In February of this year, we received a call from a town near Toledo. Pablo Peñalver, one of our most enthusiastic and active volunteers in the area, had found a gauge with its front legs shattered. Because of the injuries we had, we knew there was no time to lose if we wanted to save them.
Then, when we began to coordinate with Pablo the best way to take Lolita to Barcelona, we received another urgent call that changed all our lives right away.
The call was from Villar-Rosàs, an advertising agency in Barcelona. Richard Browse and Melanie Andrada, from the creative team, had seen an article about SOS Galgos in the free Metropolitan magazine and asked us if it would be possible to do a short about the rescue of a greyhound for a project they had on the table.
In this way began the story of Lolita’s trip to a safe place, and also a truly special collaboration and friendship among all those who participated in the project.
Here below, some of the people involved in Lolita’s rescue tell us their part of the story.
Dead of fear
Pablo tells us how he first met Lolita.
“One Sunday morning they tell me that there is a galgo female in a very poor condition in a pig farm. I urgently go there,
and I find Lolita, lying on the floor. It was a very cold morning, a lot of air, although there was some sunshine.
I saw Lolita lying down. His look reflected extreme fear. You could see all the ribs as if it were a bag of bones. She trembled with fear, she was scared to death. I approached her, and the worst was yet to be seen.
As I got closer he got up, and I could see how hard it was to have him standing. The two front legs were almost sectioned and despite this, he tried to run as he could.
I was running after her. He tried to bite me. I cornered her until I was very lucky: she entered a ship. Like a bull in the ring that knows he’s going to die, he dropped to the ground. I approached her slowly, on her knees, and she alone did nothing. I put a muzzle and picked her up. Heavy nothing, it was a bag of bones. I feared the worst.”
“I called Anna and she told me to do everything possible to save her. Then we went to the emergency room Alcázar de San Juan (Ciudad Real). There they attended her. He healed the wounds and we started a treatment, to see if he could respond. At that time, everything we were doing could be nothing, because we did not know if he could recover. If it could not have been recovered, it would have to be sacrificed … Then the veterinarian of Consuegra-Madridejos attended her, with a new treatment, new cures and Lolita began to respond. Besides, Lolita was always scared to death. We built a house with pallets, so that she could get in and out, although she did it a few times because she moved with difficulty. But it had a lid on top, and at the top we could take it out. That’s how we cured her (3 times a day). This required asking for help because only one person could not attend to it. That’s why they participate: Nines, Marta and Eva during the cures. Later we already contacted Anna and she took care of taking her to Barcelona.”
14 hours traveling
Richard from Villar-Rosàs explains how the shooting was.
“We left Barcelona with the van and the greyhound carrier at 4 in the morning. Melanie, Víctor, Yo, Pau with the two cameras and Pablo with the sound equipment. The city is different at this time – there was no traffic. I drove about 3 hours and then stopped for breakfast and change driver. While we went down to Consuegra, Víctor and Pau began to record material for the sequence of Lolita’s trip inside her carrier.
We arrived at the hotel at noon. We ate quickly and then went directly with Pablo to the shelter of Eva. Here we met Marta and Nines, two other volunteers from SOS Galgos.
Lolita was inside her little wooden house. Not out. We started to record Pablo’s farewell with Lolita and when Pablo took her out of his house we all saw for the first time the fear he had. He was trembling and had both front legs covered in bandages.
She only calmed down when Pablo picked her up, but I will never forget the look she had, the fear that was reflected in her eyes. It was at that moment that I really realized the importance of the work that each of the people associated with SOS Galgos do.
We recorded a lot of Pablo’s material with Lolita because we knew that the relationship between them was the most emotional point in the story. It was Pablo who saved Lolita’s life. It was he who gave him the opportunity to start his life from scratch.”
“In the afternoon Pablo took us to the place where he had found Lolita; an abandoned country house. Pablo called him: “The Galgos Cemetery”, and when we entered we understood why. Among the stones and fallen beams we find the bones of a couple of dead greyhounds and the remains of several hanging ropes.
The house was for me a good metaphor for hunting with greyhound in Spain. From a distance, with the sunlight of the evening sun illuminating the walls, it seemed very bucolic. But once inside, the house was terrifying. We use it as the beginning and end of the short.
The next day we got up early and picked up Lolita at Eva’s house. We said goodbye to Pablo and Eva and we started 7 hours back to Barcelona, with Lolita inside the SOS Galgos transporter. I do not remember hearing a single sound of Lolita during the whole lap. I guess she was very scared, but she behaved very well and at 8:45 we arrived at the SOS Galgos office where Anna was waiting for us.
Once we parked, Melanie and I took out the transport, while Víctor, Pau and Pablo filmed the first meeting between Anna and Lolita. Another very important moment in history.
We returned the following day to record the last sequences with Albert, the SOS Galgos veterinarian, and the Lolita bath. I remember perfectly the face of Lolita while Anna was drying it with a huge towel. It was the look of someone who has returned home after a very long trip. I was tired, but very happy.”