Off to the Vet

Yesterday afternoon I noticed a tumor on the side of my dog.  This thing just popped up!  We are almost constantly petting him and giving him belly rubs; he’s pretty spoiled really.  So, I immediately called one of my vets and arranged to bring him in the following morning.

He loves going for car rides, all we had to do today was open the door and say, “Let’s go!” and he jumped right in.  He’s really a giant baby.  People are very intimidated by him because of his size, 77 pounds/35 kilos.  He’s an American Staffordshire Terrier, so he looks a lot like a pit bull; they are very close cousins.  All this dog wants is to be loved on.  We adopted him almost two years ago and he was extremely emaciated and very sick and he had been beaten.  The person who had him wanted him to fight, but he just wanted to love.  So we got him and he gets lots of love here.  Everyone who gets to know him falls in love with him.

Well, we get to the vet and she examines his tumor.  She is a little worried at first as it is rather large and pretty solid, but it was still movable which was a good thing.  She gives him some anesthesia and he slowly started getting sleepy.  He didn’t even flinch when he got his shots, he was a perfect boy.  I told my vet that I have never had a problem with anyone giving him his vaccinations and that he is special, she told me that he is very special.  He put his head on my shoulder and started drifting off until he could no longer sit up and slowly laid down on the table.  When he was pretty out of it she gave him a local to numb the area so she could get to work.  She didn’t want to put him under completely so he could have a quicker recovery time.

Five minutes later we are transferring him to the other room where she has everything set up to get the tumor out.  She picks him up to carry him and he whimpers the entire way!  I have never heard him whimper before and I was almost in tears!  I just know that he was confused and didn’t know what was going on and scared.  She laid him on the table and I spoke softly to him while petting his big block head.  He drifted off even more, his eyes were closed and he was sleeping.

She got to work right away.  I stayed with him the entire time and my husband was in and out to check on him.  He was like a nervous dad! She got the tumor out and cut it open and looked through it and told me that it didn’t look like it would be cancerous.  She suggested that we wait to do a biopsy.  If he develops anymore we will have those removed and then biopsy it.  I really trust my vet, she greeted Bruno with a big smile today and lots of pets and he even kissed her on the nose!  Just as she got him all stitched up he was starting to wake up.  Great timing!  She sent her husband out to buy an ace bandage to put around him as she didn’t have anything long enough to fit around him.  We gave him several minutes to look around and know that he was OK and to make sure he wasn’t going to freak out.  The vet carried him out to the car for us and laid him gently in the back seat where Bruno slept the whole way home.  I picked him up a new brush and a new collar today also.  Total cost of everything, including antibiotic injections…under $70!

My vet is an amazing woman and speaks great English.  We giggle at each other when she can’t remember a work in English and I can’t remember one in Spanish.  We work it out.  I can really tell that she loves the animals and wants what’s best for them.

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Baby Bruno

I woke up this morning to my dog telling me that he needed out.  He is so funny about it as he just looks at me and I can feel him staring at me from the other room.  I will hear him shake his body when he stands up and then feel the stare down.  He is a rather big boy, about 60 pounds and we adopted him two months ago today!  We had to drive all the way down to San Jose to get him, just over two hours each way.  He was in a foster home for less than a week when we picked him up.  He had been beaten and left without food for a long time.  He was very sick and emaciated.  The people who rescued him had to get the police involved to get him removed from the home.  They took him to the vet and got him on a couple of different medications for infections.  On the way home, I rode in the back seat with him and he sat in my lap almost the entire way home.  All he could do was just smile.  He even gave me a couple of kisses on the way home.  This poor dog had the worst case of diarrhea that I had ever seen in any animal, it was straight up water.  We were so afraid of him getting dehydrated it wasn’t funny.

We brought him home on a Saturday and that Monday I took him to my local vet to get checked out by  him.   My vet immediately fell in love with him.  He couldn’t get over how sweet he was.  He got me some vitamins and some anti-diarrhea medication to go with his other meds and home we went.  He started doing better the following week, but then he started again.  This time I took him to my other vet that speaks English.  Her office is much farther away from us and I only go to her if I need to communicate really well or I believe there is a major problem that needs to be tested for.  My local vet is wonderful, but his office is very small and doesn’t have a lot of the equipment that she has.  We did so many tests that day, poor thing was starting to get frustrated with us.  He was so tired of getting poked and prodded in places that should not be prodded.  Every test she ran kept coming up negative, which is really a good thing.  From there we decided just to try switching his food.  Wouldn’t you know it, that worked!  He started getting so much better, then we gave him a bone.  A real bone from a cow and he started getting sick again.  He didn’t want to walk very far, he didn’t want to play, he wasn’t eating very much at all and not drinking a lot either.  Back to the vet.  I take him back to my local guy.  Too much fat on the bones, his body can’t handle it.  It caused him to get dehydrated.  Thank God this guy is awesome because I didn’t actually have the money at the time for this.  He told me not to worry about it and pay him when I could.  (Love living in a small town.)  It took me two weeks to finally be able to pay him as they had moved buildings and didn’t have their credit card machine working yet.  I think I went in four different times to try to pay and they phone company kept telling them mañana, so that is what they had to tell me.  We actually got a good laugh out of it.  (It is easier to use my card here as credit than to pay the ATM fees as it is still in the US.)  Finally when my husband was with me he said chuck it and used his card at the ATM to pay them.  His account is here though.  By the time I paid the bill I had several bags of dog food on it, flea medication, and the cost of the vet bill for the IV and treatment.  I think it was right around $70 for everything.  Not a bad deal.

