My writings about the Constancy of Change in Life and beyond. From my view spot above the city in southern Costa Rica, I write.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
A Story of a Dog Rescue
Originally written and blog published in August, 2014.
When I moved to Costa
Rica in 2008 I brought my animal family consisting of four parrots and two dogs. The
four parrots lived together in an aviary attached to my house and readily open to my
office. My two dogs, Livvie and Seurat were best pals. A year after our
arrival, Livvie died at a respectable age of 12 for a German Shepherd and
Seurat was alone, which he seemed to manage. After Frank and I got together, we
often talked about getting another dog pal for Seurat. At different times there
were puppies made available to us – but Seurat would have nothing to do with
them. When Frank brought one of his dogs to my house, Seurat was incensed. It
seemed he was pretty particular about who he would share his family with.
Two days before the
end of 2013, Frank and I decided to stop by a local dog shelter owned by a Tica
Veterinarian, Dr. Milena Elizondo. This compassionate woman rescues dogs
abandoned in San Isidro de El General. We decided to try again.
Dr. Milena was
excited and said she knew just the dog - and a man was taking care of her but
would bring her over immediately. Randall soon arrived with a sweet, starving
german shepherd mix who had recently given birth but was without puppies. He
had noticed her wandering the streets in a nearby town and took her to his
friend, Milena. Wasted and starved to her bones, there was something in her lovely eyes
that implored Frank and me to return the next day, New Year's eve - with
Seurat. We hoped he would let us know how he felt about her.
The meeting of the
two dogs began on Dr. Milena's porch. I immediately called the quiet dog Frida - for
Frida Kahlo who also suffered a painful early life. And her name would be in
keeping with the artist nomenclature I'd adopted with Seurat. I would often
reply, 'Pointilist' when someone asked about Seurat's breed. Though only
artists 'got it', it always made me smile.
immediately just fine with Frida as we walked them together to see how they
interacted. It was almost as if they both knew they belonged together. We just
shrugged our shoulders and went home with Frida and Seurat. When I put Livvie's
old collar on her, Seurat actually jumped for joy!
We fell into a
routine of 4 meals a day for Frida and Seurat began training his new pal - when
to bark, how early to wake up the humans, taking her out each morning to walk
the road and check out all the new smells - and he even brought her back! Frida
was very mellow, and slept a lot. We understood she was still weak and recovering from her starvation
on the streets.
After about two weeks
of steady improvement, Frida one day began walking unsteadily and appeared
disoriented. One eye was filled with blood. We immediately took her to see Dr.
Milena who diagnosed her with Erlichiosis or Canine Hemorrhagic Fever. A
terrible blow. This is a most often fatal blood parasitic disease carried by
the brown tick. Frida, unfortunately was in the chronic phase with includes
retinal hemorrhage. Dogs can often live with the parasite and show no visible evidence
until it reaches the chronic stage, as with Frida. Dr. Milena armed us
with antibiotics, blood and immune building capsules and we decided to do the
best we could and not give up on this sweet girl who wanted only to live.
Seurat watched her carefully, too and was nearly always by her side.
Frida fought back!
After a week+ on antibiotics (which I was only able to get her to eat through
extreme trickery), she started acting more upbeat, gaining a little weight and the
retinal bleeding happening not as often, permitting her to see and enjoy her
surroundings. Her pal, Seurat stayed right there for her. He seemed to
And one morning they
began their serious business of playing! It is often just a blur of growls and
They are best friends
forever, after all!
Frank loved Frida,
reminding him of his first shepherd, Osa a long long time ago. It was lovely to
see the bond these two developed.
After Frank passed in
early March, Frida and Seurat seemed to miss him so and I began to take them on
the walks they had so enjoyed with Frank. It has become a regular treat for
them and exercise for me.
By August, Frida
appears to be completely healthy and sooooo rambunctious! She is best friends
with Seurat and they share bones, food and anything else, including me.
What a lovely family!
And this family of dogs helped to get me through losing Frank.But last I heard from him, he told me that my old
sweet Shepherd, Livvie and his shepherd Osa are with him – as well as Flash, the
parrot he also loved.