We helped the LSPCA (Lilongwe Society for Protection and Care of Animals) with their World Spay Day event last week. The team operated 138 dogs in two days and we were most impressed by the fact that all these dogs were brought into the field clinic by their owners. Imagine the difference in India where we first need to catch the dogs and record their locations and then operate and then house for a night or two and then release back to the same location. Before the team even arrived in the field clinic location, there were already some 20 people waiting with their dogs. They stood in line to be registered each and then the dogs went to the shaving tent and from there to the surgery tent and then to the recovery room from where the owners took them home as soon as they woke up. We saw some owners pushing their dog home in a wheelbarrow. As we started the days operations more and more people kept coming with their dogs and in the end of the day we had to say to the remaining people to come back next day.
Emma and Saara were very helpful, cleaning up, opening sterile glove-packages and suture-materials for the surgeons and recording anesthesia top-up times and entertaining the other volunteers with their stories from India. In the end of the day they also got to scrub in with me to help to operate a male dog. Nigel was busy as usual helping with all the logistics of dogs getting prepared and to the tables and back to recovery. Because of the crowds of children watching, the team had ‘security’ volunteers whose job was to see that audience did not cross into the security-taped area. In the end of the day the importance of this was really clear. As soon as the tape was taken down as we started to pack up the camp, some 30 children rushed in and all wanted to be in photos and just to jump and laugh and scream and wave and enjoy the moment of hulabaloo. We travelled on the open back of a pick-up truck and this was of course a big thrill for the girls. They have a habit of rating their experiences as per different TV-channels that we watch in India whenever staying in a hotel (we don’t get tv-channels at home); Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery Channel and BBC News. The traveling on the open back of the truck was ‘National Geographic’ and the rest of the days on the field surgery clinic was ‘BBC News’. Waking up in our tent with zebras galloping by as happened the week before when we were in the Kuti wildlife reserve, was obviously ‘Animal Planet’ and biking after sunset across the moonlit and firefly-lit savannah was ‘Discovery Channel.’
Olen Ilona, kolkytjarisat eläinlääkäri ja kahden ponitytön äiti. Tulin Intiaan yli kymmenen vuotta sitten vapaaehtoistyöhön ja jäin sille/tälle tielle. Blogissa kerron elämästämme ja eläimistämme Intiassa.