Tag: Hazel

Picture Parade One Hundred and Eighty-Seven

Today’s Picture Parade is devoted to remembering Paloma

Just five precious photographs.

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Here at Oregon, January 26th, 2014.

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This one is especially poignant as it shows (L-R) Lilly, Hazel and Paloma. All three of them are no longer with us.

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Paloma, December 29th 2011

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Such a special lady in a world of such special dogs.

Picture parade one hundred and fifty-two

In memory of a very beautiful dog: Hazel.

(Must admit that when I was posting last week’s picture parade I had no idea that today’s would be in memory of Hazel. The lesson of always trying to live in the present!)

Hazel offering such openness and love in her eyes. June, 2014.
Hazel offering such openness and love in her eyes. June, 2014.

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Pharaoh, and Hazel, Dhalia and little Sweeny. January, 2012.
Pharaoh, and Hazel, Dhalia (also no longer with us) and little Sweeny. January, 2012.

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Hazel - January, 2012.
Hazel – January, 2012.

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Hazel doing what she did so well - sleeping. April, 2013.
Hazel doing what she did so well – sleeping. April, 2013.

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The purity of a dog's heart!
The purity of a dog’s heart!
Pharaoh and Hazel saying 'Hi' through the fence to Kaycee. February, 2012.
Pharaoh and Hazel saying ‘Hi’ through the fence to Kaycee. February, 2012.

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Jeannie, Hazel and cat feeling trust for each other. November, 2015.
Jeannie, Hazel and cat feeling trust for each other. November, 2015.

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Hazel asleep alongside Cleo. May, 2014.
Hazel asleep alongside Cleo. May, 2014.

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Picture taken by our guest Don Reeve of Hazel (and me). April, 2015.
Picture taken by our guest Don Reeve of Hazel (and me). April, 2015.

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Come here, Hazel! I need some loving! October, 2013.
Come here, Hazel! I need some loving! October, 2013.

And I shall close today’s picture parade with the photograph I included in yesterday’s eulogy. For more than any other photograph this one has the camera looking deep into Hazel’s soul.

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A Eulogy for Hazel.

This dear, precious dog!

Back in March, 2014 when I was writing a series of posts about our dogs, I published a Meet the dogs – Hazel post. This eulogy consist mainly of what I wrote then, with a few minor changes to bring it up to date, and a closing thought.

Hazel

I first met Jean in Mexico; namely, in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico to be precise. Just a few days before Christmas, 2007. At that time, Jean had 16 dogs, all of them rescues off the streets in and around San Carlos. Jean was well-known for rescuing Mexican feral dogs.

In September, 2008 I travelled out to Mexico, via London-Los Angeles, with my Pharaoh. Jean and I have been together ever since. In February, 2010, because we wanted to be married and to be married in the USA, we moved from San Carlos to Payson, in Arizona; some 80 miles North-East of Phoenix.

One morning, just a few days before we were due permanently to leave San Carlos and move our animals and belongings the 513 miles (827 km) to Payson, AZ, Jean went outside the front of the San Carlos house to find a very lost and disorientated black dog alone on the dusty street. The dog was a female who in the last few weeks had given birth to puppies that had been weaned. Obvious to Jean because the dog’s teats were still somewhat extended.

The dog had been abandoned outside in the street. A not uncommon happening because many of the local Mexicans knew of Jean’s rescues over many years and when they wanted to abandon a dog it was done outside Jean’s house. The poor people of San Carlos sometimes resorted to selling the puppies for a few Pesos and casting the mother dog adrift.

Of course the dog was taken in and we named her Hazel. Right from Day One Hazel was the most delightful, loving dog and quickly attached herself to me.

The truest of love between a man and a dog!
The truest of love between a man and a dog!

Of all the dogs that we have here at home, and, trust me, many are extremely loving, my relationship with Hazel was precious beyond description. She was in Pharaoh’s ‘group’ (Pharaoh, Cleo, Sweeny, Pedy and Brandy) so slept in our bedroom at night. Most nights Hazel was tucked up against me.

