Monday, January 20, 2014

How I Spent My Thanksgiving 2013 Holiday at Scooby in Spain (Part 1)

Amelia (left) and Austin (right), Patio Dogs - Scooby Icons 

I am very late in posting this entry, since my November/December trip to Spain.  So much to tell you about. Here we go! :-)

My employer, McAfee/Intel, shut down the entire week of Thanksgiving this year, giving us time off during one of the most celebrated holidays in the U.S.A.  This presented the perfect opportunity to visit one of my all-time favorite places to volunteer, once again – Scooby Medina del Campo, an animal rescue sanctuary in Spain. I'm trying to get there twice each year now, or more if I can arrange it. Yep. I'm hooked! :-)
There's Something About This Place that is so Very Special and Calls You Back Again and Again...
Everything lined up nicely for the trip.  The airfare was very good, and I was able to use some travel points to reduce it to half price.  Prior to my trip, I had been in contact with my friend, Sabine, who is one of the Scooby Germany team and is living on site, to confirm that I could stay there, and that I’d have the chance to work with her and other volunteers whom I had met during other visits.

Reality is, it’s a full day traveling from California to Spain, and a full day traveling back, so I took a few extra days so that I could have seven days at Scooby, two in Madrid, and two for traveling to and from.  Left home in San Jose at 5 a.m. to catch the 7 a.m. plane from San Francisco to Madrid.  I had a three hour layover at JFK in New York City, and then on to Madrid.  

Medina del Campo Train Station
After arriving on Saturday, Simonetta, another Scooby volunteer from Italy, who lives on site, picked me up and took me to Scooby.  She showed me to my place, and I settled into my caravan, and then went exploring to meet and greet the animals. 

My Scooby Caravan - Comfy Digs
Snuggly Bed with Lots of Warm Blankets and Space Heater Made My Caravan Very Comfy
After that, my jet lag caught up with me, so I took a nap, got up and had dinner in the kitchen. Met two young women who were visiting veterinarians, one from Northern Spain and the other from Prague. One was here for three weeks, the other was staying for six. A few days prior to my arrival, there were several other vets there helping out under the tutelage of a famous Spanish vet.  The two ladies explained that since the economies are bad in different parts of Europe, they are having a difficult time finding jobs that pay enough for them to sustain their own living; so they are volunteering, hoping to find other opportunities, while keeping their skills and knowledge up to date.  After dinner, I turned in early to catch up with the nine hour time change.

On Sunday, got up early and got ready for my first working day.  During this time of year, it’s very chilly in the mornings and at night, so I brought layers, including a rain-proof jacket and pants and a nice new pair of rubber boots to leave for my fellow volunteers to use when they visit.  
Chilly, but Lovely Scooby Morning
Ate breakfast and met up with Sabine.  We worked together to clean some of the paddocks, and also socialized with the animals (my favorite time).  We met so many wonderful dogs, galgos and other mixed breeds. Each and every one is so special and most of them are friendly and yearning for attention.  It is sad to see some dogs that are so very shy, they tremble if you get too close to them. Sabine, Ana, Simonetta and other volunteers work together to socialize the shy ones and bring them out of their shells. Their efforts are really paying off, as many very shy ones have been adopted and successfully integrated into loving homes.
Sabine and a Lovely Galgo - All Love

Sabine and Another Galgo Mix - She Certainly has a way with Animals
In the afternoon, I met three volunteers from Scooby Italy, who were there for three days to take photos, videos and to write profiles for many of the dogs that are available for adoption.  Thankfully, Italians adopt a number of Scooby’s galgos, as well as mixed breed dogs.  It was fun getting to know these ladies during their short visit.  We laughed about what time we ate our respective dinners. I normally ate dinner around 7 p.m. and they ate around 10 p.m.  They think we eat dinner too early. ;-)
Scooby Italy Team
One of the most special times that I had with them was in Paddock 2, visiting all of the beautiful galgos there.  It was there that I fell in love with one who followed me everyplace. She was "my galgo girl" whom I visited each day, brought treats, gave hugs and kisses and had a difficult time leaving. She has since been reserved and adopted.  
My Galgo Girl, Sevillana - Some Lucky Ones Have Adopted Her. Blessing to You, My Love!
I cannot tell you how happy it makes all of us who have anything to do with Scooby to know that one of our love bugs has been chosen and adopted into a loving home.  It is the case for most of the dogs, but sadly, not all. More about that later.

I shall end this entry, and continue with Part 2 of my adventure shortly.  There's so much more to share. I'm excited to tell you about the rest, so stay tuned....

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.

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