A moment for what I did this weekend:
Saturday Julia and I accompanied Marianne to an adoption day for ‘Greyhounds in Nood’ (greyhounds in need, I think), the organisation that Marianne works with to save Greyhounds from Spain. I had no idea so many horrible things could be legal in Western Europe. If dogs don’t race well, the spaniards think that they have to suffer, so a lot of dogs die gruesomely. Some are hung just high enough that their paws touch, so they jump until they can’t, and then they hang. Others have a noose around their neck and food is placed just out of their reach so they either starve or hang themselves. Then there is shark baiting and outright abandonment. Horrible stuff. One of the workers explained that they save about 40 some dogs each time they go to Spain with their dog-mobile(I said it looks like Marianne’s house on wheels!). This week they found homes for about 50 dogs, and Saturday was the day when the families came to pick up their new member after weeks of recuperation, operations, and good food. We watched Marianne answer questions and do little checkups for the dogs, and watched the new families having their photo taken together. So many smiles for dogs and people alike! Marianne also came home with 6 new dogs, 4 for boarding and 2 for keeps. Both of the new additions are very sweet.
Sunday I went to the Protestant Church. Normally they only have about 15 people, but there was a baptism so there were more. I told them I came from a small church, about 100. They laughed. I got a lot of ‘wows’ when I was introduced as an Alaskan. I guess ‘wow’ has penetrated the French language. I had real wine for communion, they don’t use grape juice here! Everyone was very welcoming to me, and I enjoyed it.
After lunch (Salmon! Very Alaskan. Julia doesn’t like fish---and yes, she’s from Iceland, where all their money has fish on it---but she bravely ate it) we drove to the ‘mountains’ for a promenade with Jean-Pierre. As Marianne said, the ‘mountain’ was much taller thanks to the trees. So the mountain wasn’t very tall, but the trees---wow. They were truly beautiful, and I kept expecting some classic poet to step out and start romanticizing about the graces of nature. (I’m reading a George Elliot novel at the moment and I could definitely see her in this setting). We had a lovely walk with Touchtou and Piout, all the way to a restaurant in the middle of the woods, where we had dessert. Jean-Pierre said that a lot of the people were not walking for the walk. And I can see why! The ice cream I had was called a Coup Brésilienne (I think that’s spelled right): basically caramel icecream with more carmelized bits and whipped cream with caramel sauce. Delightful, of course.
After our return to the car (by way of several ‘detours’, aka, getting slightly lost) we stopped by Marianne’s sister’s house to say hello. Her sister only has 4 dogs, but she looks a lot like Marianne. She and her husband just got married a few months ago---for the second time. Apparrently they were married, divorced, and then got married again! They brought out the photos from 30 years ago and the photos from this year. At the first wedding Marianne wore a gaudy blue dress (fun to see old photos of people!) and thus, at the second wedding, Marianne wore the same gaudy, crazy dress (albeit over overalls this time)! There was a lot of laughter and jokes about the dress and the weddings in general. They invited us to stay for dinner, but first asked if we ate tongue at home. Julia’s face said it all. Thus, we ate pizza at home, in safety, instead.
Link for Greyhounds in nood:http://www.greyhoundsinnood.be/