DAY 148: ARRIVAL IN SPAIN! I MEET MY FIRST GALGO DOGS
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)
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.
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.
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.
‘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.’
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
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.
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.