August 30, 2014

Beauty treatment!

Maggie the Staffie takes a mud bath. 

Big Buddy - Best Friends

Virgie's Big Journey

Thursday evening, August 21st at 21.00 hrs. The usual crowds at the airport. Only this time, something different. This time not a welcome with banners and balloons but a warm welcome for some lovely dogs. Three sets of adopters are anxiously awaiting for their long cherished wish is about to come true. Three dogs are about to get new owners, new masters and mistresses. Their golden baskets. 

The new 'adoptive parents' wait with their noses pressed against the glass at 'Arrivals', waiting until all the regular passengers have disappeared. Then a youthful lady walks towards the window with a small, perky dog on a lead (as happy as if he had never been an outcast or had never been in a shelter in Spain.) In their wake come two heavy cages, which should contain 'Snow', a white Shepherd/Labrador mix and 'Virginie' (now Virgie) a 'failed' Boxer. Once out of their cages we are greeted by incredibly elated dogs, as if the flight and their time in the shelter (in Virgie's case two years living in a cage without much chance of individual attention) had been forgotten the moment they arrived. 

Yes, they are going to have a wonderful future. Virgie has now been with us for three days. She is  housebroken, listens to her name, runs loose in the (enclosed) heather with 
other dogs and if they could laugh, she laughs especially from ear to ear. With her sweet Boxer head she seems to say "So, this new guesthouse is beautiful, it suits me down to the ground. I think they will be very happy with me for I am unique!!! And YES, she is. 

Simona and Max


Do you recognise me?

She was found on the street and handed in to us. She had a chip and that is how we know her story. She was much loved but eight years ago, when she was only a year old,  she was stolen from her garden. No one knows what happened next, not exactly, but it's clear she was used and misused for breeding.

She's just a little thing. A small chihuahua. Although she has a chip the owners have moved away and cannot be reached either on the phone number or at the address on the chip. We managed to go there though and spoke to the neighbours. It seems that little Cisuca was much loved; her owners were distraught when she was taken from their garden. They searched and searched for her.

We don't know if they think she is dead or that far too long has passed to ever hope of finding her again. But she is here now. With us. If you can do anything at all to help find them, please do what you can. She is not up for adoption at the moment as we so want to find her owners.

I have put a link to Fabienne's Diary on Twitter together with Cisuca's name, hoping maybe someone among all those people out there might recognise it. Already it's been retweeted to more than 60,000 people and more are joining in every few hours. If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, it would be great if you could do the same. It would be such a joy for everyone if we were to find her owners, especially for them and for this little dog.

Modena - RIP

In Memoriam Modena 

It wasn''t that long ago. I'm sure most people remember the story of Dalo and Modena, two beautiful dogs who suffered from conditions that meant they could not fly. And how a wonderful woman drove all the way to Spain from Holland to fetch them. She hadn't meant to adopt Modena, but she fell in love and  gave beautiful Modena a wonderful life. 

This is their story.

On August 26, 2014 I had to let my dearest Modena go. Modena, my heart,my soul. She was such a special character, but also due to her strength of will, she lived longer that was predicted. She had a congenital heart defect; dogs with this condition do not normally live more than two or three years. Modena lived till almost five. How Modena came to me is a different story again. Thanks to sponsors,we volunteers were able to drive to southern Spain to pick up Dalo. He had been adopted but could not fly. He could only travel by car to his golden basket. While we were on our way we had a call from Hilde Leunens, another  ACE / SHIN volunteer, asking if we could also take Modena to her foster mum. Modena too could not fly because of her heart condition. From the first moment I saw Modena I was in loveDuring the trip back to the Netherlands that feeling only grew stronger. Yet I gave her to her dear foster mother as agreed but I could not get her out of my headEventually, a few weeks later it was arranged that she could definately come to me.I have so enjoyed hershe was so sweet, kind, cheerful and gentle. And so very brave with that heart that raged like a diesel engine. Unfortunately two weeks ago her heart started to give up. She began to suffer from a lot of fluid in her belly and around her lungs.  During the first days we were still able to help with medication but last week it became clear that the end was near. We did still try other medications, but it was all to no avail. Then I had to decide so as to save her worse suffering.It is so painful but I know she is in heaven with her children and I will never forget her. She has always been my angel, and now she really is.  My star in the sky. My sweet girl.

