September 30, 2009

One more time!

The night blooming amaryllis in my garden bloomed again, the third time this year. I had written it off and Carmen had cut it's leaves back a month ago. Then they sprang back and three days ago, I noticed the flower stem.
The night before last, it almost, almost was in bloom as I came home from Miguel's. Last night, it was in its glory. Will I get one more this year?
Isla Mujeres' growing environment continually surprises me. Can't grow dill without a lot of planning. Lettuces go in now. Tomatoes -wait, there as a tomato plant close to the amaryllis. I'll got check.

September 28, 2009

Dog tired!

Boca blogs:
I am pooped! Big world out there. Mommie let me watch her plant lettuce seeds, then she and Sergio left and came back. They put me in the pet carrier and next thing I know, I'm at Lucien's with his mommie Lorena.
No one told me about cats. I never saw a cat before. I played jungle with them in the garden, but it was scarey. They are bigger than me. I am just a little puppy!
When Lucien the poodle took me to the swimming pool, I was fearless. I didn't realize what it was until I fell in. I could swim. I swim!
Lorena and mommie kept swimming. Then they had salad right where smaller parties at LoLoLorena's restaurant sit. Very nice.
Mommie gave me my food. But Lucien decided it was his place and ate a lot. Then the cat named Chocalate Kiss started to eat it!
MarLouisa came by. She knows doggies and put me back in the pool and taught me how to swim better. It was a hot day, so I didn't mind. But boy am I tired. Mommie says Alison would say DogGone tired! She says that's where I really came from. Alison's! That's Isla Animals to big people with big hearts.
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September 26, 2009

Good when you're pretty and sane

One of life's joys, the best of all the Law and Order franchise, is about to undergo drastic changes. Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, with Law and Order: Criminal Intent since it first aired nine years ago, and being shown the backstage door.
Jeff Goldblum will have big shoes to fill. Goran had that in-the-face interrogation with the head tilt. Such a nice contrast, albeit fiction, to what goes on elsewhere.

September 24, 2009

RIP, Descansa en paz, Renee Wathlet

At 6pm tonight, those whose lives Renee Wathelet touched will gather for a memorial with her family.
Afterward, her family will spread her ashes at sea. Enough said.

September 23, 2009

Ch Ch Changes...

A homicide in the Isla expat community, thunderboomers, bills paid, different jobs, new doggie dog, new diagnoses.
It has been a week of changes on Isla Mujeres, that's for sure.
After the air cleared yesterday, after the 5am thunder and lightening and massive rain, I went to Centro to pay the electric bills.
Mauricio was there and asked if I wanted to try his restaurant soon. Pp's, behind the church, offers Maya cuisine from 8am. Closings will vary as it is also a karaoke bar! We made a date for an evening haircut.
Afterward, I stopped at the Navy store and passed by Wayne, out already after blogging eloquently about the rains. The Navy store has more different things to consider: Sun screens for about a dime an ounce, or 125 pesos for 12 ounces. Not that I ever consider sunscreens! Good silver cleaning products and other cleaners we only see on the shelves in Cancun. So I dropped about 200 pesos and headed home, but WAIT, Oscar's is open. Time for some chlorine tablets for the pool floater. Another 200 pesos. Only got 12.
Then on to Inge's to pay back two borrrowed cholorine tablets and say hello to Rex.
That was about long enough for Boca to be in the kennel. When she got out, she made a few inappropriate bowel movements and it was time to intrude on Delfino's grief. She had been voiding about in the living room for a couple days, but Delfino had been unavailable while making arrangements with police and migracion to release Renee Wathelet's body for cremation.
As soon as she left, Carmen arrived and started making chaya water and a soup with chaya. I have been needing diuretics while my chronic kidney infection awaits a long enough time off antibiotics for a valid culture to determine which antibiotic it needs. I've done a few dealing with my teeth problems!
Lorena stopped by and we shared a few memories from the puzzle what was Renee. So sad.
Carmen was also changing linens and mopping when Delfino arrived. He seemed releived to finally get his hands on a puppy, and one so responsive to human touch. She's been sleeping with her paw in my hand and walks up to be petted.
Soli said Boca has become more outgoing and self assured since leaving her sisters. But her favorite toy is Sister, the bear that Gail got for her. When we move around the house, I say "Go get sister" and sister comes along. So Delfino provided an urgent care anti-parasite treatment and we started a new dog health card to chart her history. He'll be back later today to vaccinate her.
Sergio with the Colgate Smile stayed at the property he works on and Carmen pulled the area rug for him to wash this morning. I took a siesta, noting the weather really was changing! Not as hot, not quite as hot anyway.
And then I went to see Mauricio for my fall changes - a new haircut. Across the street, Deisy and Raul were ready to open and even though it had oil and protein, I had a salbute. Deisy did not know about Lora and was appalled. She was such a good doggie dog. You will like Boca, I said. Changes.

