Visit the shelter in Malagon, Spain

On the one hand we were nervous, because we did not know, what to expect, whether it would be bad, whether we very would be sad. On the other hand we have longed for the day, where we can hand over the donations and again much more space in our Van would have. In recent months, we have in fact asked our friends for donations for the shelter and there was a lot together. We actually had the plan, also gather at the weekly market and in schools, for sure many dog ​​owners have a couple of old linen and Spie stuff. However, this was fortunately in the travel arrangements, Moving stress and job task time no more time, because as it turned out, we were given by our friends and friend's friends, Family and a few Facebook contacts so much together, that Jeres mother was safe, that we would never get in the van - because I was actually sure ... but it fit.

And so we traveled in the first 2,5 weeks so, that every morning and evening, a part of the donations had to be rearranged, could so that we in our little bus stand upright. Another part the donation was firmly stowed on our shelves and our foreign box- really feel good, that we do not have so cluttered our car, that not even fit in the donations (Soon I write a couple learned wisdom on the subject of "keep order in Van»).

At the shelter in Malagon an extremely hubbelige sandy road leads with many large potholes. It is off, which is good, because the dogs can bark quite extensively. On the other hand, I would imagine, that some potential Gassi goers and visitors do not come up with something sportier cars out back.

But as we learned, there probably before very little support from Malagon (8.700 population) self. The donations and interest rather come from abroad: Holland, Germany, France. is pretty amazing, that it here at such a small town anyway 80-90 dogs are. But the catchment area is probably greater..

Upon arrival, there was of course a huge commotion, the dogs are all in kennels in the open air housed and often only have a small hut or a little corrugated iron roof. One of the buildings is constructed so, as is customary in German Tierhheimen: A house, are attached to the kennel, then every dog ​​that inside and can stop the outside. Around this house around simple but others were completely built different kennel without solid walls. The terrain is probably grown organically through the crowds, with another small buildings, Between gratings and areas. The dogs greeted us, we on the court took barking and jumping on her hut roofs, look through all scratch, gave it.

We were therefore agreed with Nieves, the main responsible of the shelter. Like many young Spaniards is unemployed, but has a few volunteer jobs and invested much time in animal welfare- actually almost a full time job. Many people are surprised, when they hear, that the staff in animal welfare organizations in Germany make the most completely volunteer and sacrifice many evenings and weekends, to organize the negotiations and fundraising - as in "our" organization, the Tiernothilfe Remember me.

With Nieves together two young women came, which also helped volunteer. We were directly clear: English does not work, We can talk only in Spanish over the google translator. Many small things also go with "hands and feet", but when it comes to more detailed things, we all quickly learned, to have to speak into the phone and Google Translation. Whether we have got it right, werden wir aber nie erfahren 😉

Actually, it started directly messy. After we had sorted out all the donations from the Van, We carried them in the terrain, on a couple of dogs running already freely between the cages around. As we later learned, is rotated here, so that day and night always other dogs a little more run-out on the courtyard have. The volunteers started directly, wegzusammeln the night feces and cleaning the kennel. It all seemed cleaner much, than I expected. I think, it also comes therefore, that everything happens under the open sky with a lot of desire and sun. The place did not look so depressing and sad, let alone aggressive, but full of life and joy.

We took pictures and caressed, tried every dog ​​to give a bit of attention. There are hardly any small dogs, most are knee high and larger, all jumped up to us, so we quickly learned, take a firm stand and down and enforce us. Nieves always opened new enclosures, each with several dogs, other dogs were returned to their cages, everything seemed very recorded, according to a principle, but completely overwhelming for us. Actually we wanted to photograph individual dogs, but that was impossible, was because you bumped all the time and jumped. I'm curious, if we only have half the dogs and schlabebrnde snouts in the pictures.

In such dogs Communities form anscheinen very strong hierarchies. They quickly realized, which the dominant dogs, because they sent alone with her posture, the other away and begged the privilege to love. When you can get only even so good Body language would.

So we made a lot of blurred images with half dogs on it. But actually not that bad, because there are of many dogs already very nice pictures on the Tierschutzwebseite.Einen dog we should take a closer look: Pina (spoken Pinja). You should be a Mongrel. She was definitely Case of liebesbedürftigste and intrusive dog by all, incalculable, the others had all under control. But still sugar sweet and loving.

Nieves then grabbed the chewing bones and walked with us through the shelter areas. As previously feared, was the saddest field of 'list dog area ", sat where all hybrids with genes from the list breeds: broad skull, strong body, also a sweet Rottweiler with the funny name "Batman" was there - all together they are to the end to sit here and not mediated, just because of any family member an allegedly aggressive breed is included.

What if I at home in the two days in this shelter and the visit to Nevis (with their 12 The dog) have learned, I that even already extremely emotionally influenced by the media bin. Since the summer 2000, have in which newspapers and television about the "constant attacks" reported, to fill the summer break (then it was quiet again). What was done with it ... since I have a bad feeling, when I meet such a dog and dare hardly, to touch him, although I from the head knows better. I have read a lot about it and know rationally, that aggressive dogs by their owners (or diseases) arise, not by race. Many facts are often not mentioned, were like beaten dogs before and made sharp etc., but you only hear, that the dog attacked a child.