Plus frequently during the day Hazel would take an interest in what I was doing, as the next photograph illustrates.

Hazel taking an interest in my potterings.
Hazel taking an interest in my potterings; March 2014.

If ever one wanted an example of the unconditional love that a dog can offer a human, then Hazel was that example. Precious creature.

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Just stay with me for a little longer.

Recently there was a documentary on the BBC about Koko the gorilla and how many hand signs Koko had learnt. As Wikipedia explains (in part):

Hanabiko “Koko” (born July 4, 1971) is a female western lowland gorilla who is known for having learned a large number of hand signs from a modified version of American Sign Language (ASL).

Her caregiver, Francine “Penny” Patterson, reports that Koko is able to understand more than 1,000 signs of what Patterson calls “Gorilla Sign Language” (GSL). In contrast to other experiments attempting to teach sign language to non-human primates, Patterson simultaneously exposed Koko to spoken English from an early age. Reports state that Koko understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English, in addition to the signs.

The reason why I mention this is at the end of the programme it is stated that Koko’s ability to communicate shows very clearly that she is capable of feelings and emotions. Indeed, the way that Koko hugs Penny is very moving.

The presenter of the BBC programme concludes how things have changed over all the years from the birth of Koko some 45 years ago to today. As in back in the ’70s’ the idea that animals had emotions was just not accepted whereas nowadays there is mounting evidence that many warm-blooded animals have emotions; are capable of emotional feelings.

Why do I mention this?

For there isn’t one shred of doubt in the minds of Jean and me that Hazel was full of feelings of love and affection towards her human friends.

That is the epitaph with which Hazel will be remembered! This is her legacy.

Picture of Hazel taken in the last twenty-four hours.
Picture of Hazel taken in March, 2014.

Hazel’s postscript.

Decisions!

In my post informing all you lovely people that Hazel had died in the early hours of Wednesday morning I included:

There has been so much interest and concern over her from you all that I wanted to post this without delay. We will be arranging to have the exact cause of death determined so that, too, may be shared with you all.

The background is that our vet, Dr. Jim Goodbrod, had been in touch with the appropriate health authority with regard to the risk of Coccidioidomycosis, the medical term for the fungal infection of Hazel’s lungs that was the first diagnosis of what was ailing Hazel. Reason why is that Coccidioidomycosis can be a danger to humans if the spores in a body are released following the corpse being open up.

The next step was that Oregon State University (OSU) expressed an interest in doing further research on Hazel’s body because Coccidioidomycosis was so rarely seen in Oregon. That would have entailed shipping Hazel’s body up to Corvallis in Oregon and then having her cremated up there.

In the end, we thought that the most dignified way of treating Hazel was to have her cremated by Stephens locally in Grants Pass. They have been very kind in keeping Hazel’s body chilled while we worked out the if’s and how’s of working with OSU.

We expect that by the end of today, Friday, our lovely dog will have been cremated.

On Saturday, I will be publishing a eulogy to Hazel and Sunday’s Picture Parade will be devoted to remembering the beautiful dog that she was.

Hazel died earlier today.

At 2:25am Pacific Daylight Time to be precise.

Jean and I were awoken around 2:15am to the sounds of Hazel having some trouble breathing.

We both were instantly out of bed and comforting her.

A little later she stopped breathing and then her heart ceased to beat. It was 2:25.

There has been so much interest and concern over her from you all that I wanted to post this without delay. We will be arranging to have the exact cause of death determined so that, too, may be shared with you all.

I will also write up an eulogy to be published in a few days time.

Thank you, dear friends.

Hazel – Further Update

Only time will provide the definite answer.

(This update would have been brought to you much earlier this week had it not been for our internet problems.)

You will recall that it was a week ago that we took Hazel to see a specialist and I posted Hazel’s Probable Disease. That evening our vet friend, Jim, brought over a supply of Prednisone tablets with the instructions to stop the Fluconazole treatment and switch to Prednisone. We started at a dosage of one 20mg tablet every 12 hours.

