Thursday, December 13, 2007

During my trip to Asia some good news was received.
“Success!! Shaggy arrived in the UK on Saturday afternoon., 17th Nov. I am now a happy, excited owner of a dog once again. “

By the sounds of it the process was not an easy one

“What a drama Operation Shaggy has been. Amparo and I spent all day going from place to place in a taxi. I needed official permission from the head of the vetinerary clinic in Habana, followed by legal validation of her signature at another office in another part of Habana. The rest of the day was spent at the airport, gathering all the other bits of paper to be signed and stamped. Amparo and I thought that was the end of it and the day of the flight would be easy. Wrong again! Another whole day was spent at the airport running from one office to the other - to the Customs office 3 times, an examination by the airport vet, paying for one thing in one office and another in another office. We were exhausted. Even Amparo was confused at the end of the process, and she speaks the language. I had 13 official stamps on my papers! She said it must be easier to move an elephant that it was to get one little dog to the UK. I could never have done it on my own.”

Sound like the exit process for pets could be streamlined a little. I think this is something we can work on.
All the best to Marilyn and Shaggy.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Asian Musings

I'm back home and trying to get into my home time zone. During my trip I observed less stray street dogs than I expected. Dogs in the streets seemed to have collars for the most part and seemed to be in good shape. Contrast this with Cuba where the sight of a dog with a collar is a rarity and the physical condition of the strays is painful to see. Part of the reason for the lack of street dogs may be that Thit Cho (dog meat) is a part of some diets. We heard from our group leader that dog meat is imported into Vietnam from Laos and Thailand. Below find a loved dog on the border of Thailand and Cambodia. This stone relief carving was spotted at Angkor Wat, Cambodia. It depicts dog fighting and was carved in the 12th century.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

View From The Road

Sorry for the gap in posting but I’ve been on a bit of a trek.
The posting is coming from Hoi An, Vietnam. I am in week two of a three week journey from Bangkok through Cambodia to Saigon then north to Hanoi with a few stops.
Here are some photos taken along the way.

Bangkok cat sunning near a Budhist temple.

Resident dog Bangkok Protestent Cemetery

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Heartgard Plus Donation

Thanks to the generous, group, individual, company, whose name would not be revealed to me, for the generous donation of Heartgard Plus.
I traveled to Toronto yesterday where I was presented with 290 six month treatments of HeartGard Plus.
Heartgard is an Ivermectine based product for the prevention of Heartworm. The Plus portion is Pyrantel with takes care of a number of parasites.

The next step is to get the supplies to Cuba.
If your located in Canada, traveling to Havana and have some space in your luggage I would love to hear from you.

*due to the temperature sensitive nature of Heartgard I cannot ship via courier or post during winter months.
If you are in Southern Ontario contact me and we can make some arrangement.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wish List Wednesday

Here we go with Wish List Wednesday.

Please do not restrict yourself to the listed items. Everything is in need so look for sales in your area.
I have provided links to sources in various countries. If you come across a deal let me now and I may post it.

The last item on the list, an "animal marker kit", is needed urgently.
The company will ship only to the billing address of the credit card used for the purchase.
If you live in the USA and can purchase and deliver this item to Havana I will reimburse you once delivery is confirmed.

A similar arrangement can be made for Canada but the importation from the USA creates additional costs.

All Wormer

Ivomec 1% Injectable
Permectrin II
Provides long-acting killing power for flies, lice, mites, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes

Bio Spot Pyrthrin Dip
4oz bottle makes 8 gallons of dip.

Source for wormers

Drontal Plus All Wormer

6' nylon dog leashes
nylon collars
Dog and cat crates and carriers of ALL sizes

Animal shaver with detachable surgical blade. ie Oster A5 Golden (110V) #40 blade, Andis MBG2 Pro-Animal Clipper Kit.

Animal marker kit ie Spaulding Electric Tattoo Animal Marker(110V)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Time For A Bath

Shaggy is now in the care of a Vet in Trinidad. Early reports are that with some loving care all will be well.
I believe a bath is the order of the day for the little guy.

