Here is an email I received this morning from Erin, Scabby's new mom. Sounds like he's doing great! :)-kp
It's been quite a whirlwind, but Scabby is an unbelievable dude- calm, inquisitive, sweet. The driving yesterday was quite harrowing given the distance, (Newark and back), traffic and anxiety (12 hours door to door) but we made it to the airport (after narrowly escaping several crazy-driver near accidents, almost missing exits, trying to figure out which set of directions we should use, needing gas now
and circling the airport three times trying to figure out where the United petsafe office was) just in time to get him from the flight. He was trembling a little in his crate but calmed right away when I let him out and into the car where he ate food and drank a bunch of water before we headed home. If he didn't recognize me than he at least realized I loved him and we've already bonded tremendously (he doesn't like it when I leave the room, but that will improve when he has his bearings more). Two hours into the drive home he did his business in a Connecticut Whole Foods parking lot and we went on our way... How many other dogs have traveled by boat, plane and car? He was completely mellow in the car and slept on my lap the whole way home while Cynthia drove (I drove there). I was so grateful for her companionship and help!
Turns out my intuition about his unique loveliness was spot on and is exactly the dog I fell in love with last year on the island. He doesn't bark (ever) or jump up on people, kids or dogs, is gentle in his approach to all creatures and is quite cuddly. We slept together on the day bed last night and went for a nice walk in the warm sun upon waking. He spent the day with me here at home: sleep, walk, eat, play: repeat. Currently he is sacked out under the kitchen table. He holds his tail high and is dealing with the bewildering new environment even better than I expected. Kitty is hiding upstairs. They are afraid of each other so we're keeping them separated and working on slow introductions (though he followed me up the spiral staircase twice- we had to go down the normal stairs in the barn). I think in some time they will be fine with each other. Today he made a new doggie friend, a Puerto Rican girl pup about his same age named Yoshi. He also went for a walk with our friend Margot's rescue lab, Banjo. Twice in the woods I took him briefly off leash so he could play with the doggie friends. He loves romping, chewing his stuffed lamb toy and wearing his new Burberry coat from Auntie Cynthia. Today we were visited by Auntie Cynthia and Claire as well as Sarah, Ian and Luca and Margot with Maxine and Banjo and he has many fans and people waiting to meet him- the talk of the town!
Tomorrow we go to the vet to take care of whatever needs treating. He has a slightly runny eye and is still missing some fur and itching a bit. He needs a bath but I held off today because it seemed daunting for both of us. I'm incredibly tired (four nights of poor sleep) but in such awe and gratitude that he is here. Thank you Kristin for being such a mover/shaker. Thank you to all of your for your incredible support, it's been tremendous.
Here's the PHOTOS!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/83651000@N07/8247665635/
Those who haven't been following Scabby's tale since the beginning may not know just how far he has come and how incredible it is that he is now living comfortably in the US after all he has been through. Check out the pictures below to see pictures of Scabby (both healthy and sick) over the past year! When we found him, Scabby was the worst-off dog any of us had ever seen. Hopefully this will inspire others to rescue a dog in need, no matter how hopeless their condition may seem. It hasn't been easy but rehabilitation IS possible and it has been so rewarding to see the positive change in Scabby's health and personality over the past year.
Well folks, the moment we have all been waiting for is here: Scabby has made it all the way from Red Frog Beach, Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro, Panama to Carlisle, Massachusetts, USA! I was able to get all of Scabby's paperwork together on Monday and most importantly, get his ticket booked and confirmed! We spent the day going for some long walks around our hotel and hanging around the hotel room watching TV (me) and chewing on bones (him) during an afternoon rainstorm. We were up before dawn on Tuesday morning to catch a cab to the airport at 5:30 am. After sitting through a ton of traffic we finally arrived to the cargo entrance at the airport and completed the final paperwork, got Scabby all set up in his crate with his blanket, water bottle and food bowl. It was sad to say goodbye and I shed a few tears (awkwardly in front of all the people working at the cargo dock...), gave him a little rub on the nose between the crate bars and wished him a safe journey. I headed back to the hotel and he headed towards his flight. Crazy thing is that he arrived safe and sound in Newark before I even boarded the 4 pm flight back to Bocas that afternoon!