September 20, 2009

These Mexicans....these Mexican places

I just finished reading about 140 comments on Renee Wathelet's death tagging the Toronto Globe & Mail article about her death which was published Saturday. Renee is screaming from heaven!
Just like the stupid reactions to the swine flu, which was adeptly handled by the national health authorities as a whole, the stupid reactions to Renee's murder would gall Renee.
The majority of readers responded with bigotry like I have not seen in the last 10 years, probably because I have spent so much time here.
To say, like many, that they just arrested someone to get Canadians off their backs is just plane crazy. To say it is her fault for letting the man into her apartment is also just plain crazy. To say they will not be visiting Mexico any time soon is their loss, the kind of thinking that has Renee screaming.
Renee would argue passionately with me about swine flu, how it should be kept under wraps. No, I argued, almost as passionately, a pandemic is developing. But in the meantime, she would say, children will go hungry because of the lack of tourism. Crime will increase. People will die.
To say a demented beast was produced from the swine flu scare would be wrong. But maybe, just maybe, Renee was on to how it works. She is screaming now because the world and her beloved Canadians are reacting so poorly.
"In a normal influenza, thousands die each year," she would argue. Her own case, she would be arguing, could have happened anywhere. RIP now Renee. I'll do the screaming.

Secure sleep

After just one week here, Boca has learned not only to play with toys, but to gather them in one place. Her coloring is showing more signs of being "ash" blonde with the black snout. And despite a case of worms and sometime lack of appetite, she has grown.
Carmen pointed out yesterday that her hind legs are now out of proportion.
And why did she awake to secure and alert? She didn't have to guard her mami.
Joel installed new locks AND deadbolts in the main house and one apartment and returns shortly to install the upstairs apartment. All of this is giving us a sense of security. But all of us are still wondering if Renee felt secure enough about her killer to let him in the apartment. Building neighbors have told an expat, yes. She said it was all right, as she locked the door behind her.

