08/19/2015 Brenda Lee and I have worked together at the last 2 clinics that Helping Paws Across Borders has held on the island. This time when the vets left, they had Brenda keep their meds in the hopes she could have a few vaccine, flea and tick treatment clinics. She and her boyfriend Tony and their friend Tyron had one the previous week and it was very successful so she decided to do it again and asked me to help.
I met them at the water taxi stand in Oak Ridge Bight and we went to the entrance of the bight (bay) on the way to Pandy Town. We borrowed 2 tables and 4 chairs from the church next door and started setting up.
Neither Brenda nor I could take the dog home, I am already overdosed with pets and Brenda and Tony are in the process of moving back to Germany in 3 weeks with their 2 dogs. I called a “local shelter” and after a 10 minute lecture, they decided they would come and get him. Which they did. He was taken to the vet for his ears and will need to remain under a watchful eye until he is able to be adopted. His name is Dash. I heard that after 3 days, a bath and regular meals, he has some perkiness to him.
That’s all Brenda and I wanted was him taken care of. We have been accused of doing this to get attention which is ridiculous. We are volunteering our time to help as many animals as we can and we are posting it on Facebook to draw attention to the PLIGHT OF THE ANIMALS on this island.
On Wednesday we saw so many children with pets in serious need of medical attention. I keep trying to be positive about it by telling myself at least the kids brought their pet in to get help. Most animals arrived with a rope around their neck, or a wire, a chain or whatever. Anything to get them to the clinic. EVERY dog left with a new collar (we ran out of leashes but at least no more ropes, etc around the animals neck). Tony was getting the meds ready, Brenda and Tyron were putting muzzles on, “cross dogs” as Tyron says, determining and dispensing, administering treatment, pulling off ticks and I was registering, cleaning thick black mites out of dog ears, pulling ticks out and squishing them with tweezers or my nail, rubbing young pups w/ flea and tick stuff, cutting way long toenails. We all did crowd control, which was our main issue. Everything is a circus around here, whether it be an accident, a dead cow on the road, a dog getting shots, they MUST SEE EVERYTHING. It is the culture and we need to work the best we can with it.
After working 9-5 in a dirt alley with a dusty street, I came home and immediately showered. I was so exhausted that evening I think I just sat here and stared at the computer and then crashed very early.
We made a small difference in the lives of 70 animals. Maybe some of what we told the kids and the adults will sink in. Maybe they will understand that all animals have feelings too and that they deserve to be treated well. It’s difficult in a society that have so many children in a family that it’s nearly impossible to provide for them, let alone the animals.
***Everything I post on this site, whether it is about Because We Care, Helping Paws Across Borders or Cattleya, it is not about me at all, it’s about the things I am PASSIONATE about on Roatan. I am trying to raise awareness to situations that many people choose to turn a blind eye to. If more people did just a small part, it would make a huge difference.***
06/05/2015 Our fourth July 4th spent on Roatan. We were very low key. All the dogs watched except Lucky, he barked. The pups sat on the steps staring at the sky, I’m glad we were here for their first night of explosions. Bill worked at home all day and I did my airport gig all day. I was also a greeter last Saturday and while making my way through the lines chatting to people someone said my name and then said, “you’re Mermaid On a Raft.” I have NEVER BEEN SO FLATTERED IN MY LIFE. She introduced herself as Lizeth so I kind of followed them through the line and chatted with them (her husband and friends) for a bit. Yesterday as I was getting ready to go into the immigration area I saw them again, they were heading home. Then I recently got a comment on an older blog post from a gal that we met at La Sirena. Her husband just happened to find my blog and remembered talking to us at Jimmy’s. A few of them had on Akumal shirts and we have been to Akumal so naturally conversation ensued. Strong rum punches also encourage conversation..Liza and I have been in touch by email recently and are making plans to get together when they return this fall. Liza, hope you are recovering! (bicycle crash)
It sure is a small damn world.
Being a greeter at the airport is tiring but I LOVE IT! I especially love that I finally got to see my boy Tank yesterday. Kevin and Claire have made him the Blue Reef Properties official mascot and greeter. I saw Kevin come in the airport and he pointed over his shoulder to Claire and Tank in the parking lot. I went right out to see him and once he smelled me he knew exactly who I was. I was so happy to see him that Claire said to me, “are you crying?” Yep!! so happy Tank has a good home, they really adore him, which makes me feel good. I got to see him a second time during our break waiting for the 2:45 United flight to arrive. Sure love that boy!
