Volunteering is ALWAYS a great idea…
And my choice this year was for Isla Animals. I’m an animal LOVER, so it was a no brainer. I started months before my trip by creating a unique vinyl sticker dedicated towards Islaholics and their purchase of them would directly benefit the clinic on Isla.
Here’s the sticker.
And here are the names of the generous donors who participated by their purchase. (Please forgive any mis-spelled names.)
I have owned “pound puppies” all my life. I get it.
All of them have been chipped and neutered. Typically, you take your pup to the vet, drop him or her off, come back later in the day and thanks to the magic of time lapse, your pup is now safe and you can rest assured you have done the responsible thing.
In Mexico, the process is the same, however, you become much, MUCH more involved in the well-being and caring for all animals needing attention. Ever seen the TV series, “M*A*S*H*”?
So, being weak-stomached in matters of health, well, more specifically, blood, after introducing myself to Alison Sawyer, Dr. Jonas from Canada and Dr. Arturo from Cancun, I laid back and observed for a bit. I figured, “Hey, I can bathe ANY dog, so that’s what I’ll so. Yeah.”
Several volunteers were a lot closer over the surgical table and saw me, well, standing there, doing nothing. So, I became the volunteer photographer. Of them, assisting. Which meant, getting closer to the procedure.
Awkward. How is it going to look when an American volunteer passes out on the floor while vets are performing procedures inches away? Would they merely grab my legs and drag me into “recovery” with the other ball less dogs? Step over and around me while performing their task? Or throw water on me AFTER drawing with sharpies all over my face?
Suck it up.
I didn’t pass out!
I hung in there!
I actually moved closer, like a timid street puppy, to see the actual procedure.
Just when I was able to keep breakfast down, I heard someone ask for help in recovery.
Here’s where I met the “recovery king”, Bundy. Who, coincidentally, is the “Bundy” of “Trina and Bundy” of CARM.
This guy knows his stuff.
He taught me how to care for an animal during this short window of anesthesia.
Ticks. Ticks, TICKS. Everywhere. Clean the ears, check the gums, extubate them. Remove the catheter. Clean the new wound.
I’ve never seen animal come out of anesthesia. It’s…awkward to watch as each animal awakens differently…some “head nod”, while others lift their heads repeatedly in a motion which appears as if they are actually looking in the direction of where their um, manhood once was.
After they are reviewed and appear semi-conscious, they are taken to an area where volunteers or even their owners can sit with and love on them to ease them back to reality. Shortly after that, they are sent home with any necessary meds and printed instructions in the event any additional attention is needed.
Mango café provided lunch and nearly 12 hours later, more than 25 animals had been cared for. The goal for the week is 30 per day.
It’s a long day and laborious task that needs to occur more often as the results are clearly benefitting the animals, their owners, and the island which we all know and love so much.
My challenge to all reading this is, DO SOMETHING besides simply enjoy your vacation. Give back. Make a difference. There are plenty of opportunities for everyone to make an impact. It matters not where you live, it only matters that you do.
Thank you Isla Animals.