Soon after Shaggy was in the foster care of the Vet, Marilyn was on the telephone to Julio for some first hand reports.Now comes the logistics of arranging for Shaggy’s trip. In an email I received Marilyn stated, “The licence and other documents which our Government needs are complete and I have made a reservation at the quarantine premises near my home."
In Trinidad Julio and the Vet will take care of whatever paperwork they can and my contacts in Havana will ease the way before departure.

Marilyn has booked passage to Cuba and is slated to be in Trinidad November 8th.
Traveling with her will be veterinary supplies and meds, all of which are in short supply in Cuba.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Could it be?

It doesn't get any better than this on Wish List Wednesday.

Julio took the photos I sent and put them to paper for distribution to some friends around the Plaza Mayor area.
Shortly after distribution Julio received a call about a possible Shaggy sighting.
These photos were taken in Trinidad so the UK could confirm the ID.

What do you think? Is this Shaggy?

Confirmation came today that this is in fact Shaggy.
It looks like the six months on the streets have been rough.

The next stop will be a visit to the Vet and a home stay with a Protectora both of whom are working with the Spanky Project..
Once the health of the dog is accessed plans will begin for a trip to Cuba to pick up Shaggy for a life in the UK.

Stay tune for further developments

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Shaggy Dog Rescue

Back in September I was in contact with a woman from the UK regarding a dog in Trinidad Cuba. She had come across the dog and could not shake him from her memory. This all came about as the result of a posting in a Cuba forum regarding rescuing a dog from Cuba. We had an initial contact and discussion about helping her on a return trip to Trinidad to look for the dog. This matter had slipped my mind until I read another post about taking dogs on Viazul, the Cuban inter-provincial bus service. Contact again was made with the dog lover and I put my resources to work in Trinidad. Last evening at the request of Julio in Trinidad I forwarded some low resolution photos that were sent to me. The dog has been dubbed Shaggy and one can see why. This evening I received word from Julio that there has been a possible Shaggy sighting. 
 More news to follow....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Smart Dogs

One of my frequent stops in Havana is the Pasteleria Francesca, located at Prado #410. Known for pastries their patio is one of my favourite stops for an "espresso doble y agua". During this visit there were a few dogs hanging out. The two dogs in the photo provided some entertainment.
The little guys were very happy to lounge in the doorway of the cafe until the cafe boss came along. El jefe with some serious persuasion managed to get the boys out to the street. No sooner had the boss disappeared then the dogs were immediately back in the doorway. This game was played two or three time until the boss finally gave up.
Oh there was a very smart third dog that hid behind the door.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunwing to Havana. Sept.26

I’ve been home for a few days now and it’s time for some reflections.

First a few words about Sunwing Vacations
Sunwing Vacations never replied to my emails. I did not even receive an acknowledgement of receipt. In retrospect I would have been happy with a flat no to my request for additional luggage allowance rather than what I received which was to be totally ignored.
Unlike the administrative end of Sunwing the front line and flight crews are second to none. Checking was efficient and friendly. My checked back was 1.5kg overweight and nothing was mentioned about it. Our Boeing 737 with real simulated leather seats departed on time. The flight crew worked none stop; hot towels, champagne, hot meal with red or which,cocktails,snack and duty free all delivered with a smile.
There was a celebrity sighting Jane Bunnett and Larry Cramer were on board destined for Cameguey

Our flight arrived in Varadero on time but due to returning Cubans bringing in dutiable items we were delayed. To be fare to the Cubans when it came time to pay the cashier had gone for a dinner break. We were delayed about two hours. One passenger began to complain about the delay. He suggested to the Gaviota Tour rep that those yet to exit customs short be sent in a taxi and that we should depart to which the rep stated “ I’m sorry I am just a soldier”. I howled at this reply as the employees of Gaviota are all soldier it is operated by the military.

The two hour bus trip to Havana / Miramar was uneventful with arrival at the Aparthotel Montehabana being 10:30 pm.