Hot. Hot. Hot.

The Airport and El Refugio on 28th August.

Miguel & Anna with two lucky dogs - about to fly away home.

Miguel and one of our lovely students.

Hot. Hot. Hot.

Chapy - all better now and ready for his new life.

On the left, poor Chapy when he arrived. On the right, recovering with us.

Fabienne and our lovely student.

The only thing you can do in this weather ...

... park yourself in the pool.

August 25, 2014

Do you remember little Blimpie - thrown out of a car and left for dead?

Blimpie when he was with us.

Blimpie now.

Little Blimpie is now called Liseli and he's doing really well. It's a miracle he's still with us. It's a miracle the lady happened to be walking by and that she was kind. As she stood by the roadside a car drove by. A box flew out of the window. She watched it fall and to her amazement the box moved - and cried piteously. It was Blimpie. She was badly hurt. The kind lady ran to the animal clinic and it was touch and go for a while.

It turned out that little puppy Blimpie was blind. She also suffered from uncontrollable movements. It is not clear whether that happened because she was thrown from the car, but it was probably the reason she was discarded. She proved to be a very intelligent and very brave little dog. A hapy and grateful litle dog. We so wanted her to find happiness.

Our wish was granted. Now she's in the loving care of Kristel, who tells us she's doing very well. 

"She is very active and plays with the other dogs, with people and indeed with everything she can find. She gets around without too many problems- they think she can just see enough to walk around but she also jumps about too!  She eats and drinks well. She looks happy, which is the most important. She's such an energetic puppy that sometimes I have to put her down to sleep and then she will obey and go to sleep. She is a lovely dog who is enjoying life enormously, despite her handicap. 

Thank you for fostering her, this has given her the chance to make something of her life, despite the terrible start. We  will take great care of her and here, with us, she can enjoy freedom and security.

Our little star of the day!

Her boss was a drunk who exploited her. A lot of people found this sweet puppy cute, as indeed she is. They were happy to give money to her boss. What they didn't see was what happened when they were out of sight. Poor Rayita was pushed under a crate, kicked and abused. 

Fortunately, one of our co-workers saw what was going on and took her home. Now she is surrounded by love and care. She is a friendly little dog who gets on well with both dogs and cats. So now all she needs is that loving forever home - her well deserved golden basket.

Rayita. A picture of cuteness.

Still a puppy at 6 months, little Rayita will make a wonderful family member.

August 24, 2014

Arrivals at Schipol on 23rd August.

May meets her new boss. Cuddles all round.

May gets a welcoming cuddle from my lovely friend Odette, who welcomes the adopters and the dogs and makes sure it all goes smoothly.

Little Iono, getting  used to his new surroundings.

Cuddles for Perla.

Manchitas is a bit overawed but lots of love will soon reassure him.

Some lucky dogs who found love and golden baskets ...

Pepa may be old but she's found her forever home. 

Toby. So happy. So much loved. A blissful life - cuddles and his tennis ball.

Orestes has come home. And he loves the grandchildren.

His owner just laughed ...

This poor dog was brought to the killing station in Valencia by his owner. When another visitor told him that his dog would be put to sleep, he just laughed. He thought it was funny. He walked away laughing. The unfortunate dog is unlikely to be taken by anyone - he's already about seven or eight years old and too big for most people. But we could save him, the poor thing.

Poor, dog. He's terrified.

What's to become of me?

Please save me! Please!

Flamenco - from cowering under the cupboard to a happy, much loved dog.