The result is, that one may not go on holiday in many European countries with a list of dog, that you report these dogs must, muzzle Braids (z.B. in Bremen) there ... There are few figures (no Germany-wide), But in Hamburg, there is a Angreifstatistik: First place goes to the Sheepdog "Swedish Lapphund", then yet to come 7 other breeds, as the Mexican Hairless Dog, before ninth place of the list dog American Staffordshire Terrier emerges. But the perceived truth seems and do here in Europe policy, as far as the list of dogs so-called - which is also expressed in the common word "attack dogs". How much suffering individuals of these races again goes by, is hardly bearable for me.

Back to the shelter: We hugged them all, at least all who wanted, a few made a wide berth around us, but the variety found certainly still interesting. The two nights we spent in our van in front of the shelter, the animals got used to us soon and the barking went sometime only going on at other sounds. Nevertheless, the barking in such a shelter must mean a huge stress for the animals.

The next day we met again in the morning with Nieves, because we had made us the night thoughts: Long before the trip we started wondering (also on the basis of two independent dog trainers, we had with Snoop), that a second dog to a would be a chance Snoop, to see the world with daring eyes, the other would certainly fit into our lives. We had Nieves said before our arrival, that we would possibly adopt a dog, if we find a, of Snoopy and fits us.

Nieves recommended t us for our laboriously translate Spanish description already on Whats App the English Setter "Sofi". Even after she Snoopy and we got to know, recommended they remain very woe ment this sweet dog. We wondered back and forth, Sofi because we had already met and we made our thoughts: Because she was young and beautiful and maybe more chances, to be mediated, than other "inmates". We asked for at the animal protection organization in Germany, because we would take an older black dog, because this so few chances would get.

So we made the snoop test with her and a long-term inmates. And Snoopy's reaction was immediately clear: Sofi should be it. He has been in the 3 Years only with another dog as a curiosity shown, as he showed it here at Sofi. She was allowed to get close to him, he was very interested. They behaved just right, remained calm, let him coming to him, very confident.

Because we had the chance, to get to know better Sofi, we did the same a few more tests: We loaded the car and drove a piece, to see, if she has problems with driving. But, as if it had been years traveling with us, put it on a blanket on the floor of our Vans, also laid the head and used the travel time to relax from the stress shelter. We took this as the occasion, to go with her in the village. There I got her out and shot a round of two squares and a few streets, because I wanted to see, how it deals with such situations. After all, would be a second anxious dog probably counterproductive for Snoop. It was not busy and we had to search a bit for people, but then we were lucky. I was a bit shocked, because she ran all the time right by my side, fully sovereign past a small group of people, then came even an old woman with a cane and with a walker (all panic trigger for Snoop). Sofi was unimpressed. be sure to be enjoyable thing can have, maybe she was completely overwhelmed, but they actually seemed left, had a good body language.

After we get the confirmation from Germany, that there was only a request for Sofi, but unfortunately nothing came of, we decided, that we will adopt. We drove with Nieves to Ciudad Real in a veterinary clinic, where on the one hand their EU passport was deposited and also a few health checks should be made again. In addition, she was tested for bugs, the shelter-Schlonz removed and the claws cut. Throughout the check, we went to a cafe and unfortunately got half an hour bad news: For a quick test on the Mediterranean diseases came out, Sofi that apparently "leishmaniasis" has. To be really safe, should their blood be tested in the laboratory.

Leishmaniasis is also crass enough, as called "Dog AIDS", which is a big horror of this disease: Ultimately, it is transmitted by mosquitoes, but can not access from an animal another will be given, neither, when the mosquito first the one and then just the other animal stings. For Snoopy So there is no risk of infection. In many cases, dogs can with this disease now lead a relatively normal long life. There are also, of course, the very bad cases, where strong and worse symptoms.

We had informed us already in the adoption of Snoopy on the disease and consider, whether we would deal with it and so it was a pretty quick decision for us, that we adopt Sofi anyway. Since the lab needed another day, Sofi slept that night for the first time in our van and enjoyed the peace and comfort. The next day we were, as well as the day before, invited to Nieves mother to an original Spanish lunch - what a great experience! Everything tasted so delicious and mom always brought new things - ham, cheese,, potato Tortilla, delicious small dishes with chicken, nuts, strawberries, cake, tartlet. Thank you a thousand times and enjoyed the insight into this kitchen.

In the evening came the result and leishmaniasis value was low, but clearly. We got all the necessary medication, looked at Nieves home over and learned the 12 dogs know, that dwelt in the very large and beautiful landscaped grounds with her. Half of them were dogs list, But what were for large and heavy chunks of it, also a shepherd, looked, as if still a bear stuck with it and a lot of other sweet four-legged friends. A few had leishmaniasis and I think Nieves we also wanted to show once, that the dogs get away with it very well. In fact, the disease is unfortunately very common, so that partial (On Sicily) 80% the dogs are infected.

We then visited another "dog hotel", an accommodation, where some shelter dogs were housed, who have been taught and to transport still being investigated and treated here (if I have understood correctly). We still got a drug and were ready, to break up with Sofi in her new life. For this new life she gets a new name: Suitable for Snoop Dogg she called Dr. Dre. (Nickname "Dre", spoken "Three")

What exciting day, what a lovely time!Now it's getting exciting, as our journey with Snoop and Dre in our van goes on ...