Erin picked him up on the other end and headed back to Massachusetts with reports that he was doing really well, eating, drinking and napping in the car. This morning I got some more pictures of him in his new element and a report that has already made friends with a fellow latino-pup from Puerto Rico! He is adjusting well and will go see the vet tomorrow.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped get Scabby to where he is today, I am so grateful for all of the generosity and help from the many people who have crossed paths with Scabby in the past year. I especially want to thank Erin Jade for falling in love with Scabby and sticking with the dream to adopt him over all of these long hard months; Gary Osborne for all of his help and care for Scabby from the beginning; Vet Nicholas Aguero for everything he has done for us as we tried to figure out what was ailing Scabby in the beginning, for saving his life and taking such good care of him this past September and for putting in hours on the phone calling all over Panama to make sure that I would be able to get the necessary exit papers quickly and easily during my one day in Panama City; Jill Hughes for donating the crate that Scabby traveled in; Ruben, my cab driver in Panama City for hauling me all over the city and sharing his experience and knowledge of sending pets internationally so that I didn't have to figure out where to go and what to do on my own; Chris Mein for supporting me from the beginning; Katherine Panke for starting the dog blog and helping me take care of Scabby in the beginning; our volunteers who have helped care for Scabby during their time at Palmar--especially Lars Adams, Alex Paulson, Lauren Panke & Ben Hawkins; Jackie Dettliing for valuable remote veterinary advice; and especially everyone who has ever donated to the Healthy Scabby Fund either at Palmar or online, your generosity really means a lot to me and you helped save Scabby's life!
Scabby is quite photogenic. Pipa not so much...
Scabby watching TV in the hotel room
After months and months of talking about sending Scabby to America, it really is finally happening! Scabby spent his last day at Red Frog Beach playing with all of his dog friends, napping on "his" sofa, eating treats and being forced into multiple photo shoots. When the time came, we loaded up the wheelbarrow with his crate and headed to the dock to catch a boat to the airport. Chris, Lauren, Ben and Pipa all came to bid Scabby farewell. Pipa watched us go from the dock until we were out of sight, she knew something weird was up and I'm sure is already missing her best friend Scabby. We caught a 5 pm flight to Panama City and Scabby emerged on the other end a bit shaken by the experience of being loaded in a box, stuck on a plane and being zoomed off to an unknown destination but it was good practice for his big flight tomorrow! Once we arrived and settled into the hotel (Casa Albrook--I highly recommend it!) he was finally able to relax again.
It turns out that yesterday was the one year anniversary of when we had to put Tibu to sleep after her accident. It is interesting how far we have come since then and while it is sad to be saying goodbye to another of our beloved pets I do believe that we have made the right decision for his sake to get him out of the jungle. At least this time around I know that the goodbye is not forever and that one day we can go visit him in his new home in Massachusetts. I can't think of how funny it would be in a few years to take Pipa on a road trip up to see him. I'm sure they would be right back at their usual antics in no time with Pipa trying to sit on Scabby as he squeezes under her to bite at her ankles.
Scabby's new mom, Erin, is eagerly waiting to pick him up tomorrow in New York. She sent out a very heartfelt email updating friends and family about where we are on this crazy journey, here is a little except:
Despite physical challenges, his spirit is adaptive, cheerful and dear, as if he is grateful for any little bit of respite and warm attention from willing sentient beings. He smiles. If he could talk he'd say, c'mon guys, let's have fun! Really, he's a trooper, and I fell in love with his palpable sweetness. I had a vision for him from the moment we met, love at first pet (he was camped out under the beach chair, sleeping) envisioning him joining my tribe and of writing and telling his story to share with kids (adults too). He would make, I thought right away, an amazing therapy dog and I pictured us running through the woods together and him sleeping in my studio while I give massages, curled up on a bed next to my heater.