Hazel enjoying the cool floor of our bathroom.
Hazel enjoying the cool floor of our bathroom yesterday afternoon.

Within twenty-four hours the Prednisone had stimulated a return of Hazel’s appetite and for the last seven days she has been eating very well. Plus she has regained an interest in the world around her and now comes out for walks with the other dogs.

Jim and I went for a short hike yesterday afternoon and we were discussing Hazel. Jim reminded me that while the lung pictures and the other evidence were pointing to it being cancer the actual tumour still hadn’t been found.

If there is no noticeable decline in, say, three or four weeks then it may not be cancer. Certainly, Jim said, if it is cancer then Hazel will not live out another three months.

Time will give us the answer.

Meet the dogs – Hazel

It seemed very appropriate to republish this post that first appeared in March, 2014.

Hazel – our dog number six.

Last week Jean wrote about Casey. Slight difference this week in the sense that both Jean and I equally know the story of how Hazel came into our lives. So you are stuck with me today for the story of Hazel.

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Hazel

Picture of Hazel taken in the last twenty-four hours.
Picture of Hazel taken in the last twenty-four hours.

I first met Jean in Mexico; namely, in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico to be precise. Just a few days before Christmas, 2007. At that time, Jean had 16 dogs, all of them rescues off the streets in and around San Carlos. Jean was well-known for rescuing Mexican feral dogs.

In September, 2008 I travelled out to Mexico, via London-Los Angeles, with my Pharaoh. Jean and I have been together ever since. In February, 2010, because we wanted to be married and to be married in the USA, we moved from San Carlos to Payson, in Arizona; some 80 miles North-East of Phoenix.

One morning, just a few days before we were due permanently to leave San Carlos and move our animals and belongings the 513 miles (827 km) to Payson, AZ, Jean went outside the front of the San Carlos house to find a very lost and disorientated black dog alone on the dusty street. The dog was a female who in the last few weeks had given birth to puppies that had been weaned. Obvious to Jean because the dog’s teats were still somewhat extended.

The dog had been abandoned outside in the street. A not uncommon happening because many of the local Mexicans knew of Jean’s rescues over many years and when they wanted to abandon a dog it was done outside Jean’s house. The poor people of San Carlos sometimes resorted to selling the puppies for a few Pesos and casting the mother dog adrift.

Of course the dog was taken in and we named her Hazel. Right from Day One Hazel was the most delightful, loving dog and quickly attached herself to me.

The truest of love between a man and a dog!
The truest of love between a man and a dog!

Of all the dogs that we have here at home, and, trust me, many are extremely loving, my relationship with Hazel is precious beyond description. She is in Pharaoh’s ‘group’ (Pharaoh, Hazel, Cleo, Sweeny and Dhalia) [NB: Dhalia died in April, 2014] so sleeps in our bedroom at night. Most nights Hazel is tucked up against me.

Plus frequently during the day Hazel will take an interest in what I am doing, as the next photograph illustrates.

Hazel taking an interest in my potterings.
Hazel taking an interest in my potterings.

Very little more that can be said without the risk of repeating myself.

If ever one wanted an example of the unconditional love that a dog can offer a human, then Hazel is that example.

ooOOoo

Precious creature!

Hazel – Change of tack

Still a long way from getting to the bottom of what is ailing Hazel.

In my last post about Hazel I opened by saying:

In the last post on Hazel’s condition, back last Thursday, I passed on Dr. Codd’s observation, “… that by not having Hazel on her meds we were, of course, letting the fungal infection continue its damage.”

Dr. Codd also recommended reducing the dosage of the Fluconazole to lower its side effect of suppressing appetite.

So since then, with outstanding care and patience, Jean has been coaxing Hazel to eat just sufficient food for Hazel to be able to take the Fluconazole, for her fungal infection in her lungs, and Doxycycline, for her tick infection. (Mind you, Hazel is still a long way from eating reliably.)

That was a week ago and while, at best, Hazel is just eating sufficient to take her meds she is far from improving to any noticeable degree. But she is not eating enough food to stabilise her weight and yesterday morning Jean was worried we might lose her if we didn’t rethink what was going on.