So today I take Bruno back to the vet to start his vaccinations, as I have no idea which ones he had or when.  We walk in and my vet just smile ear to ear!  He couldn’t get over how beautiful he looks.  He has put on a lot of weight and muscle and has turned into a really handsome dog.  He is so sweet and gentle, as long as he knows you.  When I get him in the morning to take him out he gives me a little kiss on the side of my face.  If I let him he would curl up in my lap, which he has done before.  All he asks is to be loved.  I am so glad that he is a part of our little family here, he has been a wonderful addition to it.

This is the first day we brought Bruno home.

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At the vet, he just fell in love with him.

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Getting his IV and medications.  He was so good that day.

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This was under a month ago.

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This was not too long ago.  He looks so much better now.  After his vaccinations he will be getting fixed.  He is our big baby Bruno.  He is an American Stanford.

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The cone of shame

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My poor baby.  She got fixed at the beginning of March and hated the cone.  I felt so bad for her.  Luckily though she didn’t have to wear it all the time.  I did have a big problem though when I got her home.  My other cat, Spot, who was her best play mate no longer recognized her.  She had to stay over night at the vets.  She came home with all these different scents on her.  It took him several weeks just to get close to her again.  It was so sad.  She couldn’t figure out why he was being so mean to her.  He would walk up to her and hiss, growl, spit and then hit her on the head.  The look on her face was that of total sadness, I do believe she was crying.  But now they are doing better, still not like they used to be, but better.  Spot is still a little stand offish with her, but at least they are playing together again.  Arainia is our little Princess Purrs a lot.  I am so glad that I found her that fateful day back in November.

Soft spot for animals

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So, I have this really soft spot for animals that need help.  This is Duke.  He literally showed up at my front door last month.  He was very emaciated.  We didn’t know what to think of each other at first, we both jumped when we saw each other.  I took a chance and put my hand out…he licked it and wagged his tail.  I called to my husband who came around to the front of the house and Duke went to him and just wanted some lovin’s.  I don’t have the dog from before, I found him a great home with a great kid.  I didn’t have any dog food so I gave him some cat food.  I think that is why he came to our door, he smelled the cat food.  He showed up on a Friday, the day before I was telling my husband, “I wouldn’t mind having a dog, if he was a little older, used to being outside and didn’t bark at everything.”  I got exactly what I asked for.  He rarely every barks, but when he does the whole neighborhood knows.  He has put on at least 15 pounds this month already!  He has been to the vet and is getting his vaccinations.  He is a big lover with us, but very protective.  He is mostly German Shepherd.  I will say though, that he hates weed eaters!  He almost ripped the leg off the guy that cuts our yard, luckily we got there in time to prevent any damage.  He listens very well to us and is very intelligent.  I feel a lot better having him here.  We hardly ever have to chain him up, he stays right around the house.  I even learned how to bake homemade dog biscuits for him and he loves them. I do believe that this dog had a guardian angle, guiding him to our house.  I had never seen him before in our area, we have a lot of stray dogs around.  He is a very good boy and I already love him.

Iguana

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I went to go hand my laundry on the line this morning and found this beautiful iguana just hanging out.  I think that she may be living in my ceiling.  During the evenings my husband and I have been hearing noises.  Too big to be a bird and too big to be a gecko.  We have been wondering for a couple of weeks what has been up there.  Well, I think this could be the reason for all the noise.  At least they are vegetarians and completely harmless.  She has been on this post all day now, for at least 4 or 5 hours now, just changing the position she lays in.  She is a very beautiful one with great color, her tail is around 3 feet long.  Love it here!

Olive throated parakeets

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There are at least 11 Olive Throated Parakeets in this photo.  If you find more let me know.  I saw these the other morning across from my house.  They are usually found on the Caribbean slopes, but they must be doing some migrating right now.  By car we are only about two and a half hours from the east coast, but this is pretty far inland for these guys.  They make a heck of a noise also, but we don’t mind.

Babies

This is one of the many creatures that I find in and around my house.  I do believe that this is one of the many types of geckos here.  I had to wrestle this one away from my cats.  Poor little things was traumatized by the whole event.  How I managed to catch him, I still don’t know.  They are definitely quick!  He was just out of his egg when the cats were trying to eat him.  But I rescued him and turned him loose outside.  I hope that he is doing well.  Every night when I take a shower I can see two to three geckos on the outside of the window catching bugs.  They know that when the bathroom light comes on that it attracts the bugs and they climb onto the window and wait for them.  When I turn on the light there is never anything on the window, but withing two minutes I have my geckos.  So, they have actually learned how to get an easy meal.  Glad to help them out.

So many birds

This is the male and female scarlet-rumped tanager.  The male is the black and scarlet.  We see these all the time around our house. You will usually see one male with around 3-4 females.  It seems all the birds down here love bananas, not to mention the horses love them also.  I have a few more pictures of other birds that I will be posting as well.  This one is my husbands favorite.  My favorite is the oropendola, which I can never seem to get a picture of.  They make the strangest sound that I have ever heard from a bird.  They have beautiful yellow tail feather and have an almost black body and when they call they lean forward, almost upside down and swing similar to a pendulum and call.   We have also seen green macaws fly over our house, there is no mistaking their call.  If you are a bird lover then Costa Rica is the place to be.