I wished my remembrance of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001 was something more somber and adequate to the horrible tragedy that passed that day. However, I was passing a normal Sunday here in Honduras. You know, washing some clothes in the pila, cleaning the house and running around the corner to the pulperia (small neighborhood market) to grab some eggs and rice for lunch.
As I came back into the yard I saw my dog, Frijoles, and called her to come as per the usual when I get home. She ran over and immediately fell to my feet whining and crying. Completely bewildered as to what her problem was I noticed she was keeping her left eye shut. The eye was very watery and was starting to have some weird discharge gathering. Due to this event I recently learned how strong I am in my own crisis. I’m a rock when it comes to helping others out, but seeing Frijoles suffering and upset was killing me and I nearly panicked.
My first call was to another Peace Corps friend whose dog had died after eating poison. By this point I’d put some eye drops (yes, the kind for humans) in Frijoles’ eye and brought her inside. She’d gotten very lethargic and was just lying there whining and had also begun drooling. When I finally got my friend on the phone I start crying and asked her to tell me the story of what happened when her dog got poisoned, even though I’d heard it multiple times. That helped to reassure me that Frijoles hadn’t been poisoned. My friend was with one of her Honduran friends and his advice was to give her milk. Frijoles simply ignored the milk I put in front of her, which worried me even more, since she usually goes crazy for any “human food”.
My next call was to my stepmom since she’s always had dogs and I figured she’d know what to do. Luckily she was at home and was able to find information on homeopathic medicine for dogs on the Internet, something I can’t do from home here in Honduras. At first she’d thought it was possibly parvo or distemper, but Frijoles has been vaccinated against both of those. With those ruled out and having the information that it was an eye problem the best information was to make a saline solution and flush Frijoles’ eye.
I set water to boil and then called my friend who had given me Frijoles. She passed me on to her mom who also suggested a saline solution. Two for two with the saline solution, so I knew I was on the right track. My friend’s mom also said I should visit the “vet” (who, as far as I’m aware, hasn’t actually studied veterinary medicine but has dedicated herself to the care of animals) Monday, since naturally everything is closed on Sundays here in Pueblo-ville, Honduras. I thanked her, finished making the saline solution and flushed Frijoles’ eye. That was all I could do for the day.
First thing Monday when I checked Frijoles’ eye it was completely covered by a white layer, very much resembling a cataract. “She’s gone blind in this eye,” I told myself. Putting her on the leash and taking her to the vet, she confirmed my thought and said, “She’s lost the vision in that eye.” It made me sad to think my poor Frijoles would live the rest of her life one eyed, but at least she was alive. The vet gave Frijoles a series of antibiotic shots (which are more common than pills here) and as I took her home I passed by my friend’s house, the one who I’d called the day before. They looked at the eye and said, “You need to make a solution of urine and honey and put drops of that in her eye. It worked for Jorge’s dog out in San Marcos.”
Willing to give it a shot, I started running around town trying to find natural honey and a dropper. The urine…well, that was another story. My friend has a two year old kid who is potty training so, I think that’s how we got that ingredient. I take the honey to my friends and ask if they could also happen to watch Frijoles that night since I was heading into Tegucigalpa to catch the Raiders on Monday Night Football (they won, so it made the trip totally worth it). They said sure and I took off for the capital.
Getting home on Tuesday morning I picked Frijoles up along with the new honey/urine solution and the instructions of giving her a few drops twice a day. In the two and a half weeks since her incident, I think I’ve given Frijoles the drops maybe five times. However, every time I see my friends and they ask if I’m still giving the drops I tell them I am. Frijoles eye is also almost back to 100%. As to what happened no one will ever know. There is one small white spot on the bottom edge of her iris, but aside from that the white cover is nearly gone. Maybe it was a bee or wasp sting, maybe she actually ran into something, maybe a toad or tarantula spit some venom at her. I’ll never now, since it happened in the ten minutes I was gone to the store. And what’s made it better? Maybe it was time, but maybe there is something to be said for that home remedy of a urine/honey solution. I’ll also never know since I didn’t administer the drops according to schedule.
While the whole thing is full of mystery, I’m just glad my ‘ol dumb girl, Frijoles, is almost back to being perfectly healthy again and her sweet natured self. Hopefully she learned her lesson to stay away from whatever it was that got her in the first place. Go figure, I try to take good care of her and something like this happens. I’m sure I’ve mentioned our saying before, “Honduras always wins.” It’s true; Honduras has racked up a ton of points against me, but when she starts messing with my dog that’s just not cool. Not cool at all Honduras!
|Frijoles on Monday, Sep. 12 - the day after her incident|
|Close up of her bad eye looking like she'd lost her vision|
|Normal eye also Moday, Sep. 12|
|Frijoles today - Friday, Sep. 30|
|Close up of her bad eye also today - Friday, Sep. 30. Almost all better!|
On a side note October starts the seven month countdown for finishing my Peace Corps service. It’s a little crazy to think I’ve got twenty months behind me, but that’s the truth of it. To anyone who’s been a faithful reader all these twenty months, thanks so much!
Hasta la proxima vez…