“Khan went to the vet. He is on anti-inflammatory drugs for the arthritis and hip displasia and he moves much faster and easier now.  He also had a really bad bladder infection and some kidney problems. We have him on Amoxicilin for 10 days.” – Sue.

Khan had