Jean is attempting to get Hazel to eat many times each day.
Jean is attempting to get Hazel to eat many times each day.

A Sunday morning call to Dr. Jim Goodbrod brought us the advice to re-think the evidence.

  • The titre results were negative but because there are so many variants of fungal infection that was discounted.
  • The film of Hazel’s lungs show what the radiologist described as a clear case of fungal infection.
  • However, if that infection had been in the past, before Hazel was taken in by us down in Mexico, and that infection had ceased, that film could be showing scarring in the lungs.
  • The positive result for Tick Fever showed evidence of antibodies not antigens. That might be interpreted as a previous incident.

Jim liaised with Dr. Codd and it was agreed that further examinations needed to be conducted to obtain a clear, unambiguous diagnosis and that in the interim we stop giving Hazel any medications and offer her body systems a bit of a rest.

One option being discussed is to call in a mobile sonogram or ultra-sonic scanner. There is a very expert doctor in the area who uses such a mobile device and scans can be taken of Hazel’s abdomen and lungs here at home.

Because we will do everything to try and return Hazel to good health.

P1160083More information will be passed to you just as soon as it is to hand.

Hazel is pulling through!

The powerful combination of good medicine and unconditional love.

In the last post on Hazel’s condition, back last Thursday, I passed on Dr. Codd’s observation, “… that by not having Hazel on her meds we were, of course, letting the fungal infection continue its damage.”

Dr. Codd also recommended reducing the dosage of the Fluconazole to lower its side effect of suppressing appetite.

So since then, with outstanding care and patience, Jean has been coaxing Hazel to eat just sufficient food for Hazel to be able to take the Fluconazole, for her fungal infection in her lungs, and Doxycycline, for her tick infection. (Mind you, Hazel is still a long way from eating reliably.)

Yesterday, (Saturday) Hazel was showing clear signs of feeling better but still having to be hand-fed by Jean.

Then this morning (Sunday) she really was perky and readily came out for a walk with the other dogs.

First time in recent days when Hazel has shown an interest in the world around her.
First time in recent days when Hazel has shown an interest in the world around her.

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A return of a gesture unique to Hazel that we haven't seen in ages! :-)
A return of a head gesture unique to Hazel that we haven’t seen in ages! 🙂

More generally, Dr. Jim was trying to track down supporting details to the observation made by Dr. Russ:

Namely, that there was evidence that fungal infections can lay dormat for quite long periods of time.

Jim sent me the following email:

Paul  …
The following article is the one and only reference I have found so far that refers to the possible dormancy of this fungal infection.  In paragraph 2 (Clinical Disease) I have highlighted it in red.  I have to admit, I was skeptical.
Jim

The article was:

Coccidioidomycosis (Zoonotic)
Last updated on 2/4/2011.

Contributors:
Rhea V. Morgan DVM, DACVIM, DACVO

Synonyms:
San Joaquin Valley Fever
Valley Fever

This is that domancy aspect from that paper that Jim highlighted (in red):

The incubation period in the dog is 1 to 3 weeks.1,2 The organism can remain dormant, with exposure preceding the onset of clinical signs by 3 years or more.1,3 Although people may acquire the disease from the same sources as domestic animals and the mycelial forms are highly infectious, with one exception the disease has not been transmitted from animals to people. One published report exists of transmission to a veterinary assistant via the bite of an infected cat.15

Meanwhile, over in Brandy’s corner, he has very quickly healed after his neutering operation last Thursday. It was fair to say that he was not a happy chappy when he arrived home that day.

Didn't like that!
Didn’t like that!

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And I can't even lick my balls!
And I can’t even lick my balls!

But his cone was off by Saturday and he is back to the wonderful, bouncing dog we all love so much. (Can’t believe that last Saturday was only the second week that Brandy had been with us; he has so quickly woven his way into all our hearts.)

Checking out the stables yesterday (Sunday) morning.
Checking out the stables yesterday (Sunday) morning.

