Three very relevant things.
Tuesday, 03.24.2015 - 7:59 pm.

The suffering in my digestive system is pretty much gone. I draw attention to my stomach every once in a while and I can't believe that I feel good. Or rather, that I don't feel anything, that I don't feel bloated, heavy or in pain. What the fuck happened? I mean, what was it? Some kind of tough, long-lasting bug? Whatever it was, is it gonna come back?

I still get air in my stomach and throat everyday but not after every meal, and I wouldn't say it's uncomfortable. With this, I can live. This seems like an acceptable symptom of aging. Last week things took a turn for the worse and I got back to day-long stomachaches and not digesting anything but I figure it was the antibiotics. Clearly I couldn't get much digestion done without my bacteria. Now I'm on probiotics for a month. I would say, it's doing wonders (I had probiotic yogurt in my worse days back in february, it didn't work).

On friday afternoon, when Andrew and I got off from work, we ran into a stray dog in campus. We approached to feed her and we found ourselves with a massive planet hanging from her stomach. A tumor the size of two fists, and it was a mystery how that huge hanging ball had not ripped her skin.

We spent an hour and a half trying to catch her. We couldn't. She didn't run but she'd growl and we feared she'd bite us. We're not experts at handling dogs but we know that, under the wrong circumstances (specially when in pain), can attack you and transmit diseases.

We went home defeated. We asked for help on the Facebook page of the local animalist association and within minutes we got an offer to help us. Bless their hearts. Then we decided to go out on a date, to shake those feelings off and break the routine, which we always say we will but never do. It was very nice.

On saturday morning, we met with J., the president of the association. I'd met him four years ago, at a flea market organized by them when they were just a bunch of people trying to make a difference for cats and dogs. Now they have legal back-up and all, it's great.

Anyway, Andrew, J. and I went to the last spot in campus where we'd seen the dog. We searched all over and we couldn't find her, and we gave up. J left to attend a march for the right to water access, and we thanked him for his help. While we were searching, he told me he and his partner had 11 rescue dogs. I told Andrew and he say we should get them dog food as a token of gratitude. They were very quick to offer to help us, even if in the end we couldn't find the dog.

We had to go to the vet clinic anyway. The day before, our 7-year-old neighbor Lucas (who's taken a liking to talking to us and coming into our apartment) told us he'd gotten a kitten. Actually, his parents had found a litter of sick kittens, and they could only rescue one. Besides Lucas, they have a baby girl.

Andrew, Good Guy Andrew, offered to take the kitty to the vet. After all, our neighbors have a handful with two children and had no idea what to do with a four-legged baby. Ok, with this we're a bit of experts: we take the animal to our vet friend's clinic, ask for a full screening to search for diseases, get the shots and spaying/neutering. Simple. A bit expensive sometimes but worth it.

So we took the kitty to the vet. He's healthy, mostly. He's in observation for a week and if nothing else comes up, then he's ready for adoption. I'm not sure if the neighbors will keep him, it sounded like they will (we already gave them a litter box and bowls for food and water). If not, our vet friend says a lot of people are looking for kittens these days, so it wouldn't be hard finding him a home.

We left the kitten at the clinic and we bought a huge sack of dog food. We learned J and his partner live a block away from our apartment building. They live -of course- at that house with a dog in a wheelchair. We got there and his partner, D., opened the door for us. We introduced ourselves, I told her she and I had spoken the night before about the dog with the tumor.

We left her home with a knot in our throats. All 11 dogs had disabilities due to extreme abuse or abandonment. There was a paralyzed dog with diapers; one without a leg; an old one without teeth; a years-old dog who acted like a puppy because she drank milk from her death mother who had been poisoned; a dog that had been beat and stabbed. Holy Jesus. And she and J took care of them and they had a handful but were so committed, with so little resources. On top of it, they run the association and have jobs and get involved in other matters, human matters.

D let us in and introduced us to all the dogs. The huge sack of food was much-needed and she couldn't thank us enough. I wanted to express the same to her, not just for her amazing disposition to help up but for being so involved in this cause. I have to help more.

After leaving her house, Andrew and I went for coffee. It was only 10:30 am and we were drained. At the coffee shop, a woman approached selling wooden spoons, with a baby in her arms. She came from far away and had five children and, stop, we bought a wooden spoon. It's easier to help, significantly help, non-human animals, and I say it with sadness.

After the coffee, we bought a couple of birthday presents, for our boss and for a friend. Then we went home and spent the rest of the day working on our research proposal for the PhD program application at a university in the UK.

On sunday, we met with Andrew's parents. They came in town to visit the cemetery, because Monday was another month after Andrew's brother passing away in December. Andrew's mom has been traveling to the capital and says that the investigation now points out to murder, not suicide. And I hate the way she speaks of it all.

Two nights ago I heard Andrew yelling at her over the phone. And you may think it's ugly to yell at one's mother, but this one in particular -although very nice at her best- is very problematic in many ways, and is making Andrew's brother's death much more difficult than it already is. Beyond things I overheard, Andrew didn't tell me what happened and I didn't ask.

This is getting long. Last but certainly not least:

We finally sent in our research proposals. We have been accepted at Sheffield. Oh. Dear. Lord.

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