived, it was clear that Mora loves her so much. It was touching to see all of the wonderful, thoughtful things that she had bought/brought for her: a plush bed, collars, a coat, ID tags, leashes, toys, special food, and everything in pink for the Lady Sara. 
Look at Our Lovely Sara :-)
First impressions of Sara: she's approximately six years old, very petite -- about the size of whippet, way too skinny -- you could see all of her ribs, a sadness in her eyes that could speak volumes, lots of huge scars -- one very large "Z" that looks to be carved into her forehead. :-(  She was used as a brood mom and clearly had at least one litter of puppies.  Her markings reminded me a lot of our first greyhound, Daisy, which brought back fond memories.  She was calm, inquisitive, gentle, and needed time to adjust to her new surroundings and people.  We didn't want to introduce her to our pack until she got better acquainted with us and our home, so we kept her in our office for two days and pulled the switcheroo between rooms for the other dogs and our cat Frank. 

The next step on day 3, was to put her in the kennel cage so that she was protected and the other dogs could come around her so they could check each other out.  At first, there was a little snarling, but nothing serious.  Once they all were used to each other, Darrell introduced each of them to her individually out in the back yard, while I was out.  Much to my surprise and delight, when I arrived home from yoga class that evening, everyone (including Sara) greeted me at the door.  It didn't take long for her to move further into being part of the Easter pack.  She sleeps cuddled next to us, is out of her kennel and with the others all of the time now, eats and plays with everyone. It's like she was always here. :-)  So lovely!

Our decision was made week one. We are keeping Sara! She has her forever home!

Sara has an international fan club. The caring people who helped rescue her have connected with me and shared her story.  I recently found out some very sad things about her life that make us love and appreciate her even more:
  • Thanks to Telma Shaw for introducing me to these super heroes who rescued our Sara, Beatriz Sanches-Elvira  and volunteers of Assoc. Protectora Argos. Here is the message that Beatriz sent me about Sara:
    "I received a call from a friend saying that in Carmona (a town 30 km away from Seville) there was a very weak and skinny galga lying on the street, without enough strength to get up or to run away. I told them to take her to our vet immediately, for a check up to discard any infectious disease such as parvo or distemper. It is not common in a grown up dog, but it could always happen and of course, depending on that she should go to the "hospital-house" and be isolated, or to the dog hotel.
    Fortunately she didn't show any symptoms of disease, no fever, no diarrhea, no mucus... she was "just" dehydrated and very hungry.... so, we just took her to the dog hotel with a good coat and a big bag of a more nutritious food than the normal food we have, so that she could recover quickly.
    Sara was Abused, Neglected and Left for Dead in the Streets of Sevilla
    From her first day in the dog hotel she was absolutely happy and jumping high to greet us. It seemed clear that she was healthy and just in need of food and care. She recovered amazingly well! She soon became a favorite of all, for her wonderful joyful character and  her sweetness.  Thank you so much to you, to GRIN, to Mora for taking her to the USA and of course, thanks a lot to Margie and Darrel for giving her a new home.

Thank you to the Volunteers Who Rescued Her 

  • Another message from her rescuer, Alejandro Calso Morales:
    "Sara was found in Carmona, a place nearby Sevilla, she was so weak that barely could stand up by her self.  I hosted Sara for few days while she was in transit to the US. I gave her a bath and took care of her for few days. We all agreed it was impressive how noble a lovely was after having suffer so many humiliations and being abused in such away. She just wanted to have an owner to love. Now she found her place in life (although had to make it to the other side of the world). We feel grateful for this.  I will check your blog and will be happy to hear about Sara every now and then. She was such a good dog that didn't want to lose track. Please keep posting pictures or stories so I get to know every now and then. Many thanks for adopting. Sara is an incredible dog."
Every day, Sara's light shines brighter. She is becoming the pet that she always deserved to be. She is loving, sweet and a joy to be around.  She jumps two feet straight up in the air when she greets me at the door.  We love her, and look forward to her continued healing and progress.
Sara Enjoys Sunning by the Swimming Pool in Her California Home
Sara's Light Shines Brighter Every Day
Sara and Our Greyhound, Wilma by the Pool
Galgas from Spain - Sara Rescued by G.R.I.N. and Bless Rescued by Scooby
Mora has been over to visit and is her official "Godmother". She brings love and lovely gifts, and we fully intend to keep in touch with our new friend whom we met through our mutual love for dear Sara. Stay tuned for future updates!

Who would have thought we'd have another galgo? This was completely unplanned, but what a wonderful surprise, indeed. :-)

Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. More to follow. Bless sends her blessings. Sara sends smiles!

Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!

Our gorgeous Galga, Sara!

Please support Scooby!
Know an organization that will donate dog food? Please let me know.

Friday, May 3, 2013

"I've Got Sunshine On a Cloudy Day", Happy 2 Year Gotcha/Birthday, Bless!

Happy 2nd Gotcha/Birthday Bless, May 2
This is Bless' Adoption Photo - How We Chose Her

"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May. I guess you'd say, what can make me feel this way, My Girl... talking about My Girl!"

Bless is "My Girl", by the Temptations. Guess that says it all, Bless! :-)

This love story began 2 1/2 years ago, when we decided to adopt a Spanish Galgo. After much research, I found Scooby Medina del Campo. I contacted Eva, the Adoption Coordinator for the U.S. and Canada, and spoke with her. Filled out the adoption forms and submitted references that she would interview. Even before I was approved, I started to look at the profiles for the dogs that were available for adoption and made a list. The one whose sweet face, beautiful markings and Spanish eyes stole my heart was named "Bless". She had arrived in December 2010, and I decided that she was THE ONE. After being approved for adoption, I told Eva of my selection. Sad news! She was to go to France. As fate would have it, shortly thereafter, Eva said that she had put Bless on hold for us. Hooray!
While discussing details with Eva, she suggested that I might want to travel to Spain to volunteer at Scooby and then bring back Bless so that I could see where she came from. At first, it seemed kind of outrageous to me. Then the idea started to grow on me. I spoke with Diane, the Scooby N.A. Volunteer Coordinator, and the timing was right for me to travel and meet with her and Lydia, Scooby N.A. Board Member, in late April 2011 to pick up Bless, when they were also bringing back dogs for a few others in the U.S. Once again, everything worked out, and I was able to travel there to volunteer for five days and then bring back Bless. It was a wonderful experience, and since then, galgos and Scooby have become my passion.
I want you to know more about Bless, what it's like to have a galgo as a pet, who she is inside, what she's like, and why we love her so much, and to let you know how much we feel even more love and compassion for the wonderful, beautiful galgos.
About Bless:
  • She's extremely intelligent and sensitive, as well as sweet, friendly, gentle and a bit reserved at times. Often, she will come to visit us during each day for hugs, kisses, pets and love. Interesting that she should be so loving when no one showed her any love before coming to Scooby.
  • She LOVES to eat and LOVES treats!

Bless and Wilma bob for hot dogs at the Greyhound Reunion
Wima will dunk her head, but Lady Bless will not ;-)

  • She LOVES to sleep and nap and sleep and nap. She is a snuggle bug - sleeps cuddled up next to us in bed and likes to be under the blankets - sighs with pleasure when you hug her or snuggle her up in the covers.

Sleepy Head, Bless - She Loves to Sleep and Nap and Sleep and Nap ...

  • She has become a very good watch dog, barking at anyone, or anyone walking their dog, who dares to walk past our house. Has a very deep voice and barks with the best of them. I'm sure she learned it from the galgo and Scooby days.

Beware of our Watch Dogs: Wilma, Jake, Bless

  • She LOVES pillows, toys and chewy bones.She is not rough on toys, but does rearrange the small pillows on most of our beds and furniture every day.  Her favorite 'baby' is my "I Love Manatee" pillow. She grabs it off the back of the futon, takes it to her bed and then lays her head on it.

  • She fits right in with our pack - our greyhound, Wilma, American Eskimo, Jake, and cat, Frank.

Greyhounds & Galgos Get Along Well
Wilma & Bless in Their Babushkas on a Cooler Winter Day in CA

  • While some galgos cannot be re-homed with cats, our Bless and Frank often nap together.

Frank and Bless Napping (again)

  • She enjoys playing and running in our back yard, and also sunning on the patio
  • She gets along well with visitors to our home and echos the actions of our other dogs

Bless, Wilma and Jake on Our Bed - One of their Favorite Places

  • She is so beautiful and special: golden brindle, gorgeous markings, with a cool white arrow-like marking on the back of her neck, Spanish eyes that you cannot resist.  She wags her tail helicopter style, most of the time, which I believe means ultimate happiness and joy. If we had tails, ours would be wagging too!

Two years later, I am so grateful to Scooby, the organization, staff, volunteers, adoption families, and supporters. Thank you all for helping us save these wonderful animals. I think about it every night as I hug my precious gem, Bless. :-)
Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. More to follow. Bless sends her blessings.


Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!
Please support Scooby!
Know an organization that will donate dog food? Please let me know.



