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2016/11/30

Vacation of a life time.



I think that all of us have a story about how we became involved with the hounds of Spain. We all want to see how the dogs are as they are saved and re-homed around the world.  But I think our own personal stories are what can inspire others to get involved and bring others to this cause.  We find ourselves one day face to face with the horrors of these marvelous animals and can never look away. Getting involved is another thing.  I know, not all can do what I did or others have done. But I got inspired and that is what made me take the leap.  So, I want to tell my story and hope others will do the same. These are the stories that can inspire and let people know they too can get involved.  I tell my story to whomever will listen. But locally is not enough. MPMFJ is a place that will get our stories heard and start the inspiration that drives folks to get more involved.  I believe we all give something but inspiration is a driving force and that is what I hope we can do.  

It started two years ago, for me. I saw something about the dogs in Spain but blew it off as it was just one more country with over population of dog. I was helping with this problem in Peru at the time.  My interest was there because of the Peruvian Inca Orchid dogs that I love. It was many more months after that, that I seen something else about the problems in Spain. Again, it was same problem just a different country. Then later in 2015 I saw the Million Paws March for Justice face page and started to read. I still did not know what was going on but found myself searching the internet trying to learn more. It was during that search that I became inspired.  I started looking at the website of the different refuges in Spain and reading about what the dogs are going through and how so many never make it. That took my heart and left me sleepless many nights thinking how can this be in the 21st century I read on many of the sits how people where needed at the refuges to help take care of the dogs and help with things needed at them. The refuges were looking for volunteers.... I knew this is something I can do. Work.  I spent the rest of the year of 2015 doing my homework.  I decided being older I might not have a whole lot left in me to be a mighty work horse for someone but I still could help. I settled on Pepis refuge and contacted Jane.  She told me she would love to have me come help.  I told her I had three weeks of vacation time to donate my help to her. She told me to come on. I started my search for cheap flights and airlines that would let me bring back a dog on. My intention was to help and then adopt a dog and bring back with me. I took a chunk of time looking for the best way to get myself there and get myself and a dog back to the states. Now this was a mix of trains, planes and automobiles getting this all-in place.  It became a driving force to make this happen no matter what. I needed to help and donating some money was not enough for me. I felt I needed to see firsthand and experience this for myself. To be there and understand what the people on the ground in Spain felt and done daily to save as many of these dogs as they can.  I need to check my opinions, my personal beliefs, and my way of life at the airport when I boarded the plane. I was going to work, help others, and observe.  I learned so much and can never be the same again.  I did not see the death but most every other thing.  I learned what is was like to give up everything including your life to help the dogs of Spain. The admiration I have for the folks who do this work in Spain, cannot be describe in words. I am now a much more effective marcher in the USA. I spread my story and the story of the dogs to all.  I work on a receiving dock and meet truck drivers daily and I have my dog at work many days and pictures that gets me started. My company has over 500 employees and most of them have met my Enana and or heard me talk about Spain.  

I would hope that the next vacation folks plan would be to donate themselves for a week or two at a refuge in Spain. It will be a vacation of a life time and you will not regret, donating one vacation to the hounds of Spain and the folks who save them.



2016/05/06

Refuge








Refuge
  1. Shelter or protection from danger, difficulty, etc.
  2. a person or thing that gives shelter, help, or comfort
  3. a place of safety; shelter; safe retreat
  4. an expediency or shift; action taken to escape trouble or difficulty
Rescue

To save (someone or something) from danger or harm.

Sometimes I believe seeing the definition and understanding the definition can often be different.  I use the dictionary definitions to give a clearer meaning of what I learned in Spain.

I am the President of a 501C3 non-profit rescue in the United States. I have been doing dog rescue in the States for close to 10 years give or take.  I go to Peru and sponsor Spay and Neuter clinics in the villages to help keep the overpopulation of pets down. But I do not rescue.  I travel and help move dogs, I foster and I can say I really have not went out and rescued. All the dogs I work with in the states are owner surrenders or we get them out of the shelters.

 I found myself questioning was I really helping. Is this what rescue is? Well yes it helps everything helps but for me I do not rescue. I believe the term is being use wrong. I went to Spain to help at a Refuge and learned firsthand the definition and what that mean to me now.