The Montehabana is very comfortable and only a 7 CUC taxi ride from Parque Central in Havana. I would spend two night here and then three in Havana at Casa Evora before returning.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Two Sleeps

In less than 48 hours I will be back in Cuba. The moon will be full and I’ll be sippin’ on something.

It looks like I will be traveling light this trip. Sunwing Vacations being a charter company allows a total of 20kg of checked baggage. 
Last Wednesday I sent an email to Sunwing ,via their website, requesting an increased allowance. The website states to allow two business days for a replies to emails.
As of this morning I still have not had a reply so a second email was sent to them this morning.
I must say I enjoy flying with Air Canada from the standpoint of luggage allowance (2 bags 23kg each).

One meeting I hope to arrange is with Nora Garcia the head of Aniplant. Aniplant is the NGO responsible for the protection of animals. More on Aniplant latter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Havana in one week.

We interupt this Wish List Wedneday to annouce.... we're off to Havana again.
Yes it seems like I just returned.
The package deal I scored via was too good to pass up.
Sept.26 - Oct 3
Toronto to Havana 7 nights accomadation and tranfers for the sum of $430.03 CDN tax included.

If you will be in Havana at this time drop me a line.

The down side of this trip is the flight is via Sunwing a package charter airline. My total weight allowance, according to my ticket, is 20 kg (44lbs).

Here is the Wednesday Wish List with some additions.

Please do not restrict yourself to the listed items. Everything is in need so look for sales in your area.
I have provided links to sources in various countries. If you come across a deal let me now and I may post it.

All Wormer

Ivomec 1% Injectable
Permectrin II
Provides long-acting killing power for flies, lice, mites, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes

Bio Spot Pyrthrin Dip
4oz bottle makes 8 gallons of dip.

Source for wormers

Drontal Plus All Wormer

6' nylon dog leashes
nylon collars
Dog and cat crates and carriers of ALL sizes

Animal shaver with detachable surgical blade. ie Oster A5 Golden (110V) #40 blade, Andis MBG2 Pro-Animal Clipper Kit.

Animal marker kit ie Spaulding Electric Tattoo Animal Marker(110V)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cuba Day 7, 8 Trinidad

August 30-31

Leaving my big bag behind at Evora’s I began my trip to Trinidad.

As suggested I arrived at the terminal one hour (07:15) before departure. There was a long line up for tickets.
The line was so long in fact that passengers bound for an earlier departing bus for Varadero were permitted to jump the queue.
Finally with ticket (27 cuc) in hand and my one bag checked it was up to the restaurant for a “espresso doble”. A word of advise .... place your order at the counter then grab a table.

The Viazul bus service is the most reliable form of intercity/provincial transport in the country. This was a typical trip with the usual midway rest stop. There are toilet facilities on the bus but if you can wait for the rest stop the facilities are clean and comfortable.
Also available at these stops you can purchase snacks and beverages.
Five hours and thirty minutes after leaving Havana I arrive in Trinidad.

Founded in 1514 the present day population is 38,000. This town is the finest example of preserved colonial architecture in Cuba. In the 1950 Batista passed a preservation law that allowed Trinidad to maintain it’s character. In 1965 the town was named a national monument and in 1988 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

My casa was located a short walk from the bus terminal. First one must run the line of offers for accommodations as you leave the depot lot. Thirty plus people will offer you rooms in their houses. I think Trinidad must have the highest concentration of Casa Particulares in Cuba.
Casa Colonial Muñoz
is operated by Julio Muñoz and Rosa Orbea. Built in 1800 this colonial house is located in the centre of Trinidad.
Upon arrival I was met by Rosa and Julio. My room had a high ceiling with two beds, ceiling fan and air conditioning. A refrigerator was located outside of my room and my private washroom steps away.

Julio is a truly an animal lover. He sure does like them big. During my visit I met Diana,a foal that spends the evenings in the back of the Casa. Sad news Diana recently died as a result of an injury inflicted by a cow.

