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My Pueblo Viejo Home

My Pueblo Viejo Home

My Pueblo Viejo Home

My Pueblo Viejo Home

My Latrine and Shower

My Latrine and Shower

Some of My Host Siblings

Some of My Host Siblings

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Potlicka....

In Belize, the kriol word for mangy street mutt is "potlicka." And boy are they ever-present! Potlickas in the streets, chasing people on bikes, coming out from the jungle--everywhere! But boy it is a sad state for these poor dogs. As my colleague put it, "potlickas are the only dogs that can survive the streets of Belize." Which is sad, because they are barely surviving. If there's one thing I hope I to never integrate with the Belizean culture on, I hope it's the complete disregard and lack of emotion towards animal pain and suffering! This may sound very animal lover-ish and over the top, which I don't tend to be, but it really is sad. The dogs are filthy and bare-boned, usually either limping or punctured by some attack --probably with one another for a measly scrap of food. It hurts my heart because every sad dog face I see I want to take in and rescue, but then I walk 5 yards further and see another. It's impossible to help them all, yet it is so painful to see... In fact, I can honestly say that most dogs in Belize actually look sad. That sounds silly, but you don't pass the potlickas on the road and say "oh how cute!" or "what a beautiful dog!" like you would in the States. You just look away and try not to hit them with your bike or car. They are scrawny and sickly. Their eyes just look to you with pain. I feel like it should make any decent human an instant animal lover.

Just 2 nights ago, one of my host family's potlickas had puppies. This dog was so scrawny, I had no idea she was pregnant! She had them amidst a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. I woke up to learn of the pregnancy and the puppies all at once, and that one of the five born had already died. I was devastated because I knew that it wasn't just by chance the one pup didn't make it. So I took it upon myself to make sure I feed the mom and try to help her as much as possible with the remaining four. Just over a week ago, a fellow volunteer had a similar situation where his host family's dog had puppies. Slowly he reported to me that the puppies were dying because their mother was so malnourished she couldn't provide milk for them. After a few days, every single one was dead. It was devastating to hear about. And yet, even if these pups survive the initial time with their mother, they still have to weather the horrible conditions of the world of potlickas in Belize. So I was sad the first puppy died, but I don't know whether it's really a good or bad thing for him.

Nonetheless, I am going to try to help these puppies at my house as much as I can. I don't know much about puppies and I don't really have means to take care of them all, (which my host mom has already asked me to take them when I move out), but I'm going to try what I can.  This is a sad little blog entry, but I needed to express my feelings towards these poor potlickas!!!

4 comments:

  1. Hi Mallory! This is completely random-- but I came across your blog and was so surprised to see that you are in Belize via the Peace Corps. I just told my family two days ago that I am applying to the Peace Corps after graduation, and I spent last winter in Belize! I just thought it was neat to find so much in common with a total stranger, that I came across on accident thanks to google. :)

    And just to comment on your post-- the dogs in Belize are totally heartbreaking. I'm glad you are able to take care of the mommy. :)

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  2. You should set up a paypal link so we can give you money for the dogs!

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  3. Emily Grace - cool that you found me! If you have any questions about PC feel free to email me: mallory.begley@gmail.com

    Suz- I dunno how to set up a paypal account!

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  4. Here you go, it looks long, but that's because it teaches you how to set up the who PayPal thing as well as add it to your blog :)
    http://blogknowhow.blogspot.com/2009/04/add-paypal-donate-button-to-blogger.html

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