Do you remember Flamenco?  He is the little black dog who, along with two other adult dogs, was crammed into a small box that was tightly bound with rope and dumped at the gates of the Refugio. It was unimaginable that three fully grown dogs could survive that treatment. They were totally stressed and for some time so terrified that they crept under the cupboard and wouldn't come out. 

Flamenco has been in the Netherlands for four months. His new, loving owner says it's a great success story. She writes ...

"Everything is going well with Flamenco. He is increasingly coming out of his shell and showing himself to be a very happy, happy dog. A happy, bouncy dog. It's very good to see. He listens perfectly. He likes to do well and to please. He can run loose really well. He's beginning to accept other people, more and more. He'll dare to go near and be stroked. He is great with the bike, the car, going camping and even in the canoe. It's no problem. He even sleeps with us in the tent and is very well behaved. Such a super dog.  In the train he's still a bit scared, but that will get better in time.

Flamenco is also very, very affectionate. A real lap dog. At the moment he's still mostly focussed on me but hes accepting the people close to me more and more. But he's really MY dog. He stays close to me, walks behind me like a shadow when we go out - hahaha, it's very nice. He makes sure that he's comfortable with his surroundings - and that's so nice to see.

Of course there will be times when he'll relapse. It will take some time before this stops happening. Last weekend we were at the campside in the Ardennes and we met some people who had adopted a rescue who showed similar behaviour. This dog came from the streets before they adopted it. They told us that after a year or so the behaviour and the problems improved. So while I fear it might take a while, I haven't a problem with that. For now I take my dogs out to train separately and sometimes together. If we encounter other dogs I take care as we walk past the dog. It's going fine. I'm really curious about Flamenco's background.

I have found scars from some hefty bite wounds on his stomach. Is it possible that he too comes from the street? It would explain a lot of his behaviour. I am not bothered if this is the case. It makes me the more happy that he is now comfortable with me. Furthermore he's getting used to the cat. It's progressing well. In the meantime we no longer need to barricade the bedroom door, which can remain open under supervision. The cat is still a bit anxious, but Flamenco no longer makes a beeline for her, so that's getting better too. 

Flamenco and Pluck have become a real team. It's wonderful to see how these two tag along behind the bunnies, or just lie down somewhere together; it's very sweet.  In short, this is a success story !! 

Flamenco is the black dog.

Pluck, behind. Flamenco infront. Waiting patiently with the bike.

Enjoying a ride together.

On our holidays!

Flamenco snuggling in the bag. Fluck snoozing on the mattress.

Firm friends.

Our Refugio last week ...


Ready for my close up .... oh I am close up.

Sleeping in the noonday sun.

Cooling off.


Happy Dogs. Golden Baskets.

More lovely dogs, rescued from abuse and terror. Saved by team Spain. Fostered and adopted by wonderful families in Holland, in July 2014.

August 16, 2014

Arrivals at Schipol on August 12th

Yet more eager and excited adopters made their way to Schipol to greet their new darlings and welcome them into their families. Always such a happy time.

Sofi was thrilled to get out of the travel cage and immediately rolled over!

Here she is standing on all four legs.

Orestes. His new owners thought he'd be bigger but he is so welcome.

Maye is now called Jagger. What a sweet little doll. Her new home is in Amsterdam.

Perceval. Now called Percy. Our valued volunteer, Magda, has adopted him. At home Millie (known as Jeanneke at ACE) is waiting for him.

Our shelter dog, Linda, who has only been with us for a week, came to the airport with us to welcome the Spanish dogs. Thank you everyone who has helped to fly these dogs and all the dear families.

Greetings from Erna. 

Steven takes a bath ... with Nando and Desire!

Hey! Where are you going, Nando!

That's more like it! Nice and relaxed.

I think that's enough for one day!

My turn now, says Desire.

That's right. Get right in.

This is lovely and cool.

I'm loving this.

Playing with the water.

Loving it.