Since I last posted, we were in Cuenca for a week, and Semana Santa has come and gone (the week before Easter), which is a big and crowded holiday on the coast; there was a huge surf tournament in Montanita the following week; we’ve been meeting with architects regarding plans for the house we are getting ready to build on our lot, and my youngest daughter and family came for a visit (I’ll write about that in my next post).
I honestly don’t know where to jump back in, so let me start here:
Twenty national teams (from all over the world) were represented, with around 150 participating athletes. See the International Surfing Association link here to see more details and the results.
My visiting son-in-law, Pedro (who is from Brazil) was thrilled to meet the Brazilian team one night while having dinner in Montanita, and had his picture taken with them.
|My son-in-law, Pedro (in the red shirt) and Kacie with the Brazilian team.|
Photo courtesy of my daughter Kacie's camera album.
|Anyone notice or looking at|
the flag on this one?
There was some overflow into Olón.
Yes, it is true that the stray dogs are occasionally “culled”/euthanized here, generally using poisoned meat. But there is also a generous amount of time given beforehand via signs and announcements, so that pet-owners can keep furry family inside.
In this case, many around here feel that not enough notice was given, and that it was heavy-handedly carried out. No one entity (i.e. the “communas” – coastal town city councils, for lack of better description) is claiming responsibility. Lots of finger pointing, lots of different stories (though no one thinks the ISA event organizers condoned or knew of the action) but the fact is that several pet dogs, obviously well-fed and wearing-collar dogs were picked up as well.
The smaller dogs and puppies were found dumped into a dumpster in the town of Palmar (about 15-20 minutes south of Montanita).
The larger family-owned pets (3-6 of them, depending on who you talk to about this) have never been found. Major consensus is that they were dumped live into the sea.
Daisy wears a collar, and everyone in town knows she belongs to us. She is very independent; she knows how to take care of herself. We have taught her to stay out of trash, not beg from tables, and she is not allowed inside (with a few exceptions, like firework nights, -which terrify her - and then, only inside our house or Doug and Pam’s place).
As a former stray, she could never be restrained to a leash, nor shut up in a yard. She would hate that, and she would not be the wonderful dog we all know and love if she was restricted in that way.
|Courtesy of Karen Miller|
Once I got over my alarm at finding him there, and determining that he was still (barely) alive, I literally stood there and scratched my head and chin trying to figure out this one.
What to do? A truly WTF moment.
I mean, I didn’t want to hurt the obviously fatally ailing dog getting him out of my bedroom.
As luck would have it, a couple of Ecuadorian girlfriends came by for a completely different reason about two minutes later. I was still in shock, and waved them on into the bedroom.
Then we all stood there and WTF scratched our heads and chins.
ME: “What to do? Who do we call about this one?”
EC GIRLFRIENDS: “Beats the hell out of us”.
ME: “Yeah, but the police are nearby. Can’t we go get them, and MAYBE ask them to remove it?
I chose first to bleach the ick from the house and dog bowls, since Daisy was with me (and Todd was in an out-of-cell-phone reach area), though I did try and call him first, leaving a message similar to “HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM HERE” kind of voicemail.
I went to find that poor dog after dark with a flashlight (figuring he wasn’t able to make it far), but did not find him, and now can only hope he didn’t die buried alive in a dumpster or drowned.
It might be difficult for some reading this to reconcile “leaving out the poisoned meat” method of euthanizing sick and homeless animals as an acceptable way to eliminate them, but that is the way it sometimes works here in coastal Ecuador.
Fortunately, organizations like PAE are making a difference, and worth supporting.
The Montanita dog round-up and the on-going Montanita sewer system flaws did recently spawn a number of Ecuadorian national newspapers articles about the issues.