Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 20th, 2011

So it's been a while since my last post. During that time I've been struggling with a few culture clashes here. Right after I brought the dog back I used one of my bathroom towels for her to lay on. The housekeeper, cook, and both Director's freaked out about it. The rest of my day was something out of Office Space where I had three different bosses telling me the same thing. Apparently this towel thing was a pretty big deal! Not only had I ruined the towel but I quite possibly gave everyone "dog diseases" by mixing up the contaminated towel with other "human" towels when I washed them in the washing machine. The rest of the day I heard comments such as "don't wash your dog's bowl in the human sink," and "you don't know what your dog has and she is sick and diseased." It was to say the least very frustrating, especially coming from a place where it's common to feed your dog leftovers from your plate and let them sleep in your bed. The whole situation kind of left a bad taste in my mouth about being here. Within a few days however, I came around and realized I am in a different country and they have different ideas etc. So now I wash my dog's bowl in my bathroom sink, only let her lick my plate if no one is around, and wash her towels with my laundry at night : ) They're happy and I'm happy and hopefully as my dog heals they will come around and realize that there's not too much to fear as far as dogs go as long as you have soap and water.

Unfortunately as soon as I decided to put our differences aside another roadblock came up. This week I learned that the government's way to eradicate stray dogs in Belize is to put out meat laced with strychnine all around town. This is wrong on so many levels. I will only briefly touch on the subject in case anyone reading this doesn't see anything wrong with this.
A. It doesn't just effect stray dogs, it effects people (it only takes a second for a small child to touch that meat and then put it's hands in it's mouth), wildlife, people's cats, and in a lot of cases dogs that are owned by someone. B. It's a horribly slow and painful death. Do you think people want to visit a country where animals are half dead in the streets?  Ok so you get the picture. So for a long while I just sat in my room thinking about how I had chosen the most inhumane place on earth to live in. Then I realized that sitting around being upset about it wasn't going to help me or the animals. So I sprung into action! Well actually I went to the kitchen and made myself a beverage and devised a plan. I then proceeded to start a petition to stop this poisoning
I also emailed every animal rights group I could think of and received some very helpful info on alternatives to reducing the stray population. As I spoke with local people here I realized most of them were opposed to the poisoning and honestly after a while I didn't even blame the government as much. This is for the most part a poor country and their is human suffering because of this. I don't think the government is uncaring I just think they have a million other things that are also messed up that they are trying to fix. I am of course giving them the benefit of the doubt and for all I know they are all corrupt pieces of garbage.
  So it was a long week filled with its ups and downs. I have learned a lot though I think. In the past I would've just stayed angry and hated everyone, but as I learn things about myself I also learn better ways to deal with situations that arise. And on a good note, my dog is doing much better and even looks like a normal dog now!!

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