Monica's Spring 2105 GDS Visit

I am one of the lucky ones whose had the opportunity to travel to Spain 3x and stay at GDS to work. This trip we got to bring back 3 dogs from GDS via GPS. For me, that’s what its all about; moving dogs into homes. I don’t get to go back until late next year so this was a special trip for me. I took my son, Zach. We met 3 other gals from the UK who were a lot of fun and Sam worked them hard. Tee hee. It was a good trip.

The “it just takes three” fundraiser was running while we were there and I have to tell you it was a lot of fun. I’m so happy we have supporters who put their “money where their mouth is”. Its one thing to say, “Please, rescue that dog,” but its another to actually support the work. My understanding is that we are really close to starting Phase 1 and these funds will be used to put in the drainage.

Things have improved vastly at GDS since my first trip last April. Tina has pulled together a wonderful team, which includes Sam Siekmann, General Manager for GDS. Sam really can do anything and works hard during her stays at the GDS camp. I love the “old finca” which is a true pit, but its home while I am there and its become Sam’s home away from home. Poor Tina, she has to live there when nobody else is there. (haha — get a good cuddle with Mr. Mouse.)

I am aware that the lease on the “new finca” is up in February 2016. On top of that, the old finca is falling apart and frankly may not hold up until February 2016. We’ve all heard about the drainage problems and the crumbling walls. The dogs barked this trip quite a bit. You can stand on the porch and listen and there are dogs in the distance barking which sets ours off. The neighbor was not happy and complained. Its so serious; if the police come by, GDS will have 30 days to move all the dogs to a new place. Any there just aren’t places available. The New Centre is located in an area where the noise won’t be a problem.

So, I wanted to point out the positive side of the New Centre and why its so desperately needed. 1st, not only have I seen improvement inside GDS, but outside, the educational work GDS is doing within the community and the schools is starting to show its positive effects. We’re not seeing dogs surrounding the trash bins outside the shops and there are fewer being abandoned. Education and cooperation is working. We may be able to slow things down but there will always be the need for the finished galgo.

Most important is getting all of the dogs (in this case more than 100) in one place. The time spent traveling from one to the other is wasted and costly. It was a constant runaround this trip swapping keys, cars and staying on top of who has what and needs what to go where. Having dogs in two places requires someone to sleep at both places. The pace at which Tina works and the amount of things she has to juggle on a daily basis is more than most people can handle. Its too much to ask of one person and its not sustainable for much longer.

Second is getting the dogs in proper housing and out of packs. Each time I have traveled, there are new dogs, new packs, and new problems. Poor Ramon — hes getting picked on by everyone and has no place to go. We had to constantly shuffle dogs to keep him safe. Shadow got his ear ripped this trip and the rough play brought on a few more holes. We’ve got to give them an environment where only two dogs to a pen. They deserve to be and feel safe. Fortunately with 3 dogs moving, Tina was able to shuffle and Ramon now has a spot with the single ladies.

Third is of course the kennels. There is nothing worse than living in kennels without proper drainage and ability to properly clean and disinfect. The scooping and mopping is done daily and it always looks wonderful when complete but its hard work with few benefits. Nobody comes in with good poop, which by the way has improved to the point of solids for many of the longer term dogs. Right now the drainage at both places is just poor. The pee has no where to go except to be mopped up. The land does not drain. The liquid just sits there. That’s why when it rains, it floods.

Thank you to all of the GDS supporters. Many of you are steady and together we keep the charity going. But for those of you who have never made a monetary donation, seriously consider it with regards to the New Centre. Especially if you like what you see. An incredible amount of work goes into maintaining the FB page, which I know personally I look forward to reading each and every day. I’ve had a lot of laughs over the past couple of years along with some good cries.

Thank you Tina for your hospitality and sharing your world with me and my family. You’ve done the legwork for this charity and you’re on the ground. I really appreciate the amount of work you do to care for these precious creatures. You have a wonderful family but they need more of you. I support the New Centre 100%. As always, GDS can use leads and collars. We had the hardware on a leash break at the airport this trip so make sure they’re decent quality. Xxx