Community Day

by Luke, in Grenada
16th April, 2009

Big community day – heading to the poorest communities of Grenada. Large mix of fairly scary looking pit bull terriers and other rangy street dogs. Lot of skin problems, one dog had been bitten by a mongoose, another had a foreign body between it’s toes (which we sedated and flushed), couple of TVT’s (transmissible venereal tumours) – course of vincristine and arranged to be neutered, and the standard array of bite wounds and flea, tick and worm infestations. One chap we met runs a rum shop/bar out of a shack, big fella with dreads and a large gold tooth – came out first with a huge pit bull terrier proudly telling me it had killed ten other dogs that had come onto his territory – he then returned moments later with a little cavalier king charles spaniel which he sheepishly brought me for treatment (had KCS – dry eye). Big tough guy with his tough dog for show and then his little lap dog he clearly dotes on. Really sweet little dog. I have my suspicions that his big pit bull isn’t quite as fierce as he made out as well, it wagged its tail like mad when I was examining it and it seemed almost as soft as the little CKC! He was a very friendly guy as well so I think the bravado was a bit for show for the crowd as much as anything else.

People are really friendly and seemed very happy for us to pitch up and do the treatments. Didn’t see any real signs of cruelty or abuse, more neglect and ignorance as is normally the case. Amazing to dip just over the hill, not a mile from the luxurious coast and white sandy beaches to find just impoverished wooden shacks that no tourist would ever realise were there. All the kids were flying home made kites which made dazzling displays above us as we worked.

Rest of the team are on form. Clive is deep in the zone wearily rolling his eyes every time I try to mix two drugs in the same syringe whilst trying to carefully steer me on the right track as I fire out drugs and treatments to any animal that comes in range. It’s great to have his help on the clinics, despite me corrupting his perfectionist approach to each case, he’s a huge asset with the tricky ones and it’s brilliant having someone to bounce ideas off. Adam seems pretty chilled which is great, Nathan is carrying stuff a lot and I think Marc’s a bit worried about gripping stories so fingers crossed we find something really hardcore to get stuck into on Carriacou where we are heading by boat tomorrow.

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