Stressed to the Max


03/24/2017 Max getting sick on Feb 11th has dampened my spirits to the point of me being depressed and not wanting to go anywhere or do anything. We thought we were on the road to recovery with the ehrlichia diagnosis but after 2 weeks of meds, he was no better. I took him to Dr Diana @ ProVets on 2/24. They come once a month from Tegucigalpa. I’ve been to them several times when I need more of a diagnosis than Doc Calderon can give me. She tested Max for ehrlichia and said he didn’t have it, nor does he have heartworm. She used a catheter on him and checked his urine, he had crystals in it. Little did I know, this could be the root of his problems. She gave him some shots and wanted to see him the next morning. I saw no change in him overnight. On Saturday the 25th we went back to ProVets, she assumed he had a UTI and put him on Baytril, 630L for 6 pills, $4.50 a pill. I didn’t give him one until Sunday because she gave him several injections on Saturday. Sunday night he was not good, he was listless, not drinking, no energy, not hungry and this girl (me) was freaking out.

By Monday morning I knew I was going to the mainland to see Dr Bueno at his animal hospital. I messaged Bethany, Doc Calderon’s assistant and asked her to come with me, I would pay for everything. She said sure, she even called Dr Bueno for me and told him we were coming and needed an ultrasound.

I met her at the ferry dock at 1:30, got our tickets and got Max his boarding pass. While I was waiting for his pass to be printed, the computer crashed and she couldn’t get it up and running again. Someone else came in and jiggled some wires and got it to boot up. She got his pass printed with minutes to spare. They put him in a wire kennel, he looked so lost and scared, I felt awful. Bethany, Max and I just made it on the ferry.

Monday Feb. 27th was my first experience on the Galaxy Wave, aka the Vomit Comet. I normally don’t have a queasy stomach so I really wasn’t worried about getting sick. I was more concerned about Max.

Leaving Roatán. The ferry dock is right by Mahogany Bay cruise ship dock. And there is a wreck there also. Reassuring for everyone traveling by water.

I called my friend Pablo, a taxi driver in Ceiba. He speaks English and is a really nice man with an utter P.O.S. taxi, but he had no problem taking my dog in his car. He was there when we arrived and took us right to Dr. Bueno’s animal hospital.

Dr Bueno had contacted someone with an ultrasound machine and he came to the vet clinic about 30 minutes after we got there. We got Max up on the table and they smeared ultrasound gel on his furry belly and started looking around. What they found were kidney stones in both of his kidneys. KIDNEY STONES IN A DOG? Who even knew of this? Not me. Doc wanted to keep him overnight so they could keep an eye on him and keep him on meds. I was not thrilled about leaving him in an outside kennel along the streets in the city of Ceiba but I had no choice. I was an absolute stress case. Bethany and I checked into the Paris Hotel in Ceiba, close to the vets and a Pizza Hut. We said we were from Bonacca and got two nights for the price of one. We went to the Pizza Hut for dinner, I have not been to one for 15+ years. I ordered a small pizza and ate 2 bites of it. When stress moves in all ideas of food move out.

The Grand Paris Hotel hahahahahahaha
See the A/C upper right corner? You had to stand on the bed to operate it, no remote.

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel then Pablo picked us up and we went to the vets. Max was so happy to see me. They put him on IV’s for fluid and I sat on the floor in the waiting room with him for a few hours. After the fluids they wanted me to walk him to get him to pee but he wouldn’t. This guy pees in the jungle, he’s never peed on a city street where there are cars flying by, horns honking, sirens blaring and the occasional horse-drawn cart. Not his favorite places to take a leak. They jammed another catheter in him and got out 8 syringes full of urine. I have to brag for a moment: Dr Diana did a catheter, Dr Bueno did two and Max never struggled, NOT ONCE. He just laid there and let them do it. Everyone fell in love with Max. I cried several times, it was really just my stressed out ass leaking from my eyeballs.

Bethany, if you are reading this, I LOVE you girl! I love you for going with me, for loving Max (and all my babies), and for putting up with my basket case self. You rock.