I learned about the Galgo and Podenco’s about a year and a half ago.  It came into my social media but I never stopped to pay attention just blew it off as one more country with animal problems. A few months later I saw the Galgo dogs plight again but still not paying much attention.  Last Oct. I had just returned from Peru and seen the Million Paws March for Justice. I then took time to read and learn. I spent many hours reading and educating myself on the situation in Spain.  I never cried so much as I did through the education.  While doing the research I seen where people could volunteer to help at the refuges, it took another 4 months to run the idea over and over in my head till I knew I had to do my part.  I looked at many websites to see which one I thought could use my help the most.  I contacted a few but settled on Pepis and spent three and a half weeks there.  Where I was educated in the real meaning of refuge and rescue.

When people can give all they have, even their way of life for the dogs. I was humbled in there presences, to see how life was for the humans and dogs.  To use every last dollar to give to the dogs. It is not a way of life I could live and hats off to those who can.  To use what they have and keep the dogs safe to get them medical help and to suffer the heart ace of loss when puppies die of Parvo the broken and tortured dogs that come to them.   The mental, emotional and financial drain that is 24/7 makes the physical labor looks like a walk in the park.  There is no end to the work but how does one keep up the pace every day no days off no time to do things for themselves.  Every element of weather causes a new need, every new dog taken in has a new need.  There is no end, it all keeps coming like a freight train and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is no future no time to dream. Only worry about how they will survive, pay the vet bill, the long hot summer, the threat of floods, how to keep all the dogs safe.

Without the help of strangers volunteering and donations coming in these refuges cannot survive. I know not everyone can just get on a plane and go help. There are many ways to get involved. I was touched and believe in a higher power guiding me. Now I am hoping to encourage some others to reach out to the folks who have sacrificed so much to help the beautiful hounds and dogs of Spain.  We need to understand that they do what they can with what they have.  Some have a little more than others but to understand they all love the dogs.  They need us…  To adopt to foster the dogs is a big part, refuges are not a way of life for the dogs they are there to keep them safe till they can move into foster or permeant homes.  The need us…. 


2016/02/15

Train Wreck


One of Peruvian dogs I brought back last Oct was a street dog born and raised. He had had multiple traumas as seen in an x-ray showing many different healings on all the breaks. His poor body is a train wreck, his hip is broken, pelvis, leg and even his back. Now on a better note he does not know he is a train wreck his body has healed just the way it was broken but he has learned how to get around and he can run and jump he just looks funny doing it. Now this has left him incontinent, but we have worked through most his body functions to lessen the amount of work needed to keep up with him. Now if he gets playing too hard or struggling in some way or another, this can bring on poop. Truly we have learned these things the hard way, we did not learn straight away it took us some shocking incidents to get us thinking. He gives shit slinging a new meaning.  As we do not keep him in a diaper all the time so he does not get infections or skin rashes we have to be on alert so we can catch things before they happen. We have gotten much better at this so life is not so bad now.
A while back I got home from work and my daughter is standing in the kitchen and it is totally void of any dogs and the noise coming from the other room is deafening.  I looked in as I passed the gate and seen all the dogs in their kennels screaming their heads off.  I ask why they were all in their kennels she said, “They were all in a big fight.”  What the hell happened? She said “I don’t know” When was the fight? Unknown.  Who all was fighting? Unknown. Who started the fight? Unknown The end result of all the questions was an undetermined amount of dogs just started fighting. I began ranting because she knows how to break up a dog fight and why was she not paying attentions to them. Was any one hurt? Ya Ma, but just scratches and bruises   As I went from cage to cage to assess the damages they did to each other. I ask her again Who was on the top of the dog pile???  And Why didn’t she grab the back legs and send the top one air born? She said I don’t know Ma I was just afraid that Train wreck would poop. Now that stopped me in my tracks. I left the room with visions of a pile of fighting dogs wallowing in shit. Say no more.

