• DAY 148: ARRIVAL IN SPAIN! I MEET MY FIRST GALGO DOGS

    Feb 8th
    Charlotte Del Rio and her pack of Galgos that she rescued. Without her they'd be dead.

    Charlotte Del Rio and her pack of Galgos that she rescued. Without her they’d be dead.

     

    SUFFERING VS HUMANITY ….HUMANITY WINS!

    Only a few hours after arriving here in Spain I feel inspired, touched, energised.

    I’m just outside Malaga, south of Spain, in small, rural ‘finca’  -or farm house – surrounded by rescued Galgos (Spanish Greyhound hunting dogs) and the family of Charlotte Del Rio, the woman responsible for giving these dogs a new life.

    (Ann, you are right it is a little bit sunnier here than London)

     

    Just hanging out.

    Just hanging out.

     

    In the last blog I moaned about the ego getting caught up in compassion. ‘Will saving this animal make me feel better?’ Now I’m here I feel that same ego washing away revealing something cleaner and more important inside me: a renewed sense of wanting to help. There is suffering here, plenty of it, but there is also an example of someone who reaches out for all the right reasons, and against all odds.

    Simple compassion. Can't beat a good hug

    Simple compassion. Can’t beat a good hug

    Charlotte is from the UK but has lived here with her Spanish husband for over ten years. When she first came face to face with the horror of the Galgos’ plight she turned her compassion into letters and emails and sent them to everyone she could. People listened, newspapers published, blogs responded. But shortly afterwards she took that dangerous step that Avis and others have done and found herself taking in her first Galgo. Soon the rest followed.

    What gets me about these dogs is how gentle they are. It kind of pisses me off, they should be more angry. 'They forgive everything' says Charlotte.

    What gets me about these dogs is how gentle they are. It kind of pisses me off, they should be more angry. ‘They forgive everything’ says Charlotte.

     

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    Dog nap

    Spain, like Greece where I went a few months back, is hit by the recession. This knocks on to the dogs – more and more are abandoned.

    Galgos are looooonnnggg!

    Galgos are looooonnnggg!

    ‘It’s a full time job. That and looking after three kids. Sometimes all I do is walk my dogs. There’s no time – or money – for anything else. We rarely ever leave this place. But this year it’s worse than ever. So many dogs are being abandoned.’

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    Now, many years on, she runs a small operation rescuing galgo dogs from local pounds that are on death row and have been found abandoned and/or with serious injuries. She does this with little money but a huge drive. She rehabilitates them and then rehomes them around the world

    Along with Galgos, Charlotte also rescues Pondecos, another form of hunting dog, smaller and even less favoured by the Spanish

    Along with Galgos, Charlotte also rescues Pondecos, another form of hunting dog, smaller and even less favoured by the Spanish

     

    Beethoven and SuperTramp

    At the far end of Charlotte’s finca is a small hut where the Galgos sleep and rest. Music plays twenty four hours a day. During the day it’s heady mix of SuperTramp, Dire Straits, Michael Jackson.  But at night the sound system switches to classical music and the volume drops. ‘They need something to calm them afte all that trauma’ she explains.

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    Rest at last.

    I go into the hut during the dark and watch the Galgos fall asleep to Beethoven.

    After a lifetime of pain at least some harmony is bought back into their world. I too feel more relaxed.

    Tomorrow: A story about two of the Galgos that Charlotte rescued. You’ll be surprised by this one.

     

     



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    3 Responses to “DAY 148: ARRIVAL IN SPAIN! I MEET MY FIRST GALGO DOGS”

    1. Such beautiful dogs. I wonder what you will find out about what does the Spanish government do about this terrible practise.

    2. Thanks for telling us about this Martin, I knew nothing about it. But can’t say I’m overly surprised by anything Spaniards do!

    3. The close-up of the legs of the dog here is just amazing.
      I can almost feel the music when they fall asleep in their beds. Bless Charlotte!
      I fear to read your experiences of your next two days…
      Best regards, Martina

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