September 19, 2009

Renee Wathelet, an icon to many

We foreigners who live here spent the first day searching for answers. Renee Wathelet so loved the island, how could it be so cruel to her?
My locksmith had changed her locks when a 24-year-old boyfriend turned violent and she kicked him out. The locksmith came by yesterday with all the changes he plans for me now that his friend has been murdered. She was a bit stupid at times, he said, but did nothing to hurt anyone. No es justo. Not just, not fair.
Things were confused for us foreigners when the named suspect had the same first name as the ex-friend. Renee kept her cards close to her chest, so no one actually knew his last name. Hardly any of us were introduced to him. She was discreet.
She asked me on Wednesday how I celebrated Independence Day. Not yet, maybe tonight. I didn't go to Centro for the fireworks. She did, with a male friend from Cuba, here for three days, not staying with her. Was his appearance somehow linked to her death?
On Independence day afternoon we chatted. How did you spend Independence Day? Well, it still is, I said. No, the night.
Well, I didn't feel well. I have an inflamed kidney. So I didn't go. I hope to eat out tonight at least I told her. What about you? I am working, I have a new contract, she said. Is your friend from Cuba still here?
He is in Centro, she said. We went to El Grito last night. Never a direct answer. Is he leaving tonight? He has to return to Cuba.
Never a direct answer. It was infuriating sometimes. But it was her way of protecting herself, I guess.
Joel the locksmith had caught me in the shower before Independence Day. I talked with him with a sheet towel wrapped around me. Don't worry, he said. I am the most trusted man on the island. We are older, so I don't see anything. I just finished Marcia Addams' locks.
There was a recently burglary, he said. The people installed a web cam shooting the door, he said. You could do that. No, that's excessive, I said.
Keep your doors locked, he said. Always. Part of the reason I called him was for more secure locks and also a do-not-lock-behind-me option. The man who sold me the house installed those.
Today's Por Esto! called Renee's murderer a beast. He was. He probably stalked her. Maybe not. Still searching for answers. But the article said he had been question in recent days related to several burglaries involving compact computers. Earlier reports had him as the former boyfriend. Today's story has him as a resident of a Tarzan bungalow. Tarzan's brother denied it.
Renee came to the house as soon as I Tweeted about Lora's killing. A kitten, she suggest. No, a killer dog!
Someone I can teach to bark. A puppy that can grow into an attack dog. A potential biter I can train.
Later that day, she emailed me pics of a three female pups abandoned near Sabina's house. I'll take the blonde after I see her.
Lori was soon over with the Soli, who handled it for three weeks. She looks to be part pit bull. I love that in a dog! For a dog, it is not bad, Renee said, when she visited later...the last time I saw her. Always in the morning, we texted on Skype.
But she had to go, the morning I went to Cancun. Had to take her solitary walk along the Caribbean to Punta Sur and back. Right back into the apartment where the intruder stabbed her, right about when I was getting on the ferry to go to Cancun.
This post was interrupted by a neighbor from Michigan. Had I read the news? Was the confessed killer the ex-boyfriend? No, another guy. He confessed that robbery was the motive. That's not good. Not good at all, he said. And then he hung up to go fishing. I'm going now. I have a locksmith coming.

September 15, 2009

A new baby, a new bed. Well, maybe she's a lounge lizard!

Boca spent her first night with me last night, next to the bed. She's in a tropical lounge chair I got from Fayne's a few weeks ago. For the first days, it puts her at eye level at night and I whisper. She loves the surrogate sisters that Gail got for her.

A cause is launched. Lora is not forgotten.

A now, the cause in a tri-lingual post from Lora's primary care vet.
In his letter in Spanish to the mayor, Delfino wrote:
El último de éstos, una perra esterilizada, vacunada y con una muy buena familia, fue tan severa su intoxicación que fue imposible hacer algo.
The last of these cases (was) one dog, sterlized, vaccinated and with one good family, gone because of severe intoxication it was impossible to do anything for.

September 14, 2009

And then she died

Rest in peace, Lora. It was a rough morning.
Lora got up early Saturday, the second day after her nails were clipped under sedation. She was hung over on Friday and shook it off when she got up. She smelled the T-bone steak Gail couldn't eat when we came home Friday night.
When I took it out of the fridge for treats and tricks, she ran to Gail's apartment as if to say "Thank you." She was beaming!
She did a couple sit pretties, shake and chokala. Then she ran out to "make pee pee." She wasn't gone but a few minutes, just out the door to the median strip, and across the street in the La Gloria neighborhood of Isla Mujeres to visit Baut.
Baut didn't move to play and she ran home. But as soon as she got in the door, she was thrown to the side, then began to tremble. I knew. I am an islander.
I put her on her doggie bed, hugged her and grabbed the cell phone. When Delfino got the call, he knew. He had tended to another strychnine patient at 3am. There would be more.
He came quickly, living just down the hill. He gave her a shot of valium to calm the shakes and spasms. I knew he could not save her. Stychnine is hard to reverse.
He tried. She got other drugs including morphine. If the spasms can be stopped, the system can be purged, hydrated and chelated - sometimes resulting in a saved life. But Delifino saw all he could do was euthanize her with an overdose.
While I waited, Federico came over, said he was sorry, and began to clean his steps where the poison laid. He has a Chihuahua who parents both died in the poisoning of 2007, when it was one day old. Grandchildren up and down the steps all day long. He was sullen.
Delfino didn't call right away. But then he did, informing me of the outcome and beginning to talk arrangements. She was cremated in Cancun with other pets. To have her done separate would cost much more and having her ashes in the garden was not important to me.
He came later with the certificate from the new pet crematory in Cancun.
It says he was prayed over and has gone to nicer pastures with her Pastor.
Sunday morning, the garbage men came, looking for her and the others. In past years, police officers put dead dogs in garbage bags during the night so the garbage men could pick them up before children went out.
Later in the day, people came buy and said there was a cute stray here, another one there, that didn't take the poison and needed homes. The Maya plant lady, Lucila, said she knew a Lora look-alike, a skinny male, near La Bruja, needed a home. Alison at Amigos los Animales has a cute guy, too.
Because it is considered against nature, sterilization has not gained much popularity here. Status breeds like "bull terri" have. Then, they are turned loose when failure to manage a household means no food for the dogs. They eat from garbage cans, often returning to their old homes to sleep. But they are dirty street dogs, a menace.
Can't the people in charge see the difference? Have they never experienced unconditional love? Are they so short sighted to not see that children suffer, lose faith in governance as they grow up? That children could play on surfaces the poison has touched and die themselves?
Lora's poison was on the steps inside the gate of Federico's house, where Baut laid without moving as Lora took the meat, meat from a bull that was euthanized after being hit by a truck on its way to tonight's bull fight.
There is a lot wrong in paradise. The door to door vendors came yesterday with neighborhood body counts and inquiries about our Lora. Pobrecita, they said, and walked away, slowly shaking their heads and looking back. Then, I cried.