2015/11/24

Testing or not


I am one who resist change at all cost. I have reached the age that I feel set in my ways and really find leaning new things such as anything technology orientated, a pain in my ass. I like doing things like pick up the phone that is connected to the wall and dial the number and talk. I have a cell phone but anyone who has called it will tell you the mail box is full and I never answer. One reason is it in the bottom of my purse dead. Now if I needed to make a call I would find it wipe of the crumbs  and plug it in and make the call. Good luck reaching me before the damn thing dies again. I got the thing around 15 years ago back in the days of analog, for all you seasoned folks. Now I used it because I am on the road a lot and found it necessary to have one on my travels. My plan was 150 minutes a month for 35 bucks. Now over the years they have added minutes to the plan, like I ever used 150 minutes a month any way, so I never cared. Don't raise my bill and I am happy. I never done anything to the plan so they can never raise the monthly. So when the thing got stolen I called to have service suspended so someone did not make some 1,000 dollar phone call. I went into the store and told them I needed a new phone and they better not do anything to my cheap plan or they could keep the service and I would buy a prepaid card. After ranting to the guy he said "now you have me curious about how much you use your phone". After telling me I use 23 minutes in the last three months, I really felt like I needed to reconsider the plan thing. He then says we have a cheaper plan that you will like for 20 bucks and you have 700 minutes and all the texting you want. I laughed and told him I don't know how to text so that's not a deal breaker.  I made the guy crazy before I signed on the dotted line. Two weeks later my Mom wanted to go to the hospital because she felt something strange in her heart, at 87 she has heart disease and congestive heart failure. So I left work early and took her in. Now with the new phone that I have not made any calls on yet nor have I gotten one, it just sits in the bottom of my crumb infested purse.  So before I left work I sent my daughter a Facebook message telling her to call me. I get my Mom and we are on our way to the hospital and I hear a strange phone ring and by the third ring I say in a loud voice to my Mom " your phone is ringing". "No, she says, I don't have one." Well what is that sound? My Mom said " it's your purse". I then realized my new phone has a new ring tone.  It was my daughter and I told her to meet us at the hospital. Now later that night my brother gives me his phone number that I have no idea how to program into my phone so I shoved the waded up piece of paper in my crumb infested purse and decided that when he calls me and yells at me for not calling him I would have his number in my phone automatically and not have to worry.  Next day I go to call my brother so he can go pick Mom up and yes the number is there but I will be damned if I can make the phone dial that number and call him back. Now I am pissed because  I must be in three places at the same time. Well I missed everything I was suppose to do after work and just went and got Mom. Now she has to stop at the Meijer (like a super Walmart) and get her new meds. My Mom loves to shop, that equals look and touch everything in the store but not necessarily buying anything. I really needed to get going if I was going to make the next hundred things I needed to do before bed. The mix up at the drug counter did not help so I made arrangements to have someone come back to pick up the meds and tried to hurry Mom out of the store. Try, being the operative word. Now after I drop Mom off I tried to call my daughter to let her know what time I would be there to pick her up. Again her phone number is in my old phone and I do not have it memorize.  I again try to get the new phone to dial back her number where she call the day before. While in my frantic button pushing mode I see a screen that says text with a blinking cursor. What the hell so I typed, call me. I had no idea what I was doing so I got pissed and shut the thing and thru it in the other seat and drove like hell to get home. Not long after the strange ring tone erupts into an ear piercing volume in the seat next to me. I answered and I hear, " did you test me?" What? Who is this? Ma it's me, Did you test me? You mean text? "Yes", she said "text". Oh my God I did text you.Your my first TEXT, Holly shit Batman I texted and don't even know how I did it. I can't call you and I will never figure out how I texted so this maybe my first and last time. Your  never to old to learn something new and Heaven forbid you didn't really learn anything you stumble on it, Then your just too old.

2015/11/15

Vacation without the dogs.






Now as a norm I always load the kids and dogs in the van and off we go on 99.44% of all vacations and trips. It is what it is. Now we always do thing that we can with a van load of dogs in tow, mostly that mean the dog have to stay in the van. We have a second set of keys that is always glued around someone’s neck so there is no worry about locking said dogs in the van and not being able to get back in. Yes it has happened but that is another story.  The spare key gets use almost as much as the main key. Now the kids are mostly gone and there is just one living at home, and a dog transport gets cancelled so we decided to take a vacation with just the two of us and no dogs. The place that I have always wanted to see since the movie Goonies is the beach from the end of the moving. It had a wild, adventurous and mysterious effect on me that has stayed with me since I saw the movie 30 years ago. So my first thought is lets go to Oregon.  I did not know the whole coast is this way I thought it was just in one place. So to plan the trip to maximize the time to see as much as possible, the beach was not the first thing to see as soon as we left the plane.  Now I am very short on patience and hate to wait for anything. I had just enough time after landing and getting to the beach to make myself, a crazy driven woman, who will get there and get picture and nothing, will stop me.

