Kantunilkin a success!Posted on May 10, 2013We arrived to our first day/first location to find 36 dogs, cats and people awaiting our services? That was about 8:30 a.m. The last surgery was completed about 6:15 p.m. That surgery was number 82. A full, successful, rewarding day. Even a local policeman brought his dog in for a spay and other police delivered a young female from off the street and promised to care for her.
Of course, there were heart aches: while the dogs of Kantunilkin are generally better fed than others in the area, we did see a number of dogs that survive on one tortilla (corn) each day, and most suffer from the ubiquitous fleas and worms.
But there was also a heart break; a story that is not limited to Mexico, certainly, and ultimately, the resulting emotions are certainly experienced everywhere in the world.
In midafternoon, two young children brought their dog to the clinic for a doctor to see. She had been hit by a car the day before and could not walk. We learn, too, that the dog had aborted puppies shortly after being struck. Dr. Tony, from Planned Pethood Merida, examines her and determines that her back is broken and she has no sensation in her back legs; the kindest thing we can do is euthanize her.
This is NOT a lightly made decision. None of us are in the business of taking a life and the death of an animal brought to one of our clinics has potential repercussions if the communities conclude that their pet will die if they are brought in. So there must be thoughtful communication with the family and we must receive consent before taking action.
I carry the little dog to the back of the building and place her on a surgical table. She is panting, aware of her surroundings, but unable to move. I talk to her and stroke her head while Kim administers the drug that will end this dog’s ordeal. Shortly after the heart has stopped, Morelia appears at my side with a woman who is the dog’s adult owner. Her face, at first, is passive but when I ask if she’d like to say goodbye her eyes well with tears and she gently rubs the dog’s head and speaks softly to her. She tells me that a neighbor has deliberately hit the dog with his car. “He is a man with no heart” she says.
For me, for Kim, for all of us who volunteer with IHSNP, the step of euthanasia is sad, (we hate it) but what hits us hard is the suffering that inevitably came beforehand. Thus, while I am writing this 2 days later, I am again teary over the experience, for the dog, for the children, for the parent, for me.
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