|I worked in Mexico a large part of 2016, and early 2017.
Sometime during mid-November,2016, I started seeing a dog hanging around in the industrial complex where our manufacturing facility is located (very near the GM plant in Saltillo, Mexico). She was in poor condition, showing a significant mange condition. I managed to feed her from a vending machine on several occasions (pork rinds was the closest thing I could identify that she might eat). After several of these encounters, I bought a bag of dog food to start feeding her. I was never able to get close enough to actually feed her any dog food. I did however, observe a security guard ride near her on a scooter, and take a swipe at her with his boot. Very soon after that, I came home for Thanksgiving.
When I returned after Thanksgiving, I did not see her. I did not see her the entire month of December or January. I assumed the worst. I did not know if she had been picked up, run over somewhere, or just died of exposure. I felt bad, but there was nothing I could do. I kept dog food in the car, and fed a variety of other strays as the weeks passed.
During the 2nd week of February, I saw her in the distance. I rolled the dice and started leaving food next to the curb across the street from my work location. Each day, the food was gone, so I would leave more. Within a week, she started waiting at that location. Usually when I returned to work after lunch, she would be waiting. One day she scared me. As I approached her normal waiting spot, I could see her lying in the road. For a brief second I thought I had caused her to get run over. As I drove by, she raised her head. I stopped across the street, and she came to me to get her dinner. I am not sure if she was absorbing heat from the pavement, or just being sure I did not miss her. In any event, it became a normal thing, except it started being 8 a.m. when she was waiting for me. And she eventually started waiting on the corner where I fed her. Her skin condition had worsened considerably since November. I knew I would not be in Mexico too much longer, and started agonizing what might happen to her when I left.
One day late in February, she just sniffed her afternoon snack (did I mention it became a twice daily thing?), and tried to follow me. I think I made up my mind at that second that she deserved something better.
I asked several of my Mexican friends to start looking for a rescue. A number of calls were made, but rescuing a dog in her condition is just not done in Mexico. The rescue center with which I was able to communicate with was full, and definitely not wanting to foster her based on pictures I posted online. They considered it because of my willingness to pay, but it was not a labor of love, for sure. And I understand. There are thousands and thousands of dogs living on the street in Mexico. Many of them get run over, or disappear for whatever reason.
So, on Sunday, March 5, I visited the Petco located near my apartment in Saltillo. I spoke to the vet, and she seemed very happy to help. She agreed I could bring the dog that day. I bought some rubber gloves (I had no idea about her condition) and went to our normal meeting spot. I was not aware, but a security guard across the street had been monitoring my feeding activities. When I arrived that afternoon, he coaxed her out of a hiding spot, and she came to me. I asked if it was his dog, to which he responded no, and I told him I was taking her to the vet. He put on a pair of gloves, and we gently lifted her into my car. She was surprisingly calm for a dog that had been living on the street for at least four months. I drove straight to Petco.
When we arrived, I put a leash on her, and led her to the front door of the Petco store. At the front door, she froze. I could not move her without dragging her, which I was not willing to do. While I was trying to coax her to the clinic, someone went running to get the vet. The vet hurried to us and just scooped her up and carried her to the clinic. This can be seen on the video I took. Having seen pictures of other rescues, I decided to do the same. The dog was frightened, but not frantic. There was no growling, snapping, nothing. She just sort of endured everything that followed.
She quickly came to feel comfortable in a kennel. On Monday morning, the vet analyzed her skin condition and stool. She sent a blood sample to the lab. On Tuesday, the lab and other test results were in. The dog (by this time my grandson has named her Isabella) is suffering from skin parasites (not too hard to see that) but nothing else. By the time I got the news, she received her first treatment (I had assured the vet and vet tech that I would be paying, and not to wait for approval, just go ahead and treat). They took me at my word, and Isabella got a medicated bath. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I got the news. The vet told me she would make a full recovery.
From here on, I am just making periodic entries so I can remember what happened;
March 5, 2017 (~2:30p) - picked up Isabella and carried her to the animal hospital at Petco in Saltillo, Mexico. Arrived about 3p, at which time she was examined, and prepared to go in a kennel.
Monday, March 6 - skin, stool, and blood samples are taken. No results known. Isabella is uncomfortable outside the kennel. I start feeding her a few treats at each visit.
Tuesday, March 7 - all test results are in, Isabella is suffering from skin parasites and nothing else. Before I visit her in the afternoon, she has already received her first treatment. She is walking around the treatment area with a towel over her to keep her warm. Her cage is being cleaned. I pay her bill up to this point. It is surprisingly reasonable.
Wednesday, March 8 - She is very weak when I visit her at lunch. I feel very bad. I am actually worried about my decision. The vet tries to explain it is normal, but seeing her so weak breaks my heart. She will not even take a treat. She looks much better when I return after work. Treats are devoured. She still prefers to stay in the kennel. I guess she feels safe there.
Thursday, March 9 - I am returning to the US for six days. I only get to visit her for a few minutes before I have to leave for the airport. I actually see some tail wags. I feed her a number of treats. She is as lively as I have ever seen her. I am feeling better. She is scheduled for another treatment on Friday. Though I cannot visit her, the vet has promised to send pictures of her daily. I remind them not to wait for approval if she needs something. I will take care of it.