please allow us to introduce ourselves: we are Kim and Eva, a mother and daughter team from Belgium. Ever since adopting our first Galgo in 2011, we fell in love with the breed and swore we would do everything we could to raise awareness of their plight and to work to improve their lives (we don't need to tell you what a difficult time they have in Spain: bred to hunt, abandoned as soon as they are no longer able to-as a result of age, injury or pregnancy).
Once we were bitten by the Galgo bug we researched the breed and came across Galgos Del Sol. We couldn't believe such an incredible organisation existed and we were blown away by all they do for Galgos and Podencos.
Mum first visited GDS in 2013, when their work was based in what was affectionately termed 'the old finca'...a rural property with no drainage, with tens of dogs cared for by Tina, her young family and one or two dedicated volunteers. Mum came home exhausted but elated too! Finally she had been able to help the Galgos hands-on, and she knew she had left her heart with them.
Although I was only 14, I knew I felt the same. I first visited a year later, and my heart stayed with mum's. Although we weren't in a position then to move to Spain full-time, we have worked really hard over the last 4 years to support GDS behind-the-scenes and on the ground. We fostered, we sponsored, we adopted GDS dogs in need of critical care, donated to and administrated auctions and fundraisers: in essence, all that we could do from home in between using our holidays to visit! We were even able to set up a charity in our home country that rehomed 51 GDS dogs in two years! GDS Belgium vzw is now managed by All4Dogs, so the legacy lives on.
We're finally in a position to pack our cases, put travel collars on our gorgeous hounds, and make our way to Murcia to reclaim our hearts and get our hands dirty at the GDS Centre! We will be staying on-site, providing support day and night all year round in every aspect of the running of the charity. We will be feeding, medicating, walking, and socialising the dogs, cleaning, doing vet runs and rescues, and anything and everything else that GDS needs to give Galgos and Podencos in Spain the Sweet Life!
The work that visiting volunteers do to support GDS is priceless, and so appreciated. Having two people on site means that even when volunteers aren't able to support, all of the vital work that needs to take place is still carried out every day. It also means that Tina will be able to focus on running GDS, knowing that the practical work is in safe hands. She may even be able to take an hour or two off!
We are relocating completely, and mum is giving up work. GDS is providing accommodation in the form of one of the onsite caravans, and we're delighted to be able to volunteer. We won't be paid for our work at GDS. We will fund our expenses from our own pocket.
We don't like to ask for help. We will be living a basic life at GDS, and the dogs will be our priority! But it would be nice for us to be able to be comfortable, and anything you can donate for our stay at GDS will be so gratefully appreciated. The longer we can spend at GDS, the more Galgos and Podencos we can send on their way to the Sweet Life!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story. We know GDS's supporters are so loyal, like one big family. We hope that just like a family, you will continue to follow and support us on our journey to do our best for GDS.
Kim & Eva - April 2016, visiting one of the GDS billboards, on this one our boy Valiente