So, I've been playing the same numbers in the daily lottery and they finally showed up. Not a huge windfall, probably about enough to cover the cost of tickets since the last win. A nice surprise. But...(here's the proverbial 'but')...
I didn't even have a chance to think what I might need to spend it on.
Last evening I heard a dog crying like it had been hit by a car. I went out to check but couldn't see anything, and people around didn't look like there was anything to be concerned about. I decided it must be a puppy complaining about being left behind, although it sounded a little more serious. I got fooled a few weeks ago by a similar racket only to find out it was a small dog up on the roof of the house on the corner. Why it was fussing, I don't know, but I could see that there was nothing wrong with it.
During the night we had a wicked storm - I was sure we had category 1 winds (we probably didn't, but it felt and looked like we did). In the morning everything looked pretty good, considering the amount of rain and wind. I noticed a small dog under the moped of my neighbor, and figured it was the little dachshund I wrote about the other day, although there was something about the dog that didn't quite seem like it was that dog. I need glasses - don't see well long-distance. Actually, I have glasses, I need to wear them...
Later in the morning I walked down the road to run an errand, and noticed a dog under the truck of my neighbor (same neighbor, different vehicle). Peering underneath, I saw that it was a puppy - a dog I've never seen around here. It had a piece of cloth tied around its neck, so it had had an owner at one time. I asked the guys at the workshop next door if it was their dog (they keep showing up with dogs), but they denied it, and as I walked past, they went over and looked under the truck to check it out.
When I came back, I saw the puppy at the side of the workshop with a plate of food. The guys told me it was not their dog, and it had 'sarna' (mange), but they fed it anyway (they seem to be good-hearted young men). The puppy's face and head looked bald, like it had been burned, but it was eating so seemed happy enough. Later I saw it sleeping under the truck again, and began to wonder if it was lost.
Did it get lost in the storm? Did it run off when the wind blew up and didn't know its way home? That was how I figured it must be. Now for another dose of reality about life here on the island...
When Miguel came home, I told him about the puppy. He went to talk to the guys at the shop and they all discussed that the puppy had 'sarna' and would die. What? So we're just going to walk away and let the puppy suffer until it dies? No, seems that was not what we were going to do. I spoke up and said that we would take the dog to the vet and get it treated. Miguel picked up the dog and we brought it home and put it in the passage between the houses. Miguel said that the owner probably threw the dog in the street because of the skin condition. Obviously Miguel has seen it all, he knew what the true story likely was.
Now to find a vet. I thought Delfino would probably be tied up with arrangements for Renee's memorial service and other things he might be doing for the family - I didn't want to bother him. I wasn't sure Pepe was around, and didn't have his number. Zina to the rescue - I knew if anyone would know how to reach a vet, she would. So I called and probably disrupted her siesta, but she was kind enough to dig up Pepe's number for me. I called Pepe, and although he said he would take the dog, he is working at a spay/neuter clinic in Cancun this week, and could not come until Sunday morning. Would that be ok? Yes, we'd keep the dog here until then. Or, he said, we could take the dog to Alison's house - someone would be there to receive it.
So a couple of hours later Miguel went to get the puppy for his ride to Alison's. As he put the leash around the piece of material around the puppy's neck, he found a piece of wire that had been wrapped around the puppy's neck. Not tight, so maybe it was supposed to be like a collar - don't really know.
The puppy rode very well on the cart - he wasn't at all nervous and he just seemed to enjoy leaning his head on my leg and watching the scenery from the side of the cart. We got to Alison's house but were out of luck - nobody answered our calls.
What to do? Well, I figured even if Delfino wasn't available, the clinic might be open and we could just leave the puppy there for Delfino to attend later. We were in luck, not only was the clinic open but the attendant told us Delfino would be coming by shortly. So we sat and waited.
As soon as Delfino saw the puppy he said he knew it. He said he'd treated other siblings of the dog, said that the entire litter had been born with 'sarna'. He pulled out a file and called someone, who said they were not missing a dog. Delfino said that he thought whoever was the owner that they had just thrown the dog away because of the 'sarna' - people are afraid it will infect their children so they get rid of the dog. By throwing it away. Leaving it to fend for itself in the streets. So considerate.
The treatment for mange is not cheap, and it needs to be given over a period of weeks or months. So I told Delfino that although we cannot adopt the puppy, we will pay to get the treatment underway and for him to keep the dog there. We'll check in a week or so to see how things are progressing, and hopefully if he gets the mange cleared up, someone will adopt the puppy. It is really a very cute dog, very quiet, relaxed and friendly. The puppy will make a good pet for someone, someone who I hope will care enough not to throw it away if it needs medical care sometime in the future.
So...half my lottery share paid for the dog. He needed it more than me anyway.