After many days of insufferable cold and a weekend full of rain, little Negra continued to trudge forward. It is apparent that our neighbor held true to his promise that when it rained he brought her inside, as she was dry, if no plumper, than when we left her on Friday and still had her fleece on. I fed her yesterday around lunchtime, and she had too much difficulty getting up, so she ate all of her food while lying on her side basking in the warmth of the sun… Another night of cold hit us yesterday, and I was up half the night worrying about her safety and how cold she must have been.
This morning, Laura and I fed the dog(s – as it were) early, around 10. Negra ate almost all of her food, but was joined by a neighbor mother dog and her two puppies (cachorros, as they are called in Paraguay) who ate furiously alongside her. When she had finished, Negra left the crew to sit across the street to watch us and was visibly trembling from the cold. My heart shattered. The little fleece I bought her, I knew, was nothing that could stand up to dropping temperatures and wind. I knew she couldn’t last another freezing night out on the street with all of her ailments, and called on the help and support of my office mates to bring her to a vet to be cleaned up and kept in the warmth for a couple of nights, at least until the cold spell has past.
We managed to find a vet that was not outrageously overpriced per night, (30,000 PYG which is about $6 USD,) where they would be able to give her a test for Leishmaniasis (warning, disturbing medical ailment,) remove all the ticks and fleas from her coat, as well as to rid her of parasites, give her a bath, and most importantly give her food and a warm place to sleep. I can’t tell you how it killed me to see her terror at being summoned to the truck for the vet. With a face as sweet and sad as hers, and the recognition of what was happening in her eyes as she tried to quickly limp away, god it was awful. But I have to trust that this was the best thing for her, even if it makes me sad to think of her in a strange and scary place, and in a cage – as opposed to the open air she is used to wandering. As Fatima has pointed out to me numerous times, she is much better off there and will hopefully get some much needed sleep out of the cold and the rain that is supposed to fall all day tomorrow.
Please keep your finger’s crossed for this brave girl. She has been through so much and keeps powering through. She deserves to grow into a ripe old dog comfortably, and hopefully a little plumper.