Bethany was leaving on the 4:30 ferry as she had school that night and had to work with Doc in the morning. Max and I would spend another night and leave on the 9:30 AM ferry for home on Wed.

I had Pablo take me to a grocery store so I could get something to eat, mainly because Dr. Bueno was having a fit that I wasn’t eating. It was a Honduran store (there are more normal stores in the area, more gringo-ish) and the music was so loud that I couldn’t even begin to partially assemble a  thought so I grabbed chile lime peanuts, zucaritas (Honduran Frosted Flakes), Tostitos, Red Velvet cupcakes for Pablo and some water. I went back to the Grand Paris hotel and crashed.

Pablo picked me up in the morning, we went and got Max, who has thrilled to see me again and once we got his meds and I paid the bill, we left for the ferry.

Max and I arrived home around 11. He was so glad to get in his own yard so he could pee in peace. {While in Ceiba I somehow managed to lose the remote gate opener. Great, I NEVER lose or misplace anything and I lost this. I was so pissed. I searched every nook and cranny of my bags and realized it must have been in a plastic bag I threw out at the ferry terminal in Ceiba. Thankfully we had extras but Bill was upset because it required him to reprogram all of them.} By 4 PM the day we got home I had Max in the car, going to see Doc C, I didn’t like the way he was panting, breathing at all. Doc said he was probably in pain and to try to keep him quiet. We came back home and I was so stressed I could have pulled all of my insides out of my body using my tongue. I really couldn’t even function, I was drained, starved and stressed. All just a lovely combination. In all honesty, they SHOULD have drugged me. It would have made the world a better place temporarily.

The bad news was I had to take Max back in a week. I decided I could go alone, my driver speaks English and will go in anywhere with me, the vet can speak English too, all was good. We left in the afternoon on the 8th of March.

Max waiting in Roatán
I saw Chris Benson and his friend Tony, they were starting off on another ride.

Pablo picked me up again at the ferry and we went to the vets. We were sitting next to a table with New Testament books on it when Pablo laid his keys down. I immediately noticed the silver fob amongst the keys and I grabbed them and said, this is my gate opener, where did you find it? He said it was on the floor of his car. YAY!! That kind of made my day.

They did another ultrasound as soon as we got there at 4:30 and the kidney stones were gone except for one small one but the vet wanted him to have an X-Ray in the morning. There went my chance of leaving on the 9:30 ferry.

I found a hotel that would allow Max to stay in the room with me, Hotel España, also close to the vet. Pablo took us back to the hotel, we checked in, got situated and I decided to take Max to pee. There was a lot across the street and the manager of the hotel was kind enough to walk over there with me. Max still wouldn’t pee.

Never a shortage of wires
The street view from the balcony
My sweet boy waiting and watching
My bed for the night. The shower reminded me of the one in The Birds. I did not shower.
Fancy curtain rod could have lacerated my leg.
The city waking up. Max peed in the lot across the street. Sweet relief.
The masses of wires amaze me
In every direction
Waiting to leave
My room key

I took Max out early to go pee and when I got downstairs the owner was naked except for a blue striped towel around his waist, sweeping the floor. He was all nonchalant, like everyone sweeps the lobby of the hotel naked. He unlocked the doors (which I found odd that he kept them locked at ALL times) and finally, Max peed in the lot across the street for like 7 minutes straight.

I was hoping we could get the early ferry home but the radiologist wasn’t in until 8, which in Honduras means 9, 9:30ish. All time has ish after it. 10ish, noonish, fiveish. Pablo took me there, we sat for a few minutes until he realized we were at the wrong place and we walked down the street a half a block and waited some more.

Waiting at a medical office. Since Max is so dark, people walk F A R away from him. He’s scary looking.
He got his x-ray in this building.

