Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pets: The Life and Death of Campo Mascotas.

Carrot.  Such a wonderful, faithful little dog.
A month ago, in the midst of a busy week at site, tragedy struck.  My dog, Carrot, died.  And it was my fault.  I went in to Santani on Friday, and Carrot the dog, followed me to the ruta like she always does.   This in and of itself is dangerous and is something I should have trained her out of doing long ago.  But I always rather like the company on the long walk to the ruta, and the usually extended wait for the bus.  But this last time I went to the ruta, I walked down the highway a bit to find a shadier spot to sit and wait.  Carrot accompanied me, brining her in much closer proximity to the racing trucks and motos that she normally gets.  Apparently, moments after the bus arrived and I left for Santani, a truck sailed by instantly killing her.
The family at the ruta where I leave my bike told me of her fate once I returned.  Someone else at the ruta had a car and we brought her back to my house.  Later that day, I picked a nice shady spot under the trees in my front yard with a good view, and buried her.
I still think having a dog was one of the best decisions, in terms of my mental health, that I made here.  Having a dog who would be beside herself with joy when ever I came home, meant that no matter how my day had gone, it always got a little better.  Dogs also help create a structure and a rough schedule to life.  Although out here in the campo, dogs are pretty self sufficient.
Berenjena when she was just a pup.

I had another dog before Carrot, named Berenjena.  But she eventually decided to live at my host family’s house instead of mine.  So now she is their dog.  The only thing that stuck, was the name.  However, even Bejenjena might be on her way out of this world.  She refuses to eat most of the time (she wont eat the carne my host family gives her, or the dog food I try to feed her on the rare occasions she deigns to visit my house).  I gave her drops in case she had stomach worms but it had no effect.  My host father said he looked into Berenjena’s eyes and saw death.  He predicts she will not live for much longer.
If Berenjena dies, I will have lost two dogs and one cat during my time in Paraguay (I had a cat-not pictured- for a short time last year, but it disappeared in August and never returned.  I assume it died).  That is not a very good track record. 
Its not all bad.  I have had a wonderful cat for several months now, named Perejil.  He seems healthy and happy in my house.  However due the fate most of my pets seem to face, I was hesitant to get another dog… But an English speaking Paraguayan friend of mine offered me a little female puppy, and I just couldn’t say no…  I have named her Pepper.  She is very very adorable. Tonight is her first night in my house!
Clearly Perejil enjoys the space heater as much as I do.

My new dog! Se llama Pepper.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry Fiona. I lost 2 dogs during my service and somedays I still miss them. I know it's hard, especially to not feel guilty, but their fate would certainly have been no better without you and you at least gave them some time with steady meals and true companionship which they probably wouldn't have gotten in their lives otherwise.