Clavo the clavo.
So Clavo has been looking for trouble once again. Everyone tells us his name (slang for trouble-maker) has been well deserved recently. We went to Leon for the day yesterday and left the dog and cat outside in the backyard. We figured Clavo wouldn’t try to get out since last time he tried to escape an iron fence fell on his arm and he broke a bone. Well, we got home yesterday afternoon to find the cat solo in the backyard. We both of course immediately set off on the trek of the enormous backyard calling his name and looking in every possible space. We saw no sign of him or of where or how he could have gotten out. So we naturally came to the conclusion that he got stolen. In the States that possibility would never even cross our mind, but here it is unfortunately commonplace, especially if the dog is healthy looking. People tell us they steal dogs and cut their ears and tails and make them mean. So knowing all that we get back in the house and I sit down on the hammock and have a good cry. I’d call it a break down. Once I was over that, we decided to hop on the bikes and begin a search, hoping for the best, but knowing the whole time someone had grabbed him and was now claiming him as their own. That wouldn’t be such a horrible prospect if the people here actually fed and took care of their animals. We both imagined him tied up in someone’s yard wasting away from a rice-only diet, being eaten alive by ticks and getting kicked around here and there. Not a happy thought.
So we spent about two hours up and down streets asking everyone we saw about him. No one had seen him, which we thought was strange because since he currently has a broken bone, he walks really strange and is very noticeable. As the search went on, the number of searchers grew. By now, Clavo is well known in the community. We take him everywhere with us, so most people know him. Mas and I often joke that people like him more then us because we walk by and people say, “Clavo, Clavo, Clavito…” and not a word to us. So by the time it was dark, we had about 12 kids on bikes and on foot, plus everyone we knew in every barrio of Malpaisillo. Unfortunately, Clavo was not found last night, and we went to bed worrying about him.
One nice thing that came out of all this was the help we received from everyone. We went home after the search and within minutes we had a stream of friends at the house trying to cheer us up. We didn’t say goodnight to the last friends until 11:00. They knew that by keeping us company we wouldn’t be all alone and thinking about the poor dog. We woke up this morning feeling crummy, but I managed to get out of the house and bike around again for a few hours. Mas stayed home to wash clothes. (We can only wash in the mornings these days because the power goes out at 7:00 every day and a few hours later the water goes out too.) After a few hours of no leads, I pull up to the house to find our old neighbor at the front door talking to Mas. She came to tell us that CLAVO CAME TO HER HOUSE! I was so happy I cried right in front of her! She said he showed up and went right under the bed. So we went to our old house and there he was, crying like mad when he saw us. We discovered two huge wounds on two of his good legs, which lead us to think he had quite a night. He’s now safe at home and the whole ordeal is over. Now we just have to find a decent vet to fix his bone…
August 21, 2007: Well, that good vet was thankfully found. We owe a lot of thanks to a fantastic vet at Leon’s veterinary school, Dr. Daniel Morales. This man is the first vet we have consulted (he’s the fourth) who actually knows what he is doing. Early in the morning he took one look at the foot and told us to go get an x-ray. Well, easier said then done, as we soon found out. The first place we went refused to x-ray him because he is a dog. So after much searching, we found a place that was willing but they of course had no power until 2:00. (Yes, even a medical clinic in the city of Leon is affected by the power-outages.) We found a nice restaurant to wait with the dog for four hours, and then we went to get an x-ray. By the way, the whole day was really rainy due to hurricane Dean out in the Caribbean, so getting him in and out of taxis all the time was a mess! The lady at the x-ray clinic almost refused to help us because he didn’t have a muzzle, but we convinced her that he is nice and she finally agreed. The x-rays were easy and once we got the results it was obvious even to a three year-old that he had some very broken bones. Both the radius and the ulna were badly fractured, and he had developed a lot of calcification due to the fact that the breaks happened so long ago.
Off in the rain we go, back to the Doctor’s office. By now it’s around 4:00 and of course, once we get there, he is gone. They offered to let us leave Clavo there in their operating room overnight. We left him there and headed back to Malpaisillo, where our sweet site-mate Brie had soup and quesadillas waiting!
August 22, 2007: Mas and I headed in to Leon bright and early to arrive at the school at 8:00. The first thing we did when we got there was let the dog out for the longest pee I have ever seen. We think it was over a minute and a half. The doc told us his plan, which surprised even us! He explained in great detail that since so much time had gone by since the fracture occurred, he would have to operate. He planned to take out the mass of tissue that had formed, as well as cut a centimeter off his radius bone since it was healing improperly. He would also put in two nails (clavos in Spanish!) and then wrap it all up. So we said okay, and four hours and $100 later, Clavo had gotten himself into another clavo and now had two clavos in his leg! He’s home now resting and sleeping off the anesthesia. We’re not looking forward to all the stares and questions once the neighborhood gets wind of what the gringos did to Clavo!