Monday: Colin and I drove about 4 blocks from our apartment to pick up Jamie Sherr, a rockstar volunteer down for the week to see some satos and vacation a bit and also to serve as our flyer for 16 dogs, along with her friend Brad at their hotel in Ocean Park. And off we went to Los Machos Beach in Ceiba to show them why this project exists, how sweet these animals can be, and how much these animals love hot dogs. We arrived at Los Machos around 8:15 am.
Our first sato sighting was sweet orphan Annie:
What surprised me is that upon arriving near the Avis parking lot, I didn't see the usual suspects. Then, across the street, I saw a familiar tail wag: It was Homer. Homer, Toby, and Lily (a beautiful black lab I once saw roaming the streets, but never saw her again) were all anxiously waiting for hot dogs and love behind a fence to a small apartment complex. Lily supposedly lives there, but Homer and Toby slip through a hole in the fence at night to sleep. They looked so happy, especially Homer who once took 10 minutes or so to warm up to me. He is coming out of his shell beautifully.
SEEKING SPONSOR/ADOPTER: Toby, a little hound with a lot of love
Lola says, "I am so over this puppy business."
After spending time with as many Los Machos satos as we could, we shot over to Maria's to pick up Alfie, gave him a bath, and drove back towards Ocean Park to pick up Riley. Over the weekend, Riley's health went down the drain: She was barely eating, had diarrhea of all sorts of colors, and lacked her normal spark. After picking up Riley, we headed to Dr. Ramos' to get Alfie ready to for the St. Hubert's flight on March 28 and to see what was buggin' our little Riley momma.
The results: Alfie was deemed "good to go," and Riley tested negative for worms and other parasites. The only answer Dr. Ramos came up with for Riley was that the puppies were "sucking the life out of her." What did this mean? Liz and Efren had a lot of work cut out for them. All seven puppies had to be bottle-fed every 4 hours until they could be returned to their mom. Days later, Dr. Ramos decided that Riley, for health reasons, should not be reunited with her pups at any time. The hunt for a more permanent foster home for Riley's pups began.
More pictures of the satos seen on Monday will be scattered throughout this post. Enjoy!
Tuesday: Jamie and Brad went back out to Los Machos, hot dogs in hand, to see the satos they fell in love with the day before. Unfortunately, all the puppies they had seen the day before were either hiding out in the shade or had been taken "somewhere." Jamie and Brad were able to talk to someone out there, Angel, who was feeding the satos. From my understanding, someone came and picked up about 8 dogs/puppies; we don't know who took the dogs, only that Angel, who does care for these animals, seemed not to be worried. Jamie and Brad sort of got the impression that these dogs were going to a shelter of sorts, though they got the impression that the dogs were going somewhere safe, whether or not we are just wishful thinking. If most of the dogs that were taken were puppies, there is a good chance that someone came with the intention of finding them homes or selling them since puppies are so easy to place, but that would be extremely optimistic.
I'm still working on getting more details. We did find out recently, however, that there are 3 different men, Victor, Angel, and another, that regularly feed the dogs and give them lots of love...looks like we have even more wonderful people to help us after all. If we are just finding out about these helping hands now, who have supposedly been taking care of these dogs for years now, it could be just as possible that someone/some people are actually rescuing animals at Los Machos as well, right? However, even though I have only been a part of this rescue world for a few months now, I unfortunately believe the dogs and puppies taken were taken with less innocent intentions; I've become slightly tainted.
SEEKING SPONSOR/ADOPTER: Gizmo, just being awesome Gizmo, wouldn't leave us alone during our visit.
Wednesday: A friend of mine Anne, visiting from Chicago, and I went snorkeling today: a necessary day-long vacation. On the way back home, I relieved Liz and Efren of their bottle-feeding duties since they had already been amazing enough. One of the little pups was constantly crying and seemingly not doing well. I named her "Nena." I held onto her as often as I could.
Thursday: Nena's crying continued. I decided to bring them to Dr. Ramos' to see if they could hang on to them for a couple of days and figure out what was wrong. As they often do, they helped me out. In other news, Chalupa had started showing signs of sickness, with some nasal discharge and general lethargy, and was taken off the list of dogs to be shipped to St. Hubert's on March 28. Yes, I was pretty upset about it. Chalupa has lived at Dr. Ramos for more than a month...poor girl. Soon enough.
Friday: Oh, the shipment. Everything seemed to be going fine, until we went up to the counter to check-in. We were an hour late to check in the dogs. Somewhere along the way of arranging this shipment, we failed to realize that the departure time for the one-way flight to Newark had changed from 6:50 to 5:50 p.m. due to the time change on the east coast. Our dogs did not fly with Jamie as the flyer, and despite all her efforts to make it work, we could not reverse our mistake. Jamie still enthusiastically took Alfie, the little Chihuahua mix from Los Machos, as a carry on.
Saturday: Liz and Efren decided to rock my world once again by offering/deciding to bring Riley's seven pups to their new foster home in Cabo Rojo (3 hours from San Juan). Gina Sein, another rescuer and foster mom, arranged for a neighbor of hers who has experience with puppies to foster Riley's brood. The drop-off mission was successful... *sigh* (of relief). The puppies were safe and in a stable home before my approaching departure to California.
SEEKING SPONSOR/ADOPTER: Benji, a newly abandoned dog that has supposedly been picked up and dropped off 3 different times by the same person. He is extremely social and so darn cute.
Jamie called me in the a.m. to let me know that Alfie was an angel during the flight and during the night at Jamie's abode and made it safely to St. Hubert's. Jamie, you are my personal hero...thank you!
Monday: Gina called Liz to let her know that Nena did not make it. The poor little pups had to be weakened by being removed for their mom, being moved around so much, and who knows what else. It's terribly sad, but all we can hope for is that the rest pull through.
Another flyer, Jennifer Cece, is flying out here on Tuesday (4/1), staying the night at Adri's, and will head back to Newark on Wednesday (4/2), taking off two days of work so that 16 satos can get to St. Hubert's. These acts of selflessness from sweet souls such as Jennifer and Jamie deem me speechless. We won't mess this one up, I promise.
Today: Riley's pups' have been latched on to another lactating mother. Only one of the pups seem to be having some issues, but is receiving special attention and alone time with the newly introduced momma. Let's keep our fingers crossed for the remaining six of Riley's pups!!!
In other good news, looks like Chalupa's doing much better and is going on tomorrow's flight. I'll be sure to let you know how tomorrow's shipment goes!
And no, I have not yet packed for my month-long trip to Southern California. Hopefully I'll get around to it before I leave on Saturday.
And finally, check out Rocco, in the arms of one his new family members...makes me tear up just a little bit!!! He's just so gosh darn cute!