Saturday, August 19, 2006

Rosie

My family and I took in a stray female who had gotten pregnant in her first cycle. We named her Rosie and excitedly awaited the birth of her puppies. To see them being born was incredible. There were seven. Four boys and three girls. Gorgeous, playful, and sweet. We bonded with all of them and spoiled them horribly. At about one month of age a stray puppy wandered through our gate looking for food. Unfortunately, she also infected four of them with parvovirus. She later died. To watch those four puppies go from babies full of life, and fun, to suffering, dying babies was unbearable. Sad, tired, not eating or drinking, vomiting stomach acid that resembled phlegm, having diarreah with blood as the illness ripped through them. The memories of them are so painful. I stayed with each of them as they were euthanized. I held them and talked to them and when they passed, I mourned them. Diseases spread like wildfire here beacause of the sheer number of unvaccinated dogs (with owners and without). Parvovirus and Distemper are most common. Some of the families are too poor to pay for the vaccinations and spay/neutering, some don´t care, and others just don´t realize what a huge problem this is. Thankfully, Rabies is not a disease that has entered this country as of yet and I hope it never does....... I would hate to think of the outcome when such a shocking number of dogs (with owners and without) are unvaccinated. Did you know that there is an estimated dog population of 1 million in Costa Rica (probably more by now) and only
20% are spayed/neutered?

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