My visit to the Dominican Republic
diary of a journey
(08/28 - 09/14/2012)
On the road with Tanya and Tom
In the reports about our spay and neuter clinics I’ve often written about the amazing work Tanya and Tom do in their community outreach program. Now I shall accompany them for the first time ! Tanya and Tom are looking after about 700 dogs right now, numbers increasing steadily. They have divided the area they work in into 7 zones, with about 100 animals in each, which they visit once or twice a month. They are practically every second day on the road, in addition to running animals back and forth during clinics where Tom helps with the surgery preparations as well while Tanya is taking all these wonderful photos without which my reports would be unthinkable.
Tanya and Tom take me to one of the poorest areas. Also they take a tool box along, filled with similar contents as mine when I go to Sosúa beach.
First of all we visit „Shelf girl“. She got her name from sleeping on a shelf that stood there in the street for a while.
This lady has a pregnant bitch. She wants to have her spayed but not before the puppies are born. She projects her own maternal feelings onto her bitch. Tom has to accept that. It's a nice thought but leaves the A.A.A.S. with yet another litter of young dogs to care about.
The kids follow us everywhere. Again and again they tug at our sleeves, dragging us to hidden corners, or bring animals along: “Here is still a dog, and there is a cat!” Nobody shall be forgotten.
All eyes are fixed on Tanya while she is giving this little cat its monthly dosis Ivermectin.
Tanya and Tom gave here once a birthday party for one of the children, with about 50 little guests…
Around a corner I meet Geoffrey, a tremendously kind but chained up Rottweiler. Tanya reassures me: Geoffrey is taken for walks (which unfortunately doesn’t hold true for all chained dogs I’ve seen here). The owners are scared that the precious purebred may be harmed or stolen when running loose on its own. Not for the first time during this journey I strongly feel the need to bring a dog trainer down here one day within the concept of future educational programs to show people that their wonderful viralatas are just as smart and valuable as any purebred , so they will take pride in their local dogs , thus strengthening the bond between people and their animals. (Geoffreys welcome was an explosion; therefore none of the photos of him turned out.)