I am so happy that he is going to such a loving, caring person that I know will provide an amazing new life for him that is hopefully much healthier than his first year battling everything the jungle threw at him. While the thought of Scabby as an American dog, wearing a little jacket and romping around in the snow still seems kind of ridiculous (you should hear how our local workers at Palmar laughed when we told him where he was going), he is incredibly adaptable and I'm sure will adjust quickly. As long as he has someone to love him he will be okay :)
Today is a big day of getting together the final documents needed for his travel. I will say that normally I don't mind how slow and inefficient things are in Panama but in this situation when I actually need to do something serious with a deadline I have never been so stressed out with how difficult things can be here! Oh well, good thing I have had 4 years of intensive "patience training" (living in Panama) to help me keep my cool, haha! Wish me luck!
Well I am a terrible blogger and havent updated this for about 5 months now but will give you all the basic summary of whats been going down lately:
June: Scabby is doing awesome for the first couple week, super healthy!
Late June: A little scab spot shows up on his cheek and within a week he has fully relapsed into a full scale fungus/mange infection despite our attempts to keep it from spreading. He lost a lot of hair and was really smelly from the skin fungus despite having medicated baths every other day.
June/August: Scabby was getting better after the infection and his hair was growing back. We hoped to take him with us to the states at the end of August but he wasn't healthy enough.
September:Sc Scabby's condition got worse and one night he scratched his neck and ear completely raw. This became infected (as everything does in this climate) and Scabby got VERY sick. I was in the US and the reports from our friends in Bocas were that they were worried Scabby was going to die. He wouldn't eat, couldn't walk and wouldn't come out of the closet. We arranged for the vet to go out to Palmar and pick him up and take him to the clinic in Changuinola where he stayed for the next 25 days! Fortunately he received excellent care while in Dr. Nick's care and was nursed back to health from the brink of death. We knew he was a trooper and are so happy he pulled through!
Mid October: Scabby came home to Palmar from the vet's and has been getting better every day! He is on a diet of fancy salmon based dog food for dogs with skin problems and we apply an antifungal/antibacterial cream to his problem areas every morning and night.
He is doing so great that we have decided it is finally time to send him off to his new mom, Erin, in the United States this December! We hope that everything comes together and we can get him sent up to Boston before he has another relapse as has been the trend every other time he has gotten healthy.
In other news: Pipa is gigantic and just turned 1 on November 1. Dante is back and plays every day with Pipa & Scabby on the beach. He also seems to be spending more and more time in the great house. Dracula is pregnant again for the 2nd time in 6 months...wish we got her in to the spay panama clinic! Next time...
So now you are all updated! Enjoy some dog pics from the last few months :)
After 5 weeks away it was SO great to come back to a big loving puppy welcome from Pipa and Scabby! Our friends Mike & Hanna not only took great care of the tent lodge for us during our vacation but also took great care of the dogs! The mange on Pipa's face has cleared up and she has grown a LOT. Scabby's fur is completely grown back and is soft and shiny, he looks great! Pipa is now 7 months old and Scabby is somewhere around 1 year.
My apologies to everyone for leaving you all hanging in suspense over the past month and a half regarding Scabby's fate! I believe more or less where we left off was that Scabby got fixed at the clinic and we were hoping he could travel with us back to the US to be adopted by Erin.
WELLLLLL things didn't go quite according to plan, here is what happened:
Scabby and Pipa both came home from the clinic and settled in at Palmar to recover from their surgeries and be spoiled with lots of treats and love while their wounds healed. Pipa did great. Scabby's recovery, on the other hand, did not go quite as smoothly. Remember how we wanted to bring the beach strays to the clinic with us? Well in the preceding days none of them were anywhere to be found. The day after the clinic ended, however, we found that what we came to call the "dog gang" had decided to make the beach at Palmar hump-central--Dracula had gone into heat and there were now about 4 male dogs that followed her EVERYWHERE. (She was not pregnant before like we though but she definitely is now....)
