29 March 2007

Thursday on the road

As usual, Karin & I teamed up today being Thursday to make as many calls and clear as much from the 'To Do' list as possible within the waking hours as possible. Jill also joined us today to see some of the things we get up to.

First of all things got off to a bad start. Not far from leaving home, we found a dog laying by the side of the road, obviously hit by a car and dead for a little while. Rigor mortis had already set in. We lifted him into the truck to at least save him from being squashed and ignored. We will get him to a peaceful little orchard opposite the shelter where I am sure he would want to be.

Next we visited Baan Ma Ka Maew (House of Dog & Cat) Animal Hospital (BMM). We needed to have a serious discussion with the management regarding the possibility of them helping us with several TvT cases we currently had.

The crux of the problem is this. If we go to a vet and get 1 dog treated for a course of 7 injections, it will cost us approx 380 baht x 7 = 2660 baht. This is because the vet would have to buy-in and store the medicine in a cooler and then there is the skillful injection. However, recently, we found a vet willing to inject medicine we had purchased ourselves. This enabled us to save a lot of money by shopping around for a cheap supplier of the Vincristine Chemotherapy. However, we now find that some of the practices of this vet are unsatisfactory and sub standard and for the health of the dogs, we need to find a more professional vet.

To our utter delight and amazement, the management of BMM have agreed to charge a set fee for treating a group of TvT cases and is even cheaper than the previous vet. The relief and happiness on Karin's face was a picture to remember.

We then visited the dog across the street from Chadwick's studio. These folks are doing some amazing work and Chadwick himself is such a talented guy. I am also looking forward to meeting Laura at some future time, she has created some interesting body painting pieces.
(Note Dodo looking out of the transport cage)

Anyway, back to the doggy's. This time, Karin with her wonderful understanding of the Thai language, spoke with the woman in the house and found the background of the story. Dodo, a male of about 3 years, is being kept in the garden at the rear of the house because her female dogs (3) are on heat and he wants some of the action!!!

After a lot of talking, the woman agreed for us to help her by having Dodo sterilised for free and offered to assist her with transportation of the others to be sterilised too. Later that day, when we returned Dodo, we met the daughter who said she would consider sterilising the other dogs, after seeing the recovery of Dodo. The mystery earlier in the day was also sorted out. Why had 2 other males been allowed to remain in the house? They were under 6 months and not thinking about sex yet!!

This raises an interesting point. The daughter was sceptical of operation recovery. Is this because of horror stories of back street butchers? Anyway, a happy simple ending to what at first appeared to be a complex issue.

Next we accepted the offer of a coffee at the opulent new Sofitel hotel. (2 /10 for coffee though)

What happened next can only be described as disastrous. I collided with another car. Blame, fault, anger, frustration, shock, disbelief, surreal, numbness are all emotions passing before me as I stand waiting for a decision as to whats happening next. After a relatively short time, following Police, Insurance, friends & relatives attendance, we drove away feeling a little wary of the traffic but I felt relieved that nobody had been hurt and we were on the move again.

In the car at the time, was Dodo. Karin found a taxi to take him to the vet for sterilisation and Karin wondered why she had to pay the taxi fee, after being the one telling the driver how to get there & back.

Leaving my sorrows behind me, we drove to Mae Rim where we would find lunch and then visit a generous guy Mario, who is caring for approximately 30 dogs that he brought up to Chiang Mai from Phuket, when he moved homes recently. He has now found a piece of land and a dog loving woman to live with them. We we happy to see their contentment and wished Mario well.

This area is near to Prem Tinsulanonda International School and also The Happy Gambol Dog Training School (Phone : 085 036 5732) where 1 of our dogs is being trained to increase his chances of adoption. We saw him and could hardly believe the difference in only a month. He was sitting, staying, coming, walking and remaining inside an open gate until told to move.

Our next stop was an adoption follow up of Luca. We found him initially looking a little scared but after a bit of encouragement, he opened up and showed us he was quite happy and full of confidence. He had lost a little weight and didn't look quite so clean & fluffy but that maybe a reflection of the treatment that he was getting at his foster home prior to adoption.

By this time the sun was starting to set and when we reached Rama IX park, there were many folks out exercising and some having their dinner by the water. We caught up with NuDee and gave him a few snacks.

It was now after 6pm and we found the temple Wat Pa Phaeng. We were here to investigate if this location would suit Roots & Shoots to start working with the dogs in the area.

We gave some hungry guys some snacks and spoke to the people in the temple area. It seems lots of work has already been done here but there were a couple of cases needing immediate attention and we also saw a mum & 9 newly born pups.

The male dogs here, we will call Max. The temple folks said that a food vendor had attached the dog recently and he was suffering after a wound (hence the matted hair) to his back. When we stood him up, his willy was exposed and I wondered if he had been circumcised.

The second case, Lucy, is suffering with TvT and also mange. There are several dogs here suffering with mange and we will need to return here to see what changes we can make to their conditions.

At the vets clinic, Max was found to have a tumour on his willy that precluded it from receding into the flesh or foreskin. It was so dry from being out all the time, that when the vet touched it & exposed the root of the penis, he yelped in pain. As for his back..... No wound, no blood, just something like dried hot fat. We cut some of it away and the rest crumbled between our fingers. After a good shower, I am sure he will look & feel a whole lot better.

As for Lucy, she has a tumour developing and she will need some feeding up and health improving vitamins before we start Chemotherapy, as currently she is so weak. More of a problem is that she has heart worms. The pic shows a microscope view of a blood test. Wriggling in amongst the platelets are minute worms. (Sorry I didn't think of taking a video)

It was an interesting day. A little bit of an upset but I console myself in the thought that we did some good work too.

Arrived home at 21:15. 140km on the clock

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