Valiente was found injured and starved in the basement of a disused building in Madrid, where he had crawled after being hit by a car, and where he was being eaten by rats. He was brought into care, and with help from us and others, recovered sufficiently with veterinary treatment to travel to his home abroad. However, his wounds were so deep and his immune response so depleted that they caused an osteomyelitis, an infection of the bones, which is extremely painful and difficult to treat. His German adopters did their best for him, but finally, in consultation with their veterinarian, he was laid to rest on the 19th of December.
We should remember those who knew him and cared for him; Cristina in Madrid, who rescued him and looked after him in her own apartment; Diana Jork, who found a home for him in Germany and drove him hundreds of miles north to Euten; and the family there who took him into their hearts and now suffer his loss.
‘para venir a lo que no gustas,
has de ir por donde no gustas;
para venir a lo que no sabes;
has de ir por donde no sabes;
para venir a lo que no posees;
has de ir por donde no posees;
para venir a lo que no eres,
has de ir por donde no eres.’
St. John of the Cross, Spain, 1542-1591
. . . In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
The Four Quartets, T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965
Valiente sadly illustrates only too clearly the tragedy of those galgos who suffer so much, and the reason why we do this work. Maybe, due to all our joint efforts, Valiente learned something about love during those last weeks before he died.