About a stray dog, a failed hard drive, and tons of etc. in two hectic weeks.
Saturday, 10.15.2011 - 7:00 pm.

I had three long days of class past thursday, friday and saturday. I went to bed at 2 am on friday working on an overnight assignment, and at 4 am on saturday we were woken up by a call to Andrew, informing him that his very elderly grandmother was in the hospital.

The above is a paragraph that fails to convey the stress and exhaustion that filled those days, and that was just half the story. The previous days Andrew returned to work at the university and I had plenty of work since Dr. B, the head researcher on the diabetes project and thesis advisor was in town. We have entered the phase of collecting our data. 17 people interviewed and blood-sampled, 383 to go. I've enjoyed it so far, and Tamara (my friend/closest connection to Dr. B) and Dr. B have noticed how proactive and interested in learning I am. It's a huge challenge, though.

On thursday and friday I had class with Dr. B, he teaches social psychology. He's an awesome professor that seemed to be at a TED Talk. Saturday was the complete opposite, not just by the subject, Personality Psychology, but because the professor was incredibly dull and monotonous.

We had those classes at a university building downtown, because campus had been seized by the students, again. And on saturday, after class, Andrew and I decided to check out the weekly adoption event held by a local animal protection association. It's the association I follow and provide resources to on ocassion.

I get there and it's a sad sight. It comes from the best of the intentions but clearly it wasn't a very appealing activity. There was a stray dog being fed and they had just one pup, "looking for a home!", as they'd tell to passers-by. Then they had some kind of dalmatian that was like in agony and they said they needed to find her a foster home or else she'd go back to the street when the adoption event was over.

Andrew has kind of joined my cause, so we both had the same thought: I could take her to our vet friend Karin's clinic and I'd pay for her stay and check-ups. I say "I" because Andrew is very supportive but it's still my cause and I would prefer not to ask him for anything other than his understanding and ocassional presence, which I certainly have. I made a phone call to the clinic and a just-joined member of the association offered her car to drive the dog. Andrew had to go see his grandmother so I told him not to worry about me.

At the clinic, the doctor checked the dog up (Karin was out of town). He warned me that they couldn't check her in if she had certain conditions. She was a stray dog, after all, and I understood. But I panicked silently. The dog, Donna, did have skin conditions, fleas and bugs in her ears. The other gal wasn't going to take the dog with her, so I'd have to take her to my apartment and keep her there for a week...without consulting Andrew (on top, at that moment his cell phone had ran out of battery) and at risk of infecting my two cats. And us two humans, too.

But throwing her back on the street wasn't an option either. She was the sweetest dog and it was clear she'd belonged to someone before, because she found herself very comfortable riding in the car. She seemed very depressed and in pain, aside the fact that you could count her ribs.

It was right there that I knew the truth, via the girl that drove us there: the association had just picked her up from the street at the adoption event. She walked by and they took her, and started asking for a foster home. I completely understand the anguish of seeing a dog in such conditions and not doing anything, but also it was irresponsible to offer her like that when she clearly needed special attention. And without enough information for the potentional adopter to make an informed decision. Someone was interested in her but didn't take her because her son thought she looked ugly. Clearly, we need adopters more serious than that.

The doctor was very straight-forward and gave me all the information on Donna's situation, and I think in the end he had sympathy for the trouble I was in. I suppose it did help he knew me, he's seen me at the clinic and knows his boss is my boyfriend's good friend. He said he wouldn't check her in as a guest in the dog hotel, but as a patient for hospitalization. She required a lot of care, anyway. The girl that drove us made a phone call and told me that there was a foster home that could take Donna on wednesday. A huge sigh of relief. The vet clinic also gave me a discount on behalf of...well, being who I was. I was very grateful.

I came home thinking I'd done something meaningful, however small. I asked myself about karma and emphasized that I don't truly believe that just because you do good things, good things happen to you. Maybe sometimes, maybe not sometimes. This time was the not. I came home and I found my laptop unresponsive. I had back-ups but I still lost valuable information from my last Psychopathy class.

Let's skip to wednesday. I bought a new hard drive and went to to pick up Donna in the evening with Andrew. She looked so different, so alive! We were very impressed. Donna had a healthier fur, her eyes were glowing and she wouldn't stop wagging her tail at everybody. She was such a sweetheart. I bought her a collar to add some glamour.

Karin had called Andrew on sunday to talk about the case and to let him know she'd give him a therapeutic bath for free. The collar also was on her. She's so nice. She was waiting for us on wednesday and we talked for some time until the lady that drove us on saturday showed up to take Donna to her foster home.

This lady is very pro-animal but I had the feeling she was a bit hostile toward vets. This time she confirmed my impressions, and Karin noticed the same. And she knows these things, she has to deal with the most awful clients...not the animals, the owners, the owners are the worst, and the reason why she'd discourage her children from studying the same.

I hope Donna finds a loving home, how I wish I could have taken her. Andrew had asked me weeks before if we should move into a house so we could have a dog. But we agreed that, financially, we are not in that position yet, we still have a long way to go.

Andrew and I hoped we could take sunday to relax, get our minds off the past days and go shopping with some coupons he had. But even that was a source of stress, when it turned out one of the four coupons showed as "already used". As of today, no word on that. Andrew made calls at the store, the coupon company, suspected of the clerk also...my poor guy.

Anyway. At the end of this week, however, I got two wonderful news: one, my long time friend Rod, from high school, is coming to visit next week!!! Just a couple of days but he is actually traveling by bus for 12 hours to see me. I CAN'T WAIT! I bought his bus tickets today and I'm making plans. So little time, we'll make the most of it.

Two, my friend Monica is also coming to Chile! I told her about a psych congress in Santiago, she sent in a paper and she was accepted!!! She won't make it to my house, but we'll meet in Santiago and we'll be together for a couple of days. I'm so glad we got back in touch...after she randomly took some distance from me last year, she randomly returned and got back to our nice friendship. And you know, I just can't believe I get to see her!

So my days continue being hectic, with five subjects for my master's, my thesis , my work with the clown doctors...and yes, of course, housework. I'll fail at saving some money this month, but for good reasons: Donna, my hard drive, Rod's visit, my inscription/plane ticket for the psych congress next month...

Yesterday afternoon I had one class and afterwards some of my classmates gathered at our apartment to celebrate someone's birthday. Tonight, Karin and her boyfriend, also a vet, are coming and Andrew is making pancakes.

It's all good.

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