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Holiday in Spain: A Hell of a Start


Oh well, oh hell... I finally have the strength and mood to write. It feels like the Ten Plagues of Egypt have been inflicted on us… well, maybe finally it won’t be so bad.



The Salses Castles, France

Monday: We - which means Tari, Akhami, Loonah, Luis and I - arrived just fine; in France, we went for a walk around the Salses castles by the highway, everything was OK, the dogs were happy. When we arrived at Torre, we checked in, but we got only one key to the apartment, because José, our “Spanish contact”, had lost the second one somewhere in his car and he needed one key to have a copy made (he had already had it made, but it was not done correctly and the door would not open). Well, when Luis and I were going up and down to bring our belongings from the car, we both thought that the other had the key, we shut the door and the key and the dogs were left inside. We had neither our cellulars, nor money, nor José ´s phone number... fortunately he has a sign on our balcony saying the apartment is for rent, with his phone number on it. So we asked for help a waitress from the bar in our house; first she said OK, she would let us make a call from her cellular ... however after a while she changed her mind, telling us the phone battery had become discharged. Oh, yeah. She's not Spanish. So we hopped in the car and drove to the village to look for José, which was like looking for a needle in a haystack. It occurred to me to go to the police station, as it is their duty to help and protect, isn’t it? I hoped they could call José… but no one was at the station. So off we went, depressed and worried, when we saw a cop on the street in front of a house where he and his colleague were investigating a burglary. The cop was nice; he called José, who arrived in about one hour. The dogs were fine and they were happy to see us.


Tari in a local park

Tuesday: In the morning, our car would not start. Some nice people helped Luis to push the car, and Luis went shopping. Sometimes, the car started up after a while; sometimes it had to be pushed by nice willing Spanish helping hands.



Wednesday: Without pushing, the car would not start. Luis drove to a local car shop (we know the place already), the technician measured the car battery and found out the battery was dead.  For one hundred and something euro, Luis bought a new one and now the car starts like new. Well, yeah ... but my Akhami made me worried. She had been having a yellowish secretion, her usual drive disappeared, she did not want to walk. Then her secretion changed to a brownish blood clot, she vomited…  well, she behaved like a month and a half ago, when she had pyometra, which was successfully cured, but now she seemed even worse. In the evening, I became desperate. I decided to take her to a vet practise in the village. I already knew the practice owner, a nice lady, and I did not expect any problem. However, that evening, a young boy, who looked like a teenager, was on duty and he was chuckling all the time. Three words - hahahaha - three more words, and so on. When I look at it from a today’s perspective, I imagine he certainly was the thief who robbed the house, where the cops were investigating the other day, and then he hijacked the nice vet and was hiding in her practice, pretending to be a doctor. If I were not so much worried about my Akha, I would have a great time, it was so funny. The boy did not do anything besides talking, his speech always full of tiny bursts of laughter. No smear, nothing. Just talking about operation. I insisted on an ultrasound exam, at least. His conclusion was that Akha suffered from pyometra and if not operated, she would die, something which would happen anyway, if she would be operated by this guy. The table in the practice was so high that I had to stand on tiptoe, while holding Akhami … and I'm a tall person. My imagination went wild: I imagined this crazy guy operating my precious Akha, standing on a thick pictorial veterinary book to be able to reach that high, stepping down from time to time to verify in the book which organ he had in his hands. When it came to paying for the ultrasound exam, in which the boy was able to find just a full intestine, claiming it was the uterus filled with pus, I put the card into the payment terminal, made money transfer, and then the boy gradually began to press all the buttons to print a receipt with a confirmed transaction. After some minutes, I became a bit impatient, and I told him that maybe putting some paper in the machine would help to print the receipt. Bursting with laughter, he put paper into the terminal, however, it was too late, because he had pressed all the buttons so many times, that the poor machine became totally confused, and refused to confirm anything. When I think of it now, I am laughing, but at that moment, I felt like crying. In the evening I had a long chat with Michael Rackl based in Marbella, as I thought he might know and recommend some nice vet up here, which was not the case; however he calmed me down at least - Thank you, Michael!


My pack and I

Thursday: Akha had a thick brownish secretion and behaved strangely. I asked myself whether she was not in season, but her behaviour was different – normally she behaves like a femme fatale even one week before her seasons starts, however now, she was reduced to a poor suffering doggie. I was beginning to panic; with a moral support of my friend Willy, who lives on the other side of Spain and was chatting with me, I called to some veterinary clinics. One clinic in Valencia wanted a total of about 700 euros for a spaying, plus travel expenses... a total cost would be about one thousand euros. This seemed a bit too much even to Willy. Finally, I found a clinic about 40 km from our place, made an appointment with a very nice vet and off we went with Akha. What a difference compared to the previous day! A great vet, a young girl, with lovely approach to Akha; everything she did made ​​sense, what a relief. She took blood samples, took a smear… ultrasound exam to confirm or exclude pyometra. The result: AKHAMI IS IN SEASON!!! Her last season finished exactly two months ago. For the first time in my life, a vet had to confirm that my bitch was in season.


Akhami and Loonah in a "Femme Fatale" mood

I also forgot to say that these days, I have been having lots of work; since we arrived, I just take the dogs for a walk and when I come home, I start working. However, the document I am working on now is very user-unfriendly, full of pictures, and texts and pictures jump all over the document, creating a pretty mess.  Well I have to finish it on Friday at noon, so hopefully I will be able to so something about it... and I'll finally go and have a close look at the see, which I have been watching only from our terrace. Oh well, and maybe also the antibiotics I have been taking will finally have some effect and cure the bronchitis I am suffering from and I will be able to breathe…


Tari in the beach, running and playing as in his glory days

So that was a hell of a start, after this life will seem just boring... well, in fact, this is a wishful thinking...


Tari taking a bath in the Ebro River Delta

Friday: Yeah, we will not definitely get bored: Loonah woke up today in the morning in a femme fatale mood… SHE IS IN SEASON!



The (Happy) End: All´s well that ends well. We survived a holiday with two bitches in season trying to find their Prince Charming, one encounter with a wild pig in a nearby tangerine plantation, I succeeded in convincing my doggy girls not to hunt snakes, we returned harmless from a hike in the mountains when a thunder storm started and lightnings were hitting a nearby valley, and I successfully explained my lovely Loonah during one of her (many) mountineering adventures that if she wished to do bungee jumping, so, for Goodness sake, not without a rope... ... it was just a normal dog-owner´s holiday. We really were not bored


Tari the Granddad, thirteen years old, was the happiest member of our pack