I really enjoy welcoming all the people coming to the island and talking with them about their visit, answering questions and meeting the whole family. A girl asked me yesterday how I got the gig and did it pay well. I told her I volunteered and no it doesn’t pay at all. It’s just a good thing that we are doing and according to the feedback we get, people really like being greeted by someone with a big smile on their face saying, Welcome To Roatan!
And YAY, Lizeth (from the airport) just friended me on FB!! Thank you so much for introducing yourself, look forward to meeting up with you next time!
I met Nidia from Because We Care again this past week in Pandy Town. She was wood burning names on the backs of the desks and I went to take photos and for moral support. There are 2 classrooms but only 1 teacher showed up. The room next to us was being loud so Nidia went in and had a chat with them. I followed her in with my camera and that instigated a whole other experience. I started taking photos and they got crazy funny laughing at their pics..I’m getting them developed and taking them back to the students when I return from my escapade in the states.
I leave on Wednesday for the US for 5 days + 2 days of travel. I SUCK at packing. I totally am the worst packer ever. I am physically and mentally incapable of packing just a few things. My issue is, I can’t just “assign” outfits for a day b/c I may not be in the mood for the outfit of the day and I may not want to wear that option EVER AGAIN. I just put 1 more skirt and 2 more tops in the travel bag and am going to try my damnest to not add another frigging thing. I am however, taking 2 huge bags and a huge duffle. Actually, one big suitcase is for my 2 complete headlight assemblies for my car. The ones that were in it were the wrong ones and incorrect voltage. When I put new bulbs in they exploded, seriously, into little pieces. An electrician here told us in 5 min. time what the problem was and by damn, he was right. We have spent the last 2.5 months trying to get ones here and gave up. I’ll transport them home and I will FINALLY be able to drive after dark! So, I’ll have a few (sic) clothes, ALL THE STUFF I’VE ORDERED ON AMAZON and my headlights and anything I buy to lug home. Yay for shopping in the USA. Happy it doesn’t happen often.
Today we ran down to the Beach Grill to get some stuff from Rob and then went to Rob and Lisa’s homes to see our former puppies, Bandit and Sable. We took Barrio with us. He puked once all over the floor mat, then I stupidly gave him some water and he puked again. Lola used to get carsick too, guess he needs to travel more. Bandit and Sable remembered both of us but Barrio was a little apprehensive. I actually think it was mostly because he had been car sick. I let him off his leash and he started running around and playing with them.
This morning while cleaning up the kitchen I threw something in the trash can. EEWWW. There was a good sized dead lizard in there. I asked Bill, “why is there a dead lizard in the trash.” His response, was, “I didn’t think you would want it laying on the floor.” My cat does not eat them, only slays them. Although, that statement doesn’t explain the gross lizard tail in my last post.
Life in the jungle.
P.S. I lied when I said this was a quickie..once I start talking, well, you know.
****Thanks Lizeth and Liza for reaching out, hope to see you on the island again soon.****
Final note, I promise. We changed Brindles’ name (Bill hated it) to Gringo..
05/04/2015 Click here if you want to listen to Paul Anka croon Puppy Love while you read. Thanks Marilyn for the blog title.
We are living in Puppy Central. It’s a special kind of neighborhood, one where you don’t get shit done all day long because all you do is PUPPY STARE. Yes, we sit for hours and watch these little creatures develop before our very eyes. Their eyes opened and they are all a milky blue color, they really can’t see very well yet but that is coming. Cuteness abounds in this household, so does puppy pee and poop. We have lots of both!
My friend KP arrived on Sunday, she had been bumped to first class so she was off the plane immediately and in line. It only took her about 5 minutes in immigration, a record for anyone I’ve picked up at the airport! We haven’t seen each other for at least 20 years but once together, there was no time space. We went to our house, unloaded suitcases, visited puppies then went to Parrot Tree to float in the lagoon and drink some beer.
It was an oppressively hot few days with the “real feel” temp well over 100 degrees. The sweat was abundant on every square inch of the body. We didn’t get out of the water except to get more beers. Bill had dinner ready when we got home and we had drinks on the roof.
The next morning we got up early and waited for Nidia’s call. We were headed to Pandy Town to deliver desks and school supplies. We met the crew at 8 and followed them down into Pandy Town. School wasn’t in session but they had the students from Pandy Town and Calabash Bight waiting for us to arrive. This is the school we went to the first day I helped with the TOM’s shoe delivery. The classrooms are in bad shape, there were desks with sharp pieces of rusted metal sticking up in the air still being used! Desks were very needed here. There were only 6 in a room that has 23 students.
This was the last time I was going to see Addy, Brian and Nancy before they headed back to Canada after being here 3 months working in the schools and the clinic. Actually those 3 worked almost every day of their 3 months here. So happy we became friends, hope to see them again!