September 13, 2009

She was, as they say, noble.

From Livin' la Vida Floja

Gone. Gone. Gone.

I have a collar and a dog tag. And beautiful pictures Scott took, in addition to my own. He did all the work yesterday as I grieved.

September 10, 2009

Tooth and Nails

So, after a lovely lunch and afternoon at Villa Vera, the musketeers accompanied me to the dentist downtown at Xbulu Ha Hotel at 5pm. Dr Francisco Canales Dominguez works as an oral surgeon for the Navy by day and moonlights with his private practice from 4-9.
I thought a tooth implant, much debated in Ohio for being near failing, had failed. It felt wobbly, there was pain and a real bad taste. Dr. Salas, who was off island, told me to start on amoxicillin to prep and take 800 mg of ibuprofen ahead of the appointment.
Dr. Canales started by tapping and became suspicious. He took an x-ray and found an abscess in the first molar, next to the implant. Butted up against my facial sinus. Four more days and on Monday at 6pm, I'll be back for a root canal. His plant is to try to save the crown by first removing it. He'll do the post and build up from a mold of the inside of the crown. Wow. In the states, I've had root canal through a crown, replaced by a new crown. This will be a tremendous saves! Total cost, more or less 1,000 pesos!
I saw some discussion on one of the message boards that the equipment is antiquated. He doesn't have digital xray. His drills are fast, not supersonic. Well, I recall getting really good dental care in the US 20 or 30 years ago without digital xrays. I'll let you know how that turns out.
Afterward, the girls and I came home to change out of beach wear and head for Deisy an Raul's, where we ran into Delfino. He had come by to treat Lora the day before, but being so late, missed us because we were on the rooftop patio and didn't hear him.
So, we made a date for him to come by today. He gave Lora a tranquilizer, muzzled her and still, Kathryn and I had to hold her down for her pedicure.
She got her anti- tick shot and some pills in case a tick carrying heart worm has bit her in the last month. Right now, she's resting very comfortably. She's stoned.

September 9, 2009

When stuff happens...

Gail and Kathryn and I are enjoying low season on Isla, hopping from beach club to beach club.
But there is the disturbing matter of my former employee with whom I had been so generous. I allege he took my debit card and milked my overdraft protection. He alleges I got out of my sick bed and milked my overdraft protection to set him up to recoup my payment of his first month's rent at his new home.
So, stay tuned. And understand that I am out with the girls having fun. Oh, except for this afternoon around 5pm, when I will see the oral surgeon from the Navy base about a failing tooth implant. Treating me will involve cutting the "tooth" out of the bone. Oh, lordie. And it was placed in two stages under general anesthesia 17 years ago.
Here's smiles!