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Happily Ever After Story: Scooby Adoptee Rayo One Year Later

Debbie and Rayo - Happily Ever After! :-)
A year ago, my husband Darrell and I traveled to Spain to spend some time in Madrid and also volunteer at Scooby. We brought back two dogs for adoption in the U.S.A., Benji and Rayo.  It was a wonderful trip and experience, and we were so happy to bring the two Scooby dogs back with us. It made the trip that much more exciting and fulfilling. 

The two were conversation pieces at the Madrid and JFK, New York Airports, and received excellent care from the Delta staff who took care of them during the transcontinental transport.  When we arrived at JFK, Debbie was waiting for Rayo and Barbara was waiting for Benji. We didn't have but a few minutes to exchange greetings and give them the dogs and give hugs, and then we were off to our connecting flight back to San Francisco.  Darrell and I had smiles on our faces all the way back, knowing that the two dogs were probably cuddling up in their new beds, with new toys and many treats, as we made our way West.
Rayo and Benji Travel from Spain to their New Homes in the U.S.A.
Since it has been one year, I asked Debbie Jordan, who adopted Rayo, if she would write an update to share about her life with Rayo.  Here is her story:

"I began my search for a Galgo in December of 2011. Having made some inquiries, I was directed to Diane at Scooby North America who put me in touch with Eva. I quickly sent in my application and waited to hear. It wasn’t until February that the process started moving forward, although I had heard from Eva and knew that I wasn’t forgotten. My references were checked and by the beginning of March I was informed that my application was accepted. I was then asked to choose a few dogs that I was interested in and they would be tested to see if they would be compatible in my household which contained a Greyhound, 2 Italian Greyhounds, a Silky Terrier, 3 Parrots and several Italian Greyhound fosters.
Of the three dogs I selected, I kept going back to Rayo’s photo. There was no profile written about him, but his eyes and expression gave me hope that he could become part of my family.  The other two dogs were tested first and one was definitely not small dog friendly and the second one was younger and wanted to play with the small dogs, which made me a little nervous. Then I noticed that Rayo was no longer on the website. I was so dismayed and contacted Eva, who calmly told me that he was taken off because he was on hold and she was waiting to see if the group in Holland would release him. Thankfully, they did. Rayo’s testing with other Galgos, small dogs, cats and even the chickens went perfectly!  By March 31, everything was finalized, I sent in my payment and was told he would be arriving at JFK on April 8th.  From that point on, I was notified of everything that was happening, even getting photos of Rayo and his paddock mate, Benji, in quarantine waiting to leave Scooby.
Rayo in Quarantine at Scooby in Early April, Just Before we Left for the U.S.A.
From the moment Rayo came out of the kennel at the airport, I knew I had adopted the perfect dog.  He came out wagging and has not stopped since.
Debbie Meets Rayo for the First Tine at the JFK Airport in New York
Rayo easily acclimated to living in my household and going to work with me everyday. He was house trained within a week and didn’t take long to realize that my bed was his favorite place in the house. At night he whines to go upstairs so he can cuddle in bed with me and the other dogs.

Who Could Resist the Cuddle Bug, Rayo?

Rayo with his Pack - Um... Where Does Debbie Sleep?
Rayo’s outgoing personality makes him a joy to be around. He loves everybody and goes out of his way to share his love and enthusiasm with everyone he meets.
Rayo is Such a Sweetheart
This attitude enabled us to become a therapy dog team. Rayo visits as a therapy dog in various facilities and works with me in my role as an Animal Assisted Therapist helping people with their physical and occupational therapy sessions. We are now working towards becoming an Animal Assisted Crisis Response team with SMART (Stress Management Animal Response Teams). This gives him membership into the local fire company and local CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) team to help first responders in the community. Rayo also just passed his first beginners agility class and will be moving forward to the next session of agility classes. A dog has to have time to let loose and have fun, too!

Rayo is now a Therapy Dog - How Cool is That?
Rayo, I and the rest of the zoo are currently waiting for our next Galga to arrive in the USA. Hopefully we will hear from Eva soon! I have adopted many dogs, but getting a Scooby dog has been the best experience yet! Hope I can make a trip to Scooby myself some day and bring a Galgo back for another fortunate family."

Thank you so much for adopting dear, sweet Rayo, Debbie.  You touch all of our hearts with your love and generosity, and we certainly appreciate your support of Scooby and our beloved Galgos.  I wish you many happy years with Rayo, and hope that you have another dear Galgo joining your family/pack very soon. Muchas Gracias!
Hasta Luego! Thank you for reading my blog. More to follow. Bless sends her blessings.

Our gorgeous Galga, Bless!
Please support Scooby!
Know an organization that will donate dog food? Please let me know.