We had never really gotten serious first hand experience with the whole chemistry and play by play of a dog being in heat and being pursued by a bunch of males. All these dogs were under the spell of her scent and more were showing up every day--I swear the could smell her all the way from Bastimentos Town as we were surprised to see that Dante had even come back from his new home there to join the fun. We were having to chase the gang away with sticks because they were running around like crazies at Palmar and sneaking into our house to try and steal Pipa and Scabby's food!
So how does Scabby fit into all of this? Since he had been fixed only 2 days earlier, Scabby's hormones hadn't quite caught up with the physical fact that he could no longer be a baby daddy to Ms. Dracula. I woke up in the morning to Chris yelling up to me, "Kristin! Bring the camera! Scabby is stuck in Dracula!!" and when I went out to the beach there they were, stuck together butt to butt with the other dogs all laying around just waiting for their turn. So while it was great for Scabby to get some (and great that we had just gotten him fixed so he wasn't actually knocking her up) it was a bit too soon for sex after his operation and he managed to rip open his stitches and cause some other problems which I'm sure you don't want me to go into detail about, it is quite graphic and gross.
I took him to the vet for what was SUPPOSED to be the appointment to get his medical forms signed for travel but turned into more of a consultation for what the heck we were going to do with poor scabby and his troubled nether regions. United Airlines apparently won't accept dogs with recent evidence surgery (I guess people smuggle drugs through pets??) so while Pipa was basically already completely healed we were back to stage one with Scabbers. He went to spend a few days with Dr. Nick in Changuinola to heal up (he wanted us to keep him in a sand free, clean environment which was NOT happening at Palmar!) and came back to us looking much better but unable to travel with us.
It was a roller coaster ride of emotions trying to figure out if he would stay or go but the little guy got to stick around Red Frog and keep Pipa company while we were home for 5 weeks. The dog gang ultimately left Palmar and went back to their respective homes or sections of beach once Dracula was finished. We haven't seen her yet since returning but she should be having the puppies sometime soon!
The latest plan is to send Scabby on a direct flight from Panama City to New York where Erin will meet him on the other end, hopefully we'll be able to plan this to happen sometime in June!
Scabby, Dracula & John the Brown Dog
The Spay Panama Clinic was a HUGE success! Over 100 local animals were fixed by the fantastic team of vets and assistants from Panama City. Pipa and Scabby both did great and are already back up and about living their beach doggie lives as usual :) Thank you so much to everyone who made donations through this page, your money went a long way to help reduce the stray population in Bocas! Also a big thanks to Casie Dean for her hard work and organization that made the clinic possible!
Thank you to everyone who donated online for the upcoming Spay Panama Clinic! Enough funds have been raised and the date has been set for April 12 & 13. It will be held in the old HOPSA building right by the park in Bocas Town. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your pets for their appointment! Again the price is $25 per dog and $12 per cat. That price includes the sterilization operation, deworming, cleaning of ears, spray against fleas & ticks, injection of vitamins, and a 3 year rabies vaccination. If your animal is already fixed they can get all the extras still for the same price.
If you have friends or neighbors that may not be able to afford to bring their pet to the clinic please get in touch as there has been a significant amount of money raised to sponsor these animals!
At Red Frog we have the extra funds for at LEAST 6 animals and will be getting in touch with our neighbors in the local Indian community to try and encourage them to bring in their pets to the clinic. We will provide free round trip transport on our boat from Red Frog to Bocas for those who are bringing in their animals to the clinic. We will also try to lure some of our beach dog friends to get them on the boat to the clinic as well.
In other news--we think Scabby's incessant humping MAY have resulted in him becoming a father so this clinic can't happen soon enough! More details and pictures to come but this little black dog, Dracula, that hangs around Palmar at night and has been spotted on numerous occasions with Scabby in hot pursuit. She now appears to be preggo (not very far along) so we will try to bring her to the clinic as well for confirmation.