Later on Monday, KP and I went to Lady Lee and bought some toys to take to the kinder. We got a set of big Lego blocks, a few puzzles and a small interactive toy set. That evening we made cupcakes for the students in El Higuero, we were going there Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday we went to Big French Key for a few hours. There were several cruise ship people there but it wasn’t too crowded. We spent the majority of our time there on rafts in the water. It was just too dam hot to get out.
We got home about 2 PM and Bill and Alexi loaded the desk and the whiteboard up, we grabbed the cupcakes and the juice packs KP bought, the school supplies and toys and TOMs shoes and went down in the valley. The teacher was in the midst of a lesson but was very happy to be interrupted by us. The students were excited to get new shoes. One of the little boys needed a smaller shoe and we didn’t have any but luckily I had a pack of new socks and put a pair on him and the shoes were fine. There was no way we could leave one little boy without new shoes. KP brought little Koala pins from Australia for all of the students, They loved them and were excited when she clipped them onto their shirts. We had Alexi tell the teacher about the donations, (she doesn’t speak any English) who paid for the whiteboard and toys and they showed the teacher which markers to use on the whiteboard and how to flip it over. When we left the kids were digging into the cupcakes and juice. These students are so sweet and it felt really good to give something to this (pregnant) teacher who volunteers her time. Thank you again Walt and Judy Kaiser, I still have lots of $$ left to spend, just finding the biggest needs.
When we got home we rushed around getting showers before Dave and Lynda came for dinner. They were leaving on Thursday and we wanted to get together one more time. I’m so happy we finally got to meet them!
On Tuesday afternoon I got a FB message from a friend. She and her husband have the Free Radical catamaran that I’ve been on a few times. They had 28 backpacks and several bags stuffed full of school supplies and needed to get it out of their boat. I said I would come and get it so Wednesday morning KP and I met them at BJ’s. They were not kidding when the said they had A LOT OF STUFF. OMG!! It’s like an office supply store in the downstairs living room.
That was a hot sweaty job that required wine and lots of fans. It’s so exciting to get all of this stuff for the kids. Thanks so much to all the teachers who took the time to buy and transport this to Roatan and thanks to Ed and Julie for storing it.
Wednesday eve we went to Cal’s for dinner. Fabulous meal as always, never disappointed there!
On Thursday it was raining and gray, not much to do outside so we headed to Camp Bay for lunch. It was drizzling on and off, not pouring by any means. There were 6 people there when we arrived, Joe and his brother were 2 of them. We had a good lunch, talked to the other people and Joe and Pete. We always run in to interesting people at La Sirena.
Friday KP and I were beach bound, gloomy or not. It was Labor Day here on the island which meant that a lot of places were closed and there was a big riot parade in Los Fuertes. We knew before we left that traffic would be ugly and that we would have to take the Bahia road. It was ugly on the Bahia road but we really didn’t have to wait all that long.
KP wanted to do some shopping so we went to West End, hoping that the stores would be open. There weren’t many people in West End, not like there usually are. We wandered around, went in a few stores. I bought some things for the house (downstairs.)
When Cis and Cheryl were here we were looking for a place called Eataly in West End to grab lunch. We walked way down the road, but not far enough. Today KP and I found it and we fell in love. Their pasta is home made, sauce is too and it was a delicious and filling lunch!
After our stomachs were full we went to West Bay beach and parked our butts on chairs at Banarama and drank beer while watching people on the Jet Boards. Looks like fun but extremely hard work to actually stand up. We made a quick grocery stop on the way home. KP had to pack tonight as she was leaving on Saturday.
Saturday I took KP to the airport for her 1 PM flight on United to Houston. I left the airport and went home to get Bill, we were doing free skin cancer checks at Barefoot Key. We got there @ 1, left around 2:30, got groceries and came home. I started making my breakfast for the week, got that all cleaned up, washed all the dishes and decided to sit down and relax. Just as I did I noticed a message from KP, she was STILL at the airport, flight canceled. I put my bra back on and drove as fast as I could to the airport. We left there at 5:30 after realizing it would be easier and faster to call United from the house and get the flight re-booked. Plus, it was going to get dark soon and I have NO HEADLIGHTS still. She got booked on Avianca, leaving Roa @ 11AM on Sunday. Bill was going to have to take her to the airport because I was headed to Helene with Nidia and Because We Care.
The Helene trip will be another post because this is too long and I don’t even have any puppy photos, so here we go. PUPPY CENTRAL! You may want to play Puppy Love again, just saying…
So there you have it, cutest puppies ever. Funny, none of them look like Frito and they don’t all look alike.