The trip started with the Columbia River Gorge and then  we worked our way back to the coast. So one and half days later just 1 hour before dark we reach the Hay stack rock. As soon as I get on the beach I realized that is not the beach I saw in the movie but the rock was. It is raining like hell and I am enjoying the beach but bothered by the fact that there is another beach with a view of Hay stack and  I am not on that beach. We were leaving early in the morning to stay on track with the itinerary I have worked up to maximize our quantity of what Oregon has to offer. I just had to give it one more shot to find the beach. I seen something when we entered the Cannon Beach community that showed a state park to the North of the city and I had to go there to see if this was the beach I have stuck in my head. Now only a driven crazed women would do this in the middle of a rain storm and before sun up. So off we go, the wind is driving the rain sideways and the rain drops are a big as soft balls. One drop and your drenched, no dodging these big water bucket drops. We get to the car and proceed back to the area that showed us the state park, wet as hell. Now it took us twenty minutes to get through the park and out to the place called Indian beach.  It is a up and down the mountain and the curves at each plateau is so sharp you have to slow it down to 3mph, narrow for one car and trees are part of the shoulder on each side. We make it out to the beach right at the time of sunrise. The rain and fog do make the light of day impenetrable.  The ranger is there so this sets me to worry as I did not purchase a day pass so I was there illegally, I could not force myself to spend the money to get rained on  and then leave. I decided to wait a bit to see if the rain would ease up enough so I could at least see if this was in fact the beach. I watched the ranger to see if I would get busted or not but realize the ranger had no plan on getting wet either.  10 or 15 minutes later the rain eases just enough for the ranger to grab the garbage and drive away and for me to see we are at the beach of my dreams. Now I should have left then but I had to have a picture. So we sat another 10 minutes and it did ease and I  said "lets do it " and we rolled up our pants and jumped out of the car and ran down the cliff side path to the beach. I took my camera and an umbrella my daughter took her phone and an umbrella, not sure what the hell we were thinking in 40 mile hour winds. We are like to kids running down the beach umbrellas inverted and drenched laughing and snapping pictures climbing on rocks and just have a great time. My daughter yells "Ma you left the lights on the car". I looked but with out glasses I don't see much so I just see head lights on the top of the cliff. No, I did not. Must be some other person hoping to catch a little view of the beach.  I then can see the head lights move away.   We started make our way back when I see a big van pull in and park down from us.  I have watch every crime drama ever made  and I am going to arm myself with a rock in the pocket of the jacket just in case there is some foul play at work. A few more steps and I decide I need another rock, one can never have enough rocks if things get ugly. We get to the cliff path and start our way up when a man sticks his head over the side and yells down at us" Hey is this your blue car up here?" Ya "Well the window is smashed in" he says. What the hell and we take off. Yes the side window was smashed and they got our purses, the boyfriends nice camera that my daughter did not want to ruin by getting it wet.  They got a host of other things in side the purses. At that point the mans wife appears from inside the van and we started the 911 call. As we all discuss all the events leading up to this point I realize I still have a rock in my hand and feel like a fool just dropping it in font of the guy so I just hold the damn thing. The police show up and I am on the phone with one of my banks and they are talking with the guy and his wife and then he comes to us and says "do you have any ID"? No the bad guys have it. Then he says "do you have anything with your picture on it"? No but you can see me in pictures on the camera. Then my daughter pipes up "Ma, Ma will this work" and she pulls out my old drivers licenses that I had replaced two years earlier. What the hell, you have been carrying that damn thing for two years. Ya, Ma my friends tease me about it. That stupid license was my salvation for the rest of the trip. Who knew that a stupid argument two years earlier that ended in, what ever, would save my bacon on a vacation 2 years later and 2000 miles from home. 
Two hours later as we are getting in our car and leaving the beach I dropped the damn rock only to find the other one when we stopped for potty break. The front seat was full of glass and it is still raining like hell so we shut a towel in the door to keep the rain from drenching the car and us but my daughter has to sit in the back and hold the corner of the thing so it does not smack the shit out of me while driving.  Now she is balancing herself on the edge of the back seat holding the corner of the wet towel in one hand and the phone with GPS in the other and she says " Ma if we would have taken the dogs we would have never been robbed."

