Nathalie Pollet lives in northern France, and every month she drives thousands of kilometres to transport galgos from Spanish refuges to new homes and a new life in France. It's amazing how many long-legged canines can sleep comfortably in a Fiesta.
It's also amazing how school-teacher Nathalie finds the time to go on so many rescues, as not all of them are organised during school holidays.
She's always been an animal lover, having been a volunteer for many years at a local French refuge, and learned about the plight of the Spanish galgos and the French rescue association L'Europe des Levriers in a television programme.
"When I decided to adopt one of these gentle dogs in June 2006," she explains, "I completed the 'Request to Adopt' form and Atenea was chosen as the one most suited to my lifestyle, having been saved by volunteers in Spain from being gassed."
She decided she wanted to learn more of the conditions in which galgos are kept and discover Atena's history, so in July 2006 she joined in her first rescue. It's a long drive from Normandy to Madrid but, luckily, she went in convoy with the other volunteers. She continues the story.
"It was worth going, as it meant I saw first hand what happens to these dogs, and it made me want to help them even more."
Nathalie now runs the regional branch of L'Europe des Levriers in Basse-Normandy. This involves making contact with potential adopters, visiting their homes, and finding the most suitable dog for them.
"It's important that the dog and the adopters suit each other," she says, "as the dogs have already been through so much before we get them out of Spain."
Contrary to popular belief, not all galgos chase cats and eat rabbits. Nathalie's menagerie includes five cats and two rabbits, and there are now two dogs, as Atena has been joined by Jordan, a traumatised galgo who went home with Nathalie to be fostered, but who has now, in her words, 'touched her heart so much', that he too has the chance to run on the nearby beach when the tide is out.
"I hope one day that there will be no need for associations such as L'Europe des Levriers, and that the Spanish government finally legislates to wipe out the horrendous cruelty inflicted on these noble animals. To see my galgos change every day, their characters develop, the fear leave their eyes, this is what motivates me to work with EDL."