On the 22nd October I had the privilege of meeting Briken, as I picked him up in Jaen and dropped him off just outside of Frankfurt at his new home.
Briken is a Spanish Galgo mix and I first came across him early in September when I was made aware that he needed to leave the shelter in Jaen where he had been living.
This is the email that I received:
The dog is named Briken and he is a the most amazing dog. Suffering in a shelter with no chance. He is a galgo mix, who was abandoned by his owner, a German man who spent probably his holidays in Spain and he forgot his dog , so Briken came to Abyda in Jaen, Spain.
Briken needs a chance, he is very, very tender, he likes running, playing all the time, he needs a place where he can run, he doesn’t have it at the shelter. He is very tall, but like big dogs quite innocent, and the other dogs steal his food, his bed, his place – he does not complain.
Briken is always happy, he has accepted that nobody will love him anymore, even sometimes you can see him like thinking, thinking in what, you call him: Briken, come here!, and then he hears a voice calling his name and he runs to you, like saying I’m here, what do you want of me?, let’s play? probably people are his best friends, Briken likes children very much too, he has no problems with other dogs, he is a no problem dog as you can see in pictures.
Please if you can help, I would be so happy for him. He is a very special boy.
These photos were taken June 2011. (see photos of Briken in his shelter below)
I had no hesitation in offering to help transport Briken to his new home and as luck would have it after a test to see that he was comfortable around cats (see video below) he found a new adoptant 30 miles from where we drop off the cats in Wallau.
I met Briken at his shelter in Jaen and first impression was that he was big, very big. Second impression as he planted his paws on my chest and gave me a kiss (I am 6ft 4in) was he was very very big and very very friendly!
I am not a dog person, having never owned one and I don’t really know what to do with them, but I had no fear that Briken would be no trouble at all. The shelter where he had been living does a great job, but like all shelters they can only do so much and have to concentrate on keeping the animals safe, secure and fed. Anything else is an extra and Briken certainly hadn’t had any extras for a while.
Throughout the trip every time we stopped he was offered water which he declined and the opportunity to go to the toilet, again declined. What he did want to do was run, and jump, and say hello to everybody that he saw! At one stage (4am in the morning) he slipped his leash in a parking area in France, but he just ran round, bounding back every few minutes to say he was fine, and when called he came back, let me put his collar back on and jumped back into his cage.
If I was privileged to have met Briken, I was delighted to actual have the opportunity to drop him off at his new home: a delightful family who welcomed him with open arms (and me with cake a coffee!).
Briken took all of 30 seconds to settle in! His garden, his new best friend (their existing dog), his new playmate (their son) and his new boss (their cat). Instant happy families, and a lump in the throat.
I could have stayed for longer but it was right that his new family had time with Briken so with great sadness I said goodbye to this amazing dog, overjoyed that he so obviously had found a perfect home after his ‘long journey’ over the years.
I had been promised photos of him in his new home (see below) and an update email only confirmed what I knew from the moment I dropped him off:
Yaki (now Pepe) and Briken (now Paulchen) settled in very well and did already celebrate the 70th birthday of my mother in law and my father´s 80th with us, especially Paulchen finds everything great and yesterday he played with a Great Dane, who was just as lanky as him.
At the moment they are lying in front of the oven on their dog sofa, recovering from the family weekend. I can let them off leash both without any problems. Pepe is still evading our red cat, he fears him, whilst Paulchen is barking at him, but then also runs away. With our youngest son they got along very well right from the beginning und also are very indulgent. When I give him some milk in the buggy outside they stay close until we are finished. My family is totally delighted by both dogs, whereby some find Pepe and others Paulchen absolutely irresistible. My sister is so enthusiastic about Pepe that she will finally ask her landlord for permission to keep a dog. If it works she wants a dog as Pepe, look and age are not that important.
Unfortnately, with the nicest situations, in the forest playing with other dogs, I usually don´t have a camera with me but here you go already with a few pics from at home and with the children and in the forest straight at our doorstep.
Briken as you can see is one of the lucky ones, but as I drove away, and as I write this I reckon that so am I. Delivering Briken was one of those opportunities that make you realise what the important stuff is in life, and more importantly (in my case) that I don’t spend as much time as I could or should on things that can make a difference.
I had a similar feeling when we lost Orla three years ago, feeling that her short time with us was for a reason, and her legacy can be seen every day in the cats we have adopted and the work that we (Sands and I) do via the ALStrays cat re-homing and transport project that we have established after adopting the catalyst (pun intended) to it all Moreno five years ago.
So thanks to Briken next year we will be increasing our effort to try and re-home and transport more cats and dogs to Germany and additionally the UK. We have started to look at the feasibility of a small scale ‘Foster Centre’ for the cats and dogs locally that are being re-homed, and we will be updating the ALStrays website to offer a free service for people trying to find homes for the stray, abandoned and rescued cats and dogs that so desperately require helping.
Briken In The Shelter
Video of Briken’s Cat Friendly Test
Briken’s New Life