04/23/2015 What a week it’s been. I have not had a full nights sleep since the dwarfs puppies were born. The first night Frito woke me several times to go potty. At that time we had her and the pups downstairs. I thought being away from the other 3 barkers would be better for the first few days. After running up and down the stairs hundreds of times a day my knee begged us to move her upstairs. OMG, so much easier. While they were downstairs I had to follow her down, take her out the front door and wait until she went to the potty. Then, back to bed for both of us. Me? Once I’m awake I don’t go back to sleep very easily, it’s the curse of an overactive mind. I spent the last week functioning on a few hours sleep and several hours long naps during the day. Sometimes only 2 hours after I first woke up I found myself back in bed. Having 7 puppies is not easy.
Now that Frito is upstairs with the kids we are wondering if we are going to have problems in a week. When these 28 feet decide they are hungry, all HELL breaks loose. They are so loud, screaming and crying and making all these weirdly amazing noises, a few of them can already crawl out of the bottom of the dog crate they are in. They are now blocked in by cardboard and clamps. Bill will soon need to build a structure to contain them.
We were afraid Frito had mastitis, a common problem among nursing females, human or dog. It’s an infection in the milk ducts so we put her on Amoxicillin, a very low dose so it won’t affect the pups. I was also doing warm compresses and wrapping the swollen teats in soft red cabbage leaves. YES, I was doing that. If she had it, and I don’t know for sure (I am a hypochondriac animal owner) that she did, she is now fine. Saggy teats and all. I’m so freaking happy I don’t have 8 boobs. OMG, I would cut them off.
Aside from the puppy incident we have been busy with friends coming by. Sam and Chelsie were here for dinner the day Frito gave birth. These two are really special to me, just love them. On Saturday evening Brian and Addy from Canada came for dinner. We met them doing Because We Care with Nidia @ Camp Bay. We have worked together several days doing TOMS shoes too. On Saturday night after they left Bill didn’t feel good and he went to bed. He felt awful most of the morning on Sunday, causing me to cancel our plans for Sunday company. He was feeling better late on Sunday so we rescheduled our company to Monday. Lynda and Dave came on Monday but the dinner we served was blah., less than stellar, blech. It wasn’t good. Need a pizza dinner do over.
I am trying to get the downstairs cleaned up before my friend K.P. comes from Sydney Australia on Sunday. I keep thinking that being here won’t be any different for her than Australia, I mean, they’re both islands, right?? Totally forgetting the fact that Sydney is a hugely modernized developed city in a very large educated prosperous country. So unlike Roatan.. We are going to do desk delivery on Monday to Pandy Town and also school supplies to Pandy Town and to Calabash Bight. Bill and K.P. and I will deliver the school supplies and desk and whiteboard (and cupcakes) and new TOMS shoes for the kinder down in the valley near us. I recently was given a lot of brand new school books, math, science, health, workbooks, reading books, teacher manuals, all in English. Nidia and I are deciding which school will benefit the most having these books.
We were supposed to go to friends for dinner tonight but Frito has been weird all day, kind of freaking me out. She keeps taking one pup and trying to carry him downstairs. The problem is, he’s too fat for her to get him in her mouth. She seems very panicky about him and has tried numerous times. I even carried him downstairs and she once again tried to get him in her mouth. She seems distraught and has been under all 3 beds at one point or another today. I don’t know if it’s because Alexi is here helping Bill or not but she is not the same dog she was yesterday. Maybe it’s hormonal. So, we are staying home to keep an eye on the family and they are happy to reschedule too because they have workers there and don’t know when they will be done. It all works out just fine.
Last Sunday we took Highway and Lola to the lagoon for a swim. Highway starts whining as soon as we turn off the main road and head to Parrot Tree, he knows where he is. Lola doesn’t like the water. This has not changed. She hates it!!
Bill got one of the upper cupboards done and hung, still a few more to do. I didn’t want doors, I like the simplicity of not having to open them. Sheer laziness? Maybe. Who cares?
I apologize that this post is centered on puppies but that has been my life for the past 10 days. Next weekends’ post should be more exciting because I’m sure KP and I will be on the move once again.
I have a few more things to do before I can call it a day, I pick KP up tomorrow @ noon and plan to pick up school supplies before I get her. This saves me a trip in to Sandy Bay on Monday to get the school stuff we’ll deliver out here on the east end. I hope the weekend is good to all of you. I’ll be back next weekend when I recover from another week of puppies and fun!
A little soundtrack for you, this is what our days sound like.