One of the reasons for this side trip to Trinidad was to reconnect with a Vet I met briefly a year and a half earlier. With translation help from Julio a plan is being developed which will assist locals their animals and the neighbourhood Protectora.

If you are staying in Trinidad or just visiting for the day consider dropping off a donation to help the locals. Trinidad is such a pretty town the animals should be in equally good shape.

Julio will gladly accept donated supplies for distribution to the local Vet and Protectoras.
Contact Information and Map

Cubans are known for their ability to make something out of very little.Veterinarians are no different. Here is an example... homemade cauterization device...

it's power supply is a transformer scavenged from a Soviet television.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wish List Wednesday

Time to start a new feature .... Wish List Wednesday

For those that are heading to Cuba and would like to help those helping the dogs and cats I will provide a list of some needed items.
If you can help out email me for delivery details for the following locations in Cuba:
Havana, Guanabacoa,Trinidad, Cienfuegos ...
Coming soon Moron, Holquin

Please do not restrict yourself to the listed items. Everything is in need so look for sales in your area.
I have provided links to sources in various countries. If you come across a deal let me now and I may post it.

All Wormer

Ivomec 1% Injectable

Permectrin II
Provides long-acting killing power for flies, lice, mites, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes

Source for wormers

6' nylon dog leashes
nylon collars
Dog and cat crates and carriers of ALL sizes

Animal shaver with detachable surgical blade. ie Oster A5 Golden (110V) #40 blade

Animal marker kit ie Spaulding Electric Tattoo Animal Marker(110V)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Cuba Day 6 Havana

Sunday July 29

Cuba Day 6 Havana

This day was to be a very busy one.

I’m up and out the door at 7:00. The reason for the early start is that I’m due in Vedado at 08:30 for a mini “campaña”.Cubans, I find, are big on showing their appreciation by actions. To acknowledge the arrival of the anesthetic I brought we were going to operate three dogs and three cats.

So I’m walking up the Prado, my favourite Havana street, looking for coffee. My primary destination is the Hotel Sevilla. I’ve stayed at the Sevilla several time, it’s one of the grand old ladies from the gangster era. Though I stay at Casa Evora when I can, the Sevilla is always a stop for the internet or a drink. I arrive to a quiet lobby and order my usual “espresso doble”. I’m stunned to hear the machine is broken “es roto”. So I’m on the road again up the road to Hotel plaza. Here I wake the waiter and bartender. The Hotel Plaza is another of the old ladies. Though rated a star less than the Sevilla the Plaza is in a prime location on the edge of Parque Central. Coffee at last.
In November of ’06 I spent a week in Havana staying at the Plaza. That trip, there was a huge plasma screen TV in the bar. Now here I am in July and there is a small TV on a stand. Apparenty the plasma “es roto”.

Time for a taxi to Vedado. On the edge of Parque Central is always a good place to find a ride. My taxi outfit of choice is Panataxi,These trademark yellow and white Lada’s are metered and economical. I found Luis and his Lada near the Inglaterra Hotel. We rode to Vedado along the Malecon. During the drive Luis agreed to show up the following Thrusday to take me to the airport. This has happened before with other taxistas ...we’ll see.

I arrived a little early and Amparo is packing up some items for the campaña. Shortly after my arrival there was a knock at the door and entered Israel a gentleman who protect cats in his neighbourhood.
Once we were prepared we were out the door for a walk to where the campaña is to be held.

Upon arrival Amparo began to record the information for the dogs and cats that were in attendance and Ibrahim the Vet was doing pre surgical exams and calculated the needed anesthetic. Ibrahim asked if I was going to assist him to which I replied “sure”.

This day we were slated to do six spays. Here are some of the patients. Note the Cuban inventiveness with the cat carriers.

There was one piece of business we had to take care of before the surgeries began. We had to hunt for a local semi feral cat known to Israel. We were not successful but as you can see from the photo a cat carrier would be an excellent donation. The onion bag works but we can do better.

Upon our return from the cat hunt we found Ibrahim was ready to begin.

As you can see we are not in a clinical setting. These campañas are held in the homes of individuals that are helping the effort in any way possible.

