Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Frisky Afternoons

February 22, 2016

It’s been a long time since I have written.  It is our “high and busy season” here now; plenty of events to write about, but just not opportunity to do so.

Daisy on a nighttime
holiday "worm-train"
2015 Olón holidays

I don't  think she liked it much, but 
was a good sport.
Photo courtesy of
Roger Thomte

A lot is going on now, but without a doubt, one issue that has preoccupied much of my time lately is Daisy’s health. She has been really sick.  For the last several weeks, she has been extremely lethargic, refused to eat, and could hardly walk because of her incurable degenerative hip arthritis (though she still had some frisky afternoon hours on some days).
About 5 months ago, I rushed her to Guayaquil vet when her hindquarters became suddenly paralyzed. They took x-rays, treated her for a few days, and essentially said that because of her hip situation, her comfortable days were numbered.  Since then, she has been on homeopathic bone supplements that considerably improved her condition until now.

It’s been painful to watch Daisy’s recent discomfort, and her local vet has been here for a number of house-calls in last few weeks to address/eliminate other infections she might be harboring (and to de-worm/ up-to-date her regular inoculations).

During her last “heat” cycle, she apparently did pick up a sexually transmitted condition, which local vet successfully treated with oral antibiotics and a couple of sessions involving a tube of medication inserted in her "miz" parts…
(This led to several…ummm….interesting phone conversations with local vet, when I would call him and say “ella esta lista para la manguera en su vagina ‘ahorita”…)
However, nothing seemed to help.  She was still listless, glazed eyed, and not walking or eating. I was convinced last week that she needed to be put down.  It was breaking my heart to watch her in that condition.
My friend, Annette (Daisy loves her and Dan to pieces) strongly objected going that route until Daisy had at least an exam with a Libertad/Salinas vet.
I think Daisy owes her life right now to Aunty Ann.
Annette and I took her to Libertad last Tuesday.  She has a few minor infections, but it is the hip condition that is the real problem (I had GYE x-rays to show the doc in Libertad)…there is no cure – can only make her comfortable until she just can’t walk anymore, quits eating, etc.  -- all of which was happening last week before we took her to city vet).  But he’s got her on anti-inflammatory/pain meds, and she has responded well since then.
Just no telling how long that will be effective.  A couple of months?  Maybe she can make it another year???? 
Her full panel blood tests came back negative for the tick diseases, but she has a minor ear infection and a skin fungus problem, which we’ll be treating.
For now, she wants to live, and vet basically says Daisy will let us know when she is ready to go.
Everyone around here knows and loves Daisy – locals and visitors.  She is probably the most recognized “celebrity" in Olón.  She’s a strong and determined girl, giving it her best shot, and sends her tail wags and licks to all.
I want to thank all you who were so helpful and concerned during that last Daisy crisis (especially Annette and Cheryl PaPania).

Daisy with napkin hat.
2015 Olón

Santa Lucia festivities
Photo courtesy of Roger Thomte

On a little more frivolous and light-hearted note, here are some pictures and comments on the annual holiday festivities around here.
There are a lot of parades and parties.
Circus food, fun and rides arrive.

One of the local pre-Christmas parades

Local school children from various nearby
towns treating us to parade band music.

“Season” kicks off in Olón around December 12th each year with the big 4-day “Santa Lucia” and town birthday party.  And of course, the annual Olón Orphanage Christmas Eve noon party for the kids, which is always special.
This year, I didn’t get any good photos of those events.
But to the side is a photo of a Nativity scene in Manglaralto. While I was trying to take night time photos of it, I realized that something was missing.
It was Baby Jesus.  When I asked a young and local nearby family about the reason for that, they explained that traditionally, Baby Jesus doesn’t “arrive” until the night of December 24th.
And, I suppose, amidst a much joyful and spiritual midnight local parade.
What a wonderful custom!  It is one that I (for some reason) was not aware of after all this time, though I imagine this is a ritual celebrated all over Ecuador.

Since then has also come the New Year, Carnival, and Super Bowl.

Ruta del Sol roadside effigies for sale.

The annual tradition of 
the boys playing "dress up"

New/Old Year's "orphans"
The week between Christmas
and New Year's, a tradition of
dressing up and begging for 
candy or change..
Somewhat similar to Halloween.

The bug/worm ride.
'fer sure - do it.

These aren't always as tame as 
they appear in this picture.
Especially at night when they are lit up.

Playa de James in Manglaralto is a chill place to hang out.  Best described as a great local pub, always fun and interesting clientele, and James serves up some killer dinners.
This year, Super Bowl Sunday, there was a fun and relaxed crowd at Playa de James.  Super Bowl and Carnival coincided this year, which led to a really fun evening.
After watching the game, there was (a now traditional) big foam fight between local kids and patrons of James.


  1. Poor Daisy - such a sweet girl. You might want to try and make this for her ... http://www.dog-nutrition-naturally.com/broth-recipe.html Hopefully it will help her too. Hugs to both of you.

    1. Hi Leigh!
      Thank you!!!!
      Will check it out.
      Love you guys!

  2. Oh I'm so sorry, Leigh and I know how painful it is to watch your dog struggle, but you are right. She will tell you. My vet told me this when our lab was towards the end of his life and I didn't really believe him but he was right. Marley told me when it was time. You are a good pet owner. XO

    1. Laurie,
      She is much better now, but is old and getting more frail.
      But the recent meds and other treatments have helped a lot, and she has more good days than bad (for now).
      I'm grateful for the vet (and you) who mention that our fur babies will let us know when it's time, and Daisy not ready to give up yet.

  3. I'm re-reading this now, a couple of years later.
    I'm now back in the States for almost 2-yrs now.
    When I left EC, nearly broke my heart to have to leave Daisy. But she NEVER would have liked living on a leash in the USA. She was too old to adapt to that kind of life. Too used to running free.
    She now lives with her Mama Annette. Could not have been a better match for both of them. I am so grateful!! She is in good, good hands.
    Love you Annette!
    Love you, Daisy! Miss you and think of you every day.