Recent celebrations organised for Scooby Medina's 20th anniversary saw the music of Maria Daines and Paul Killington performed for the world. Edwin of Scooby tells the story of a weekend for galgos:
"The weekend of August 31, 2008, a date that won’t be easily forgotten in the history of Scooby. Our first international event, held in Vlamertinge, Belgium, was a central meeting point for the members of Scooby, our partner organizations and our supporters.
"The weather gods really must like Galgos, because we can call it a miracle that summer appeared that weekend after a long period of rain, and 15 minutes after we left Vlamertinge to go back to our hotel it started raining again. In between we had two wonderful days with sun and a comfortable temperature for a partly outdoors event.
"It all started on Saturday, at the hotel that was booked for most of the Scooby members and partner organizations. As the day went on our group became more and more a blended mix of nationalities. People arrived from everywhere; travelling either by car, train, ferry, metro or plane. And the cream on the cake was the arrival of María and Edu with the transport van with Fermín and Mabel as mental support.
"They arrived after a tour that began in Spain through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, back through Belgium with final destination of Lille in France, just across the Belgian border and not far from Vlamertinge where the event was being held. Some huge traffic jams had caused an enormous delay for the transport that was planned the same weekend. Fermín and Mabel, who left Medina 6 hours later, caught them on their way to Belgium. The decided to caravan with Maria and Edu and finally arrived in Lille after driving 24 of 30 hours.
"After everyone finally arrived, it was time to create an impressive caravan of cars, looking for a restaurant that allowed dogs. With our French Aline and our Canadian Eva as fantastic guides, we arrived 45 minutes later at the place that was just 2 kilometres away from our hotel, so we were all very grateful to them for showing us around the local surroundings. Nevertheless this didn’t break our moral and it was a very joyful evening.
"The next morning the alarm bell was showing no mercy, and after breakfast we arrived at 9:30 in Vlamertinge to join our friend the Tornados to prepare the special day where it was all about, the celebration of the 20th anniversary. Maria Daines and Paul Killington performed a minimal sound check because everything was perfectly prepared, just as everything else was.
"Soon everyone was prepared for the start of the event, meanwhile our friends from the other organizations, who departed from home very early in the morning, arrived. And as said before, the weather was perfect; the information and merchandise stalls were placed outside in front of the event complex. Inside were hundreds of tables and chairs for the lunch buffet, the stage for speeches and the performance, and everything else that was included in this event.
"Right after everyone was welcomed by Marlies from the Tornados and Fermín, the event started off with the lunch buffet, the dog walk and last but not least the stunning performance by Maria and Paul. Maria sang her moving songs with so much emotion that it didn’t take much imagination to understand why she was wearing sun glasses, and soon many people in the audience wished they had followed her example.
"Between all the festivities it was good to be reminded of the reasons why Scooby exists, so many thanks to Maria and Paul for raising awareness. Speaking of which, it was a bit of a disappointment to realize that Mr. David Hammerstein, member of the European Parliament, didn’t appear.
"After we had been in contact with him, he showed enthusiasm and told us that he would accept our invitation to join our event and help us raise awareness for the problems with Galgos in Spain. We expected the worst, after we were not able to reach him to get a confirmation, but were still hopeful that he would have kept his promise. It seems that Galgos are still not high on his priority list, but we will keep fighting until we are heard and the problems are taken seriously.
"However it didn’t spoil the party at all. The people enjoyed themselves, for us, Scooby and our partner organizations, it was fantastic to meet our supporters and each other. It was great to see so many adopted dogs, coming from all over Europe to our anniversary.
"And thanks to all, the Tornados donated a cheque for 2,200 Euros. Our own Scooby shop, our partner organizations and even some very kind supporters sold all sorts of things, even marmalade; that resulted in a total amount of over 5,000 Euros. But above all, this event made us realize how many people care, an gave us an indescribable boost for our moral."