Saturday, January 12, 2008

Up One Day - Down the Next!

We have plenty of ups and downs on the island and it seems that they come in groups! Having said that I offer the following.

The day after Christmas, our wonderful pet, Winken of 8 years, died due to brown tick disease. We noticed a problem in August of 2007 - mainly that she was losing weight. We were unaware of what was happening and thought maybe she was just spending more calories running around than taking them in. However, she continued to lose weight so I took her to the vet in San Pedro. We found that she had brown tick disease but because the tests weren't positive we didn't know what stage she was in and simply started the treatment. Now, the treatment will work if you catch the disease in Stage 1 or 2; never in Stage 3.

Unfortunately she was in Stage 3 and lasted until December 26th. She was a shy, sweet dog with a gentle temperament and is missed by my husband and I and our 3 other dogs.

Then the up part.

A few weeks after losing Winken, a friend of ours on the island, who goes above and beyond her duty concerning animals, sent us an e-mail (she was off the island at the time) asking us if we would please take two of her "adoptable" dogs. They were a brother and sister that she had named Lucy and Desi. Lucy is a red-brown dog with golden eyes and a brown nose. Desi was all black. At first we said no we could not do it but then relented and decided to take Lucy.

It must be fate because when Lucy and Desi were puppies we had seen them at another friend's home (he had taken them on for a while but it did not work out as he ran a hotel and already had 3 other dogs). Here is a photo of Melanie (our favorite child to photograph and Lucy as a pup). I feel in love with Lucy at the time and would have taken her home then except for the fact that we already had 4 dogs! (See my Blog of March, 2007.)

After agreeing to take Lucy, our friend's worker brought her over last Saturday, January 5th, and she is now in the process of integrating with her new family .

Cocoa, in the picture above, is 10 1/2 years old and the Alpha female of the 4 dogs (3 females and one male). When we acquired Cocoa (on the 1st week of our arrival on the island), she was a 3 month old puppy full of fleas, ear mites and some ticks. We bathed her, medicated her and adopted her into our family. At the same time we had Pepper (who came with us from the states) who was about 10 or 11 at the time. Pepper did not take kindly to the new puppy and sulked for weeks over her appearance in our home. He never did get overly friendly with Cocoa, but finally accepted her. Now Cocoa is in the same position, she must accept the new dog and is not happy about it. Of course, it is quite apparent that she was in mourning for her friend, Winken, who was her "walk about" buddy. Nod, Winken's sister, is fat, gentle and lazy. After taking a walk-about with Winken and Cocoa, Nod decided that the porch is the only place to be if you don't want to miss meals - and she never does!

Cocoa loves to go on excursions around our end of the island but I want Lucy to become accustomed to our home before she ventures forth on 2-3 hour journeys. At first they were all wary of one another but slowly but surely they are becoming friends and in no time, buddies!

Then the down hit....again. Puppy, originally our worker's dog is missing. He was here Wed. (Jan. 9th) for breakfast and around the yard. I thought he went home with our worker (who has a small house back in the mountains). But Puppy did not show up Thursday morning as usual for breakfast, nor Friday morning, nor Saturday either. This is not like Puppy who has come to rely upon us for food. You see his worker leaves him 3 days out of 7 and one month a year when he takes vacation and does not see to it that he is provided with food or shelter. He just assumes the dog will be around when he returns!

So, we started feeding him and took him on as our dog. We had him fixed and give him heartworm pills and any medical attention he needs. Puppy is lovable and a good guard dog. We now think someone took him. I walked over to a farm nearby (a 35 minute walk one way) to check to see if they had seen him but no one recalled him being around. My worker is going to check in the small community he lives in 4 days out of 7 but I really doubt we will see him again.
It was a shame too, because Lucy seem to take to Puppy right away.
We have "lost" 5 pets in 10 1/2 years and it never is easy. Now, with Puppy missing that will make 6. I certainly hope we have an upward trend coming up because I am really not up to losing anymore pets. On the bright side, we are now one big family again and we treasure each pet.

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