Eusebio Leal Spengler, director of the Historian’s Office of the City of Havana gave approval for this pilot project to take place in Centro Habana. We hope to prove that a well run spay and neuter campaign can control the animal population to the point that wholesale dog catching is not the means of population control.

At present Zoonosis, a branch of Salud Publica, roams the streets collecting unaccompanied dogs. They are taken to the outskirts of Havana where the are held for three days.
If the animals are not claimed they are killed ... the method Strychnine poisoning.

Each week an average of 150 dogs suffer this fate.

Donate Now Through!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cuba Day 5 Havana

Cuba Day 5 Havana
Saturday July 28

The day begins with the usual 8:30 breakfast in my Casa. Evora is so wonderful, over a year ago I commented to her that I noticed a lack of the usual raw sugar. We had a discussion about it and the reasons behind it. Well with my next visit and every visit since she had raw sugar for me. It truly is my home in Havana.

After breakfast I strolled up the Prado to the Hotel Sevilla to check email. As I approached the Sevilla the street was being shut down for a Farmers Market. This was a new occurrence for me.
There was a wide selection of fruits and vegetables including pineapples, peppers and garlic.

Along with the market vendor on the street local restaurants had cafes set up on the Prado. Sorry no picture.

As usually in Havana, where there is waste food there are dogs.

Evora (bandana) and Manuel (left) asked if I would met with a young friend of theirs. Sinuhe(green shirt) is a Vet Tech in Guanabacoa and does his best to help the locals and their animals in the absence of a Vet. Sinuhe and a fellow Vet Tech are one there own since the local Vet left the country.
If you would like to help the animals of Guanabacoa I will be please to provide delivery details.

Guanabacoa founded in 1607 is a town about 4km east of the Havana harbour.
It would be worth a day trip from Havana. I plan to return and spend more time touring around.

Sinuhe and family invited us into there home for a wonderful lunch. Cuban cuisine was the fare and it came in the form of quimbobo. Soooooooooo gooooooooooood.

Also on this Saturday I ventured off for a visit to one of two pet stores in Havana.
Located at Obispo #410, Casa Langwith is a stop I always make to see what’s available. As I walked up to the window the shop was full of smoke. Upon closer inspection and reading a note on the door it was closed for fumigation.

If you travel to Havana and do not have room for aid to the animals drop by Casa Langwith after arrival and pick up some wormer, dog food, anti parasitics etc.
Should this be an option you can drop the supplies off at Aquacate #9 esq. Chacon upper floor. Stilita is your contact.
She is only a few blocks away from the pet store.
Shout up to one of the upper floor windows.
Tell her Terry sent you.
Stilita's english is excellent.

This trip was my first meet with Stilita. Evora suggested I drop by because Stilita's daughter is a Protectora.
I arrived and, as very Cuban, shouted her name up to the window. Stilita dropped the key down to me and I let myself in.
Upon leaving Stilita gave me the key and said to be sure to lock the gate. I asked what I should do with the key she said "give it to Boston", her dog. After locking the gate I gave the key to Boston and he returned it upstairs.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cuba Day 4 Havana

Friday July 27

As you will see from the group shot this meeting was well attended. Not only were three veterinarians in attendance we also had a lawyer, professors and a representative of another animal rescue group working in Havana.

Attention was focused on organizing a spay/neuter campaign with quantifiable results. To this end a sector by sector approach was adopted. Centro Havana will be divide using the Malecon and major streets as boundaries. In these areas a census of the animals in the area will be conducted with the help of local committees. In order to more accurately measure the number of animals in the sector it will be requested that Zoonosis (aka dog catcher) not pick up animals in the sector where campaigns are being conducted.

Zoonosis is a branch of the government called Salud Publica. Zoonosis collects dogs in the streets and takes them to a location on the edge of Havana. If a dog is not claimed within three days it is “sacrificed”, there term for euthanized. Approximately 150 dogs are “sacrificed” each week. The method used to end the lives of these creatures is poisoning by strychnine. Not a humane way to end a life.
With a population control campaign based on a spay and neuter program it is the the groups goal that the number of animals collected and “sacrificed" by Zoonosis will decline. Also a more humane method of euthanasia will be put forward.