2015/09/30

And you did it to yourself......

I have to say I love it when the Damn dogs undermine their own attempts to get what they want.  Patricio learned how to open the gate between the kitchen and living room. This has been my doom as he is so food driven he gets into everything and he is in the running for first place in counter surfing. I close the gate behind me so I can freely move about the kitchen and prepare food. With in a minutes he is right behind me getting into things. The latch on the gate door is one that has two prongs that slide across both sides of the fixed part of the gate. There is a handle that when lifted up will slide the prongs back and allow the door to open. If you push the lever down a little red plastic piece slide over it and you can not pull the lever up.  Now the Damn dog learned how to lift the lever up and open the gate.  We have had to push the lever down and lock it so he can not get it up. The problem being it now takes two hands to open the damn thing and when you have something in your hand this is a pain in the ass to put it down then open the gate get your stuff and then lock it behind you. Times this by a thousand time a day and you have a pain the size of Rhode Island in your ass.  So as we are hurried or just pain tired of lock and unlock the humans try to sneak one past the damn dog, NOT, the dog is one step behind us and always at ready to try the gate as soon as you take one step away from it. Now in one short year this 55 pound dog jumping on the gate has broken the latch so now you have to pull the lever up and move the prongs back with the second hand. It has been hit and miss with the lever prong actions till just resent and it finally just bit the big one and now it is a two handed open and shut gate.
So tonight the kids are in the kitchen stirring things up and the dogs are in their annoying form in the living room romping around. I got up and went into the kitchen for more coffee but did lock the gate.  I hear the dogs at the gate as I am poring my coffee. I expect to see Patricio jump up on the counter next to me, but all I hear is the handle of the gate. I turned around to find the damn dog pumping the handle up and down expecting to push it open and nothing happening. His frustration got the best of him and he started to bark at it in between pumping the handle. The sight of this dog getting frustrated at the gate he broke and doing so he lost his ability to open it, as he does not have two hands he has one mouth. This has left me a happy camper. I now know there is something the Damn dog can not do. Bite and Bark at the same time.

2015/09/27

Senior Moments WTH!

I can now admit to my serious SENIOR MOMENT....
I can not say how this thinking got started but I knew I was coming home on Tuesday the16th from Lima. Many hours before my departure at 11:30 PM the coordination of my departure started. There was a auto change because of the size of the kennels and the untimely death of my friends car. That alone was a huge undertaking in itself. Getting me and gathering dogs all in different location through the dinner hours and all the good byes took a few hours alone. This all started at around 3 or 4pm. We got through all of this and raced to the airport over an hour drive over not the best of roads and lots of traffic. We had to get there in time to check in and get the dogs and kennels scanned and be at the gate to depart on time. We arrived a few minutes after 9 pm and saw that there were not many folks checking in at our air lines. What a wonderful and welcome surprise. We got two carts and dragged the dogs and carry on bags through the zig zagging roped off line to the counter. We had a short 15 minute or so wait to get to the counter what a stroke of luck on my part. I got to the counter and we unloaded the dogs lifted one crate on the scales to be weighed I then started the mound of paper work and the clerk went to the back to check temperatures along my intended flight rout to my destination. I was there around 20 minutes as the line grew to huge numbers behind me, my anxiety started to build as I felt my shoulders lifting to earlobe levels and my jaw tighten worrying about how long I would be at the counter to get through the maze of work to fly two dog internationally. The clerk came back good new all temps along the route will be in the acceptable rang for flying dogs. He took my flight record number and check my reservations. He then said there was no reservation. WTH !! check again I have a res for the 16th, Tuesday. He looked again and then said yes I did but today is Tues the 15th. Now that was a jaw dropping moment as in two languages it was explained I was there on the wrong day. Holy Shit I felt like a total moron as we went and got the two carts again and loaded the dogs on them and drag the dogs and my carry on back to the parking lot. I have no idea how I lost a day. On the way to the airport my friend road in the back crammed into the small space between the kennel and the side of the car. Going back I road back there. Senior Moments suck, when its just you that is inconvenienced But when you take a double digit numbers of folks with you it is totally horrid. The place we will all end up in soon or later, Senior forgetfulness.Wait for it........