June 12, 2007

Worldwide Veterinary Service Trip, Day 1

Yesterday two fantastic volunteers arrived. Liz and Annie are two competent and witty Veterinarians from Australia, both living in the UK. Soon Liz is moving to Ithaca, NY where she will be doing a two year residency at Cornell University in Wildlife Pathology. They arrived with a donation that our clinic really needed . . . a refractometer, which can be used for body fluid analysis. I spent entirely too much time talking, no doubt starved for English conversation with females! We retired pretty early following a delicious vegetarian dinner!Dr. Annie Cook of AustraliaDr. Liz Dobson of Australia
Notes from Vet. Annie: “I am very impressed with the skill levels of the Veterinary Technicians. Esther is also great and very competent. We’re eating better here than we do at home, and I can’t believe the facilities, and it’s a lot more advanced than anticipated. It’s a great set-up.”
I responded to Annie that we owed a debt of gratitude to another Australian Veterinarian, Beth McGinnesken, who spent 6 months here last year organizing our animal birth control campaign, teaching proper sterilization techniques, and telling me what I needed for a well-stocked clinic!
Today we are conducting a veterinary clinic here at our jungle facility. People started arriving at 9:30 AM. There is a huge crowd of people and 12 animals awaiting treatment. Two dogs are currently under “the knife.” Annie and Liz have both neutered one male dog each, and right now Esther is spaying a female dog. I am thrilled that Annie and Liz were duly impressed with the abilities of two of our full-time VeterinaryAssistants. Ricardo and Behtjane (Betty Jane) have not received any formal training. They are experts at prepping animals for surgery and assisting in every way. They also know how to prepare the clinic and sterilize everything and set up sterilization stations for the vets.
Right now Annie and Liz are discussing treatment for heartworms. Esther’s English lessons seem to have paid off, and I am glad for her ability to practice English.

June 11, 2007

Sudden loss of beloved pet, Sydney

Volunteer Harry with Sydney & Marilyn

Pictured above is Vet Tech and Master Dog Catcher Harry. He is with Sydney and Marilyn. Now Marilyn is my pet in the U.S.A.!

This morning I received some very difficult news. My pet, Sydney, a rescue dog from the US, died at 1:30 AM. She was only 7 years old. She had contracted a virus common in the jungle. A few nights ago I slept in town and spent quality time with her (she has been staying at the vet clinic for treatment). In any case, the topic is fresh and the work we are doing today is a great distraction. I won’t write more about her at this time. At the end of the day I must acknowledge the kindness and compassion shown towards me by everyone about the loss of my pet, Sydney. During the Worldwide Veterinary Service Expedition 2006 Sydney accompanied us on our jungle boat trip. She served as a teaching assistant and entertainment, as she was a master frisbee player, a talent I have never seen in a Peruvian dog. We buried her on property. Sydney, you will always be my baby and will always reign as the Queen of my Peruvian household. You are my angel, and I will always love you.

Me and Sydney Sydney's Final Resting Place

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