What a happy threesome.
On the left Amparo, head of the Dulce Maria Loynaz group, is holding 500ml of IVOMEC generously donated by Merial Canada.
In the middle Elvira inspects a bottle of PYRAQUANTAL , an allwormer. Elvira is a profesora at the Universidad de La Habana and she supports the efforts of the university garage workers to protect resident dogs. Have a look at a visit to the garage on my Flickr
Finally we have Juliet she is the groups Informatics person. She is putting together the database to track dogs and cats and campaign statistics.

A mini campaign is to be held on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Cuba Day 3 Havana

Thursday July 26
This was a day off so to speak, National Rebellion Day. This national holiday commemorates the day, July 26, 1953, on which Castro and about 200 young Cuban rebels attacked the Moncada army barracks at Santiago, Cuba.

The “mainstage” celebration this year was in Camaquey. This nationally televised event was a mix of political speeches and musical entertainment. Fidel was a no show and Raul Castro took part with some speech making.

Special thanks go out to Merial Canada for a generous donation of Ivomec. These shots were taken from the terrace of my home away from home in Havana.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cuba Day 2 Havana

Wednesday July 25

While visiting with Amparo three kids showed up with an injured bird.

This trip to Cuba was my busiest from a Spanky Project point of view. Many days it was too late to post to this Blog. My venue for internet access shut down at 10:00pm.

What I will do here is do a day to day recap...........

Wednesday July 25th
It was another hot day in Havana. Being from the Great White North aka Canada these temperatures are most appreciated in January and February. Oh well one must do what must be done when it’s needed. It can think of worse place to be in the heat.

On this day I met with Amparo, the head of the Dulce Maria Loynaz group. This meeting was to prepare for further discussion with a larger group. We discussed the goals of the sterilization campaign in Centro Habana along with budget items. Administrative and operational supply needs were also discussed.

Needed Items:
-Portable tattoo outfit for marking ID’s in the ear of dogs and cats.
-Shaver with a blade close cutting for the pre surgery shave.
-Laptop computers (older unloved models)- to maintain a data base of animals with tattoo ID’s.
-Laser printer - to aid in the distribution of educational and promotional materials.
-Dog training and care material in Spanish.
-Children’s books about animals in Spanish
--Flea and tick control.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

La Habana

Hola Todos.

I'm in Havana where the temperature at 8:00pm was 88F.

I have my first meeting with Amparo set for tomorrow morning.

The arrival at Jose Marti Airport was smooth as can be with the Letter of Introduction supplied by the Consejo Veterinario de Cuba.

With 50 plus pounds of supplies including anesthetic for 100 spay procedures the letter was a blessing.
I was also over weight with my baggage but caught a break.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I Feel Good!!!!!!!!

Skeeter had a visit to the Vet on Friday. The purpose was to take some blood and test for liver and kidney function among other things. She amazed me by walking willingly into the office and sniffing around. The previous visits seemed to not have left an impression upon her. Well the lightbulb did go on an she headed for the door where she curled up into a tight ball. The Vet was unable to coax her into walking so Skeeter was picked up and taken to a exam room.

While I was in the waiting room I picked up a brochure about a program called Pet Safe.
As the brochure states “Established in 2003 by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) it assists women leaving abusive partners by providing temporary housing for their pets.”

Skeeter spent a few minutes in the back and then came that sound. You know the one, claws attempting to dig in and get traction on a tiled floor. The Vet reported that Skeeter was a little trooper, as usual, and that we should have the results later that afternoon.

Well the news was all good. The final step will be an antigen test in three months to see if there is any evidence of heartworms.

Many thanks to all at the Loyalsit Veterinary Hospital and Skeeter's primary Dr. Lara Sylvester. The caring and compassion of the team at Loyalist is second to none.

