September 22, 2006

5 foreign Vet Volunteers / News Coverage / Welcome Lorna and Aoife / Preparing for jungle expedition!

  • Spayed / Neutered 327 dogs, 85 cats
  • Donations Wonderful donation of pharmaceuticals from Peruvian Isabel Paz

Recent days have been some of the most challenging, yet rewarding days for Amazon CARES. Everybody in the organization has been working VERY long hours under some tough conditions.

I currently have 5 foreign volunteer Veterinarians:

  • Dr. Beth McGennisken, Melbourne, Australia
  • Dr. Sheradan Harvey, Hawaii. USA
  • Dr. Lorna O’ Dowd, Ireland
  • Dr. Aoife O'Sullivan
  • Dr. Janey Little of South Africa

On Monday, September 18, I welcomed two more volunteer vets who are volunteers with the Worldwide Veterinary Service. These two vets, are Dr. Aoife O'Sullivan (pronounced live Eva but with an F instead of a V) and Dr. Lorna O’Dowd, both of Ireland.

On Tuesday, September 19, we conducted a sterilization clinic in Bella Vista Nanay. This is within 15 minutes of Iquitos and is the ending point for the raft race. Previously we conducted an anti-mange campaign there. When people arrive from the race we want them to see the fruits of our labor!

Our team was on the local news the night before and the morning of the clinic, so there were throngs of people waiting for us. We did more than 20 operations on dogs and several cats. Throngs of children were also there, so I conducted my first humane education classes on my own, and they went well. Several people thought I maintained great control over the situation.

We also had many consultations. A woman came with her female Cocker Spaniel mix and a litter of 8 puppies that looked malnourished, but she claimed they were 5 weeks old. Some puppies had experienced a decline in health and were not able to walk. I explained that dogs, and especially nursing mothers and puppies, need food designed especially for them. The Peruvian household food does not provide the vitamins and minerals that puppies need to develop and to grow with good health and strength. I begged her to please buy Pedigree food for the mother and the puppies. Previously we had some puppies that could not walk, and after one week of eating Pedigree they walked! It is the truth. I realize that is more costly, but pets are a responsibility, like children. I told her that in 3 weeks or a month, when the puppies do not need to nurse, she should bring the mother to our clinic to be spayed at no charge. I pray she comes.

On Wednesday, September 20, we traveled about 30 minutes away to a small community called “Les Delfines.” They have requested help for months. A medical doctor helped with the arrangements and we were able to hold the clinic in a small health facility in the town. People were lined up with their dogs waiting for us! We operated on more than 20 dogs that day too.

I conducted educational seminars with the assistance of a local Peruvian volunteer, Veronica. She was a huge help. We had 21 kids and discussed many topics about animals, played a game comparing animal needs vs. human needs (they are the same), and ended up by dividing them, up by age and providing different activities that involved drawing and/or coloring. On this day I felt much more prepared and secure in my presentation. I had the activities planned, I maintained their attention, and of course I had the assistance of native speaker Veronica, who has been a volunteer with Amazon CARES for over a month now, and is a valuable contributor.

On Thursday, September 21, I saw Beth, Sheradan, Lornautor and Aoife off. They took a bus to Nauta where the World’s Longest Raft Race begins. Janey and Corinne, a new volunteer who is not a Veterinary volunteer, but who can help in many other ways, took the boat to Nauta.

Next week I will be really OUT OF TOUCH. I am so excited to be taking my first extended boat trip into the jungle since I decided to stay here in summer 2004! We will be conducting veterinary clinics and educational clinics in 4 jungle towns in the Napo River area.

Personal notes: Mangos are back in season. They were only “out of season” for a few short months. I am happy to have my big, delicious mangoes back!!

My hammock. I have started going to sleep every night on my hammock which is located on the upper part my patio outside in my backyard. I play a tape (yes, a CASSETTE tape) of classical music which helps the dogs settle down. We have built a special puppy area in the main garden, so the part of patio directly below the hammock is now a dog-free zone, and they let me sleep in peace. Usually I wake up around 3:30 AM and move to my bed. Last night however I must have been sleeping deeply and attempted to roll over in bed. Needless to say I rolled over right onto my concrete patio! That woke me up!! LOL

Once again I am asking my friends to input their emails into the blank on the right of this page so that you will automatically be notified of my blog. I try to respond to emails as best I can. Who knew this work would be so much more challenging and time consuming than running a jewelry store (albeit what I do now is much more rewarding for me!). Til later. Love, Molly

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