The guy finally came and took the x-rays.  Dr Bueno, the vet was also there. He then took the x-rays to the radiologist who did the ultrasounds on Max. I kind of thought the radiologist was a guy with a traveling ultrasound machine and went  to bars or circuses and offered to do ultrasounds, but he was a bona fide radiologist who worked at a big hospital on the waterfront. Pablo and I sat by the beach and waited while Dr Bueno and the guy chatted over the x-rays. Then Dr Bueno came out and got me to show me the x-rays. I walked through the hospital to this office and they explained that there was fluid outside of his lungs and his heart was slightly enlarged. Great. At that point, I also told the Radiologist he should speak English. Go Deb!

Max hanging with me and Pablo at the beach
It really was quite lovely but Pablo told me not to wander too far and to not use my phone or camera unless I was next to him.

We were done with all of the x-ray stuff by 11 and I had the rest of the day to wait until I took the 4:30 ferry home. I chose to just sit and wait at the vets and Dr Bueno was OK with that. Max was familiar with the place, there were no dog parks or really any safe places to walk a dog, so we waited. While there I met a wonderful lady named Olga who was there with her cat. We chatted for a few hours, I really enjoyed meeting her, such a sweet lady, she hugged me good-bye.

Since I was leaving at 3:30 to get to the ferry and get Max’s ticket, I really had to bug Dr Bueno to get my meds ready and my bill so I could leave when I needed. Finally at 3:15 he began the procedure of gathering the medicines for Max, while internally I am a big ball of stress from waiting. Max was on prednisone, antibiotics, meds to break up the kidney stones, meds to dilate the urethra, meds to make the fluids around his lungs go away and pain pills. OMG. I instantly thought of my sweet grandmother who had a pill for every function.

Max and I were on the 4:30 ferry, which is the real reason behind the name Vomit Comet. The afternoon ferry has many victims of puke. Max goes in the cargo hold area and this time I sat upstairs, in First Class. It was a rough ride but I did my mind over matter mantra and I didn’t hurl. Others were not so fortunate. Puke-o-rama.

It was almost 7 by the time Max and I got home. Thankful we were home, Max was with me and I had the damn gate opener.

As I write this, we think Max is feeling a little better. He has more energy. His appetite never waned, he eats like a dog who hasn’t eaten for a LONG LONG time. 6 hours between meals KILLS this boy.

Barrio, Max and Gringo

We took Max to the people hospital to get x-rays last night. We are going back to Dr Diana (vet from Tegucigalpa) tomorrow and she wanted lateral thorax and abdomen x-rays. I have them all ready to go along with all of his blood and urine test results. Hopefully she can find the missing link. I’m also messaging a friend in AZ who is a vet. We’re trying to figure out how to send him pics of x-rays. I was told digital wasn’t an option at the clinic.

I am totally convinced they are all missing something and if they can figure it out, voilà, we’ll be good to go.

I also believe in unicorns and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

In case it’s not obvious, I would move hell and high water for my dogs. No, I’m not rich, but it doesn’t matter. My dog will be healthy again.

**Before I forget, I have a new Pennsylvania based phone number. Anyone can call it, no charge to you or me. If you don’t live in PA and have free long distance, it’s just that, free.  1-570-980-1551. It will only work if I’m home because I don’t have internet on my phone when I’m out running around, diving, boating or dancing. Important shit takes precedence.

Later peeps, another blog to follow soon, a really fun one. Peace out, for the love of dogs.

By Ledfutt

Living on an island was a life long dream of mine. In 2012 I moved to Roatan and lived there for 4 months, went back to the US, packed up our belongings and sold our house. In Oct of 2013 we moved there permanently. Our house was completed in July of 2014 and we moved in. After 6+ years, I was ready to go back to the US. I made the move in Dec of 2019 and my husband came a year later. Here we are in Arizona, waiting for our island house to sell so we can sell this place and move on. I guess I'm more like a traveling mermaid.


  1. You are a woman after my own heart. Remind me to tell you of our dear Addie’s experience on our maiden RVing trip last spring. Similar experience but with sad ending. I’m sure sweet Max will be fine. Our dogs are our lives. I totally understand your concern, love, dedication, and pain.

    1. Thank you Sue, I would do it for any of them. My life seems to be centered around them and their needs, and that’s OK with me.

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