Thank you.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Helping Hand From Ireland

photo by T.Shewchuk

Thanks go out to Annette and Gary of Dublin, Ireland. Recently I received a report from Annette of their visit with Amparo in Havana. Amparo is the head of the Dulce Maria Loynaz group in Cuba.
It is very nice to hear feedback from those that care and take the time to help with the work in Havana.

Her is an excerpt from Annette’s email -
"Well, we purchased some tablets  and brought them to Amparo’s apartment. She seems like a wonderful woman, and she made us feel very welcome, inviting us to join her on her balcony where she explained all about the project and the current situation.  
It was a very worthwhile experience and we are very glad to have made a tiny contribution – we were a bit disheartened by the dogs we saw in the street.
We hope to return to Cuba next year and will contact you again beforehand. We have also passed on the message to a friend who is travelling in September."
I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Many thanks

Monday, July 2, 2007

La Habana in July!!

photo by:T. Shewchuk

It has been a busy time around the homestead.

Skeeter is doing great except for woofing her cookies at 3:00AM this morning. As a matter of fact she is doing so well that I have booked my next trip to Cuba for July 24 - August 2.
As per normal I will spend the majority of my time in Havana.This trip I will however be traveling to Trinidad Cuba for two nights. My side trip will allow me the opportunity to reconnect with a local Vet I met with briefly in 2006. He is greatly respected amongst the towns people. Treating cats, dogs, horses and cattle, Vets in these small towns are relied on sometimes for peoples livelihoods.

Seeing that the Vet does not have email access, I have been communicating with him through the Casa owner where I will be staying. Julio Muñoz runs a Casa Particulare in Trinidad, Cuba. He is a photographer and runs a highly recommended hostal.

Sad news regarding Julio, he lost one of his horses recently to colic. I will be making sure that I deliver some supplies for the equines in town.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Last Shot

It took about seven hours, yesterday, for Skeeter to get to a reasonable comfort level. That is a level perceived by a worried parent to be comfortable. She did huff and puff and pant but there was no whimpering.
The Vet did place a call to us last night, making sure everything was fine.

Today was Skeeter’s third and final shot. She was a little trooper according to the Vets attending to her. Upon leaving we were given a dose of tramadol 50mg in case of severe pain.

Today was much more like the first injection when it come to visible discomfort. Whimpering heavy panting and painful walking were the order of the day. At one point Skeeter dug a little hole in the garden under the lilac bushes and laid in it.

Relief was seen about five hours after the injection. She’s now sleeping and we’ve yet to use the tramadol.

In 30 days Skeeter is due for a return visit for a “Wellness Test” which will check for liver and kidney function among other things. After three doses of arsenic based treatment it’s best to make sure everything is working well.

I sure hope the heartworm has been taken care of for good. This is not an experience a friend should go through.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Second Shot

We took Skeeter to the Vet today for her latest heartworm treatment. It was another shot in the hind quarter.
It’s been four hours since the shot and she has the same discomfort as with the shot last month. Hopefully within the next couple of hours she’ll be resting comfortably.

Tomorrow we return to the Vet for the final shot.

With Skeeter’s curtailed activity level I’m surprised she has only gained one tenth of a pound. We did cut back on her food but her steady weight is surprising.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Good News Week

This has been a busy week. I’m happy to report that Skeeter is doing nicely. Sometimes I have to catch myself so I don’t get her fired up.
One week since the first Heartworm treatment three until the next.

In regards to the Spanky Project a group of persons interested in the betterment of animal life in Cuba is developing. The anchor of this group is the USA based Caribbean Medical Transport CMT (see link to the right). CMT can provide a license to eligible US citizens for travel to Cuba in support of the cause.
If you are a Veterinarian or animal health science professional that would be interested in licensed travel to Cuba drop me a line.

More on the good news front....
I would like to acknowledge Michele and all at the 404 Veterinary Hospital Referral Center and the Veterinary Emergency Clinic of York Region for their generous donation of text books. I was also informed of some equipment being available as a result of recent renovations and upgrades.
Looks like I'l be looking for space in a container to Havana.