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Behind that placid expression is the most docile, loving brain and heart one could ever wish for!
Behind that placid expression is the most docile, loving brain and heart one could ever wish for!

Returning to Hazel we are still some way from knowing that she has returned to a fully fit dog but the love and caring sent her way by all of you out there has been precious beyond imagination.

Thank You All!

MaxMello – We Can All Help

This is a very simple message – please help MaxMello.

(Please note: To ensure the widest readership of this post I am running it for two days. I.e. the next post will be on Thursday, 11th.)

Yesterday I republished a post from John Zande. It explained how Sandra Guilarducci and her husband, Francisco, in Ibiuna, Brazil were caring for over 350 dogs and 32 cats. If you haven’t read that post then go no further in today’s post until you have read about the desparate need for funds.

Here’s a section from yesterday’s post (but please do read it in full):

food-e1454493203915Today, MaxMello burns through 5 tonnes of food every month, and a small army of vets help with reduced fees. But it all adds up. It has added up, and over this past weekend, Sandra was forced to admit that she and Francisco (weighed down with over 30,000 reis debt, about $10,000 US, to vets and pet food suppliers) had reached the point beyond which they simply could no longer afford to keep the shelter open. Sandra put out an urgent call to other NGO’s, saying she will keep the sick, the crippled, and the old (the one’s that stand little to no chance of adoption) but new shelter-homes would have to be found for the hundreds of other rescues under their care. With every NGO we know of here in Sao Paulo being already full, this is, in all honesty, an impossible situation. These are good people, and they (and their keep) are in genuine need of a hand.

Please, help keep MaxMello open and donate to the MaxMello PayPal account: associacaomaxmello@gmail.com.

But just as important as making whatever donation you can is letting Sandra and Francisco know you care.

Yesterday, Jean and I sent a letter to John for John’s wife to translate from English into Portugese as Sandra and Francisco do not speak English. We wanted them to read our letter in this post.

So this is the letter in Portugese:

Sandra e Francisco,

Aqui no sul do Oregon, hoje temos 9 cachorros e 4 gatos; há três anos, quando viemos para cá, eram 14 cães e 7 gatos. Eu simplesmente não consigo imaginar o que deve ser cuidar de 350 cachorros e 32 gatos, ainda mais divididos entre duas propriedades diferentes, separadas por 200 km!

Entretanto, Jean sabe bem o tamanho do amor e da dedicação que movem sua paixão por esses animais maravilhosos – porque ela vivia em San Carlos, no México (na Península Baja) e dedicava a vida a recolher os cachorros de rua de lá, tratando de sua saúde, dando-lhes amor e conseguindo adotantes para eles nos EUA. Ao longo de vários anos, Jean acredita ter resgatado mais de 200 cães. A alimentação e tratamento de todos esses animais foram custeados por ela e o marido, Ben, que morreu em 2005.

Foi meio por acaso que a conheci, em San Carlos, no Natal de 2007, e me via com os olhos cheios de lágrimas ao ver a afeição que os cachorros dela demonstravam ao me ver, toda vez que ia visitá-la em sua casa. E essa afeição deve ter causado um efeito profundo em mim, pois, quando voltei para a Inglaterra, em janeiro de 2008, Jean e eu percebemos que queríamos ficar juntos para o resto da vida. Mais tarde, nesse mesmo ano, ao lado do meu pastor alemão, Pharaoh, voltei para San Carlos. Não demorou muito, com 14 cachorros e 7 gatos, fomos para o Arizona, onde nos casamos, e por fim, no segundo semestre de 2012, viemos para o Oregon, onde estamos até hoje.

Pouco antes de sairmos de San Carlos, em 2010, uma cachorra foi deixada na porta de nossa casa. Era uma mestiça de rottweiler e devia ter acabado de dar cria porque ainda estava cheia de leite. Nós a batizamos de Hazel e quase de cara ela mostrou sua natureza amorosa para Jean, para mim e os outros animais. Hazel é uma inspiração para a humanidade graças ao perdão e ao amor incondicional que oferece ao mundo.

Por isso, aceite essas poucas palavras minhas e de Jean, endereçadas aos dois, como uma pequena amostra de amor e gratidão que sentimos por vocês e que certamente também serão sentidos pelos leitores e seguidores do Learning from Dogs

And here is the letter in English:

Sandra and Francisco,

Here in Southern Oregon we have 9 dogs and 4 cats, down from the 14 dogs and 7 cats when we moved here some 3 years ago. I cannot simply imagine what it must entail to care for 350 dogs and 32 cats let alone care for them in two locations seperated by 200 kms!

 

However Jean can imagine the level of love and commitment that fuels your passion for looking after these wonderful animals. For Jean, when she lived in San Carlos, Mexico (on the Baja Peninsula) devoted her life to rescuing Mexican street dogs, loving them back to health and then finding homes for them in the USA. Over the many years Jean believes she found homes for well over 200 dogs. The feeding and caring of these animals was funded personally by Jean and her late husband, Ben, who died in 2005.

 

Quite by chance, I met Jean in San Carlos the Christmas of 2007 and was moved to tears on numerous occasions by the loving affection shown by her dogs to this visitor to Jean’s home. That affection must have rubbed off on me for by the time I returned to England in January, 2008 Jean and I wanted to be together for the rest of our lives. Later in 2008, together with my German Shepherd, Pharaoh, I travelled out to San Carlos. Subsequently, with 14 dogs and 7 cats, we moved to Arizona to be married and then, in the Autumn of 2012, came up here to our home in Oregon.

 

Shortly before we left San Carlos in 2010 to go to Arizona, a female dog was dumped outside the house. She was a Rottweiler crossbreed and must have just given birth to puppies for she was still in milk. We named her Hazel and she very quickly showed her most beautiful and loving nature to Jean and me and to the other animals. Hazel is an inspiration to humankind of what flows from offering forgiveness and unconditional love to the world.

 

So please take these few words from Jean and me, sent to you both, as a small measure of the love and gratitude that we feel for you, and I know will be felt by many of the readers and followers of Learning from Dogs.

I also want to republish a comment from yesterday’s post, left by Mr. Merveilleux, because it speaks such perfect common-sense:

As Zande’s explained, the current exchange rate means donations go a very long way. Keep in mind the minimum wage in Brazil is only around £130 p/month. By skipping one little luxury this month, like going out for a meal today, and sending what one would have spent on that to the shelter, we can all make make a substantial difference to the lives of these animals.
My suggestion is for people not to just reach for the change they’ve got in the car ashtray, but consider a little, insignificant sacrifice that will do one no harm, but will have a disproportionately positive effect.
Skip one bottle of champagne, or a bottle of wine, or don’t buy flowers this week… skip any little thing that one doesn’t really *need*, and put that money to good use.

Let me move on a tad.

As is obvious to any visitors to this place in the last 6 weeks, I have just published my first book. It learningfromdogs_3dbook_500xis called Learning from Dogs, the same name as this blog. I am also donating 50% of the net proceeds from all sales of my book to our local Rogue Valley Humane Society.

However, for the whole of the month of February I shall be donating the other 50% of net proceeds to MaxMello.

So, please, buy the book and help two fabulous charities. The book is available as a paperback, priced $15.95, or either of two eBook formats, MOBI and EPUB, priced at $5:39. Full details here: Buy the Book.

Of course, you may also buy the book from Amazon or you can order it from most booksellers.

If you prefer to purchase it direct from me but do not wish to pay online, then mail me (as in Paul Handover) a cheque for $18.67 ($15.95 + P&P of $2.72) and I will send it to any part of the USA. (For overseas paperback purchasers who do not wish to pay online then email me your address details and I will respond within 48 hours.) My email address is learningfromdogs (at) gmail (dot) com

All of this is part of never forgetting how important it is to care for our dogs – they are man’s oldest companion and have devoted themselves to caring for us for possibly 40,000 years. Is it asking too much to help these dogs in Brazil in return!

P1150895
Hazel showing her love and caring for our cat, George. Both animals are ex rescues from Mexico. Picture taken last Sunday evening.