Saving Little Sister

Sister postop
Little Sister, very confused right after surgery and her first chemo treatment 30-Oct-09

Little Sister is a street dog who is usually seen near the mercado and the Catholic church.  She is probably about one year old.

Since Ayuda first discovered this dog we believed that she had been doing well.   She received worming and other parasite treatments right on schedule with her regular feedings by Ayuda volunteers.

This week Little Sister was sterilized and vaccinated for Rabies and local deadly diseases.

However, during her surgery, vet student Astrid discovered that Sister has a small cancerous tumor.  It is the  CTVT cancer and most likely contracted in the usual sexually transmitted way.

The good news is that Dr. Miguel believes the tumor was caught in early stages and can possibly be cured through 2 or 3 chemo treatments.  Little Sister will be fostered at the home of Selaine and Harold until her cancer has cleared.  She will use the same quarters recently vacated by former cancer patient Mamushka.

But there is much more to the story of how Little Sister made it to the operating table this week.

On the morning of Little Sister’s surgery, Selaine had arrived early for a meeting at Panajachel’s city offices, which are commonly referred to as “the Muni”.  The purpose of the meeting was to follow up on an earlier meeting during which the subject of poisoning dogs had been discussed.

As she started to walk up the front steps she noticed yet another pack of dogs working the street.  It was the all too familiar seasonal scene of a young female in heat leading a gang of crazed males.  But this time they were approaching the front of the Muni, right where Selaine was now standing, in front of the very building where a meeting would soon start to discuss the issues of street dogs and their gangs.

As the pack got closer, Selaine came to see that it was Little Sister who was out front being mounted and roughed up.  When close enough, Selaine reached down to see how Sister would react to her touch.  The terrified female was fine with this;  perhaps sensing some relief or salvation by the familiar hand.   But a large male pit was not to be compromised by the human.   He snarled and growled viciously at Selaine’s hand.

Selaine wasn’t quite sure about what to do next.  But she knew she had to get these dogs away from the Muni as quickly as she could and before other members of the meeting arrived.

In her backpack was her usual supply of dog food, and a spare leash and collar.   She thought that if she could lure Sister away with some food then perhaps she could capture her and get her to Zoo Mascota.  Pulling out a handful of kibble, Selaine started walking towards the professional building next door to the Muni.  It was working.  Sister was following her.  But so were 6 very large male dogs, including the big pit who had just growled her away from Little Sister.

The building next door has a series of exterior doors which were in their usual wide open positions.  Selaine quickly developed a plan to get Sister inside and keep the males out.  But it needed help and quick actions.   After a fast explanation of her plan, some men sitting in a waiting area helped her open and close some doors as she continued to lure Sister with food while side stepping the males.    The plan was successful, but did require Selaine taking the big handful of kibble and spray throwing it into the face of the aggressive pit.  As the pit stood in bewilderment contemplating what had just happened, the door closed in his face and Sister and Selaine were safely inside a business.

As Selaine started to put the collar and leash on Little Sister, the proprietor of the business they had just disrupted appeared and wanted to know what was going on.  Understanding and appreciative of the explanation, she showed Selaine a back door through which they might be able to make a quick getaway.  While this conversation was going on between Selaine and the proprietor the angry pit could be heard banging loudly at the front door.

Selaine and Little Sister darted out the back door and started running up the street.  However, after a few steps the little street dog seemed to question this strange thing around her neck and the purpose of her running.  So she stopped.  Which lead to coaxing, dragging, carrying, and a series of other means to quickly get as much distance as possible between Sister’s scent and the frustrated male dogs still circling the front of Las Casitas.

Amidst street calls of “Where you going with that chuch?”, Selaine was able to successfully deliver Sister to Dr. Miguel and still make it back to the Muni in time for her meeting.


Sister flower child
Little Sister, feeling more confident with flowers in her hair 31-Oct-09

The next time the big pit and his pals see Little Sister it will be “Ya no mas muchachos.”

But now that we know Sister has the CTVT cancer, the challenge is on to track down the males from the pack and quickly get them treated, as well.

All donations to help with sterilizations, vaccinations and medications, food, and special needs such as cancer treatments are gratefully accepted and guaranteed put to good use.

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