Thursday, March 31, 2016

Critter Cabs

Last week, returning to Picton from Toronto, I stopped in at a highway service centre to check email and get a snack.
I pulled in beside a vehicle that had a sign on the side

 I tracked down the driver, Laurel. 
She filled me in on the great work they are all doing.

"Critter Cabs Animal Rescue Transports is a Transport Co-Ordination Group whose purpose is to safely transport rescue animals within Quebec and into Ontario. People in this group are volunteers who give their time, gas and use of their vehicle to help death-row animals get from life-threatening situations to the safety of rescues."

On March 30 I did my first run.
Actually, I accepted this run after a cancelled run.
This run would normally have been done in a few legs with various drivers and vehicles.

Quinte Humane Society - Belleville
to John Street Animal Hospital - Markham

The Spanky Project has come full circle.
In 1995 QHS was the shelter where we met and adopted Spanky.
This is where it all began.

Once inside the doors, and awaiting my travel companions I came upon this...
"Angel in a Dog Suit encourages kids of all ages, cultures, creeds and abilities to discover that even the most challenging times can become triumphs. Ruby's story proves that in adversity there is always an opportunity for growth and that if we don't give up on love, life gets better!"

How wonderful!
The cover reminds me of a young Spanky

As a "Critter Cabbie" you sign for the transfer ..  

.. and receive the records for your passengers.
Then it's out the door.
Gidget and Benson were being transfered
to help out QHS.
Helped by a rescue group so as to free up space for new surrenders and intakes.

The ride was uneventful and Gidget and Benson will find a new life in Markham.

I now have a way to help animals here at home

Thank you Critter Cabs!

Earlier in this post is wrote"the Spanky Project has come full circle".
In actuality, and something that was discussed on our February campaña in Havana.
The Spanky Project is traveling more of a Möbius strip...

 ... a metaphor for the twists, turns, and reversals in our work.

You encounter people, groups and institutions on your journey.

With some, you may never have a meaningful interaction.
They just fall off the edge.

Some you may have that meaningful interaction, then you part.

Some you have that meaningful interaction and they are with you forever.
If you do part, as the twists and turns of the journey progress, you know they are always with you. 
Your journeys forever intersect.

Thank you to those that are with the Spanky Project on our journey.

Thanks to those like Critter Cabs for allowing us to intersect

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Get Me Outta Here!

A big thank you to my dear friend Sandy.
After parking at her place I was given door to door service.
Thus the light weight wear on what would be the coldest day of the year.
Once inside the terminal it was good to see our flight was on time.

I sat myself down to await my travel partner flying in from San Francisco.
Dairne Ryan, a Board Member for  Fix Our Ferals was with us in 2012.
That was when we held Cuba's first mass TNR for cats.

Fix Our Ferals is a community-based non-profit organization that promotes trap-neuter-return (T-N-R) to humanely reduce outdoor cat populations in the San Francisco East Bay.
Dairne is also the Latin American Program Director for Animal Balance.
Animal Balance does wonderful work on islands around the world.
As on two of our other Havana Campañas Animal Balance are
our invited guests.

A big thank you to Air Canada for having a generous baggage allowance on their Havana route.
I packed a 23kg bag for each team member flying out of Toronto

Well that "on time" status did not last long.
We finally departed at  9:09 PM on the coldest night of the year...

 .... arrival 12:18 AM - Sun Feb-14-2016
Perhaps next time I should check on-time performance for flights.

AC 1598 On-time Performance Summary

  On-time Performance
  Delay Statistics
On-time Arrival Performance for this Flight

Very Late
Total Flights

*Due to rounding approximations, values may not add up exactly to 100%

AC 1598 On-time Performance Rating Details

Overall Rating
0 of 5
Very Poor
Avg. Delay:
54 min
FlightStats Rating is a merit measurement considering both on-time performance and delay severity. The score, 0, shows that this flight has on-time performance characteristics better than 0% of all other flights in the FlightStats database.

On-time Performance
0 of 5
Very Poor
This flight has an on-time performance of 31%. Statistically, when taking into consideration sample size, standard deviation, and mean, this flight is on-time more often than 0% of other flights.

Delay Performance
0 of 5
Very Poor
Avg. Delay:
54 min
This flight has an average delay of 54 minutes with a standard deviation of 65.51 minutes. Statistically, when taking into consideration sample size, standard deviation, and mean, this flight has delay performance characteristics better than 0% of other flights.

*This flight has an average delay of 54 minutes with a standard deviation of 65.51 minutes. Statistically, when taking into consideration sample size, standard deviation, and mean, this flight has delay performance characteristics better than 0% of other flights.

With that behind us we did arrive happily on ..
 El Dia del Amor y Amistad.
My love affair with La Habana, it's animals and people continues.
We had a smooth entry thanks to the wonderful preparations by collaborating 
Cuban structures namely....
Oficina del Historiador
Instituto de Medicina Veterinaria
Grupo Exportación e Importación - Oficina del Historiador
Cooperación Internacional - Oficina del Historiador
Sociedad Patrimonio, Comunidad y Medio Ambiente

Aduana was ready for our arrival.
They had all our paperwork lined up. 
It was great to see Spanky's face at Jose Marti Airport
Once we were cleared it was off to Habana Vieja and our Casa Particulares in Guillermo'sVW van.
Susana, Spanky Project's fabulous coordinator, arranged casas for the whole team 
on the same block as our clinic.

Our MASH Clinic by night.

The days ahead will bring TNRs, spay/neuter of pets, rabies vaccinations, and deparasitizations for  dogs, cats and horses.

This would be a trip of highs and some very low lows.
I will be honest.
 This was to be the first time I returned from a Campaña and was not totally filled with joy.
Perhaps when you realize, as I did years ago, that you can't save them all ... that takes it's toll.
Then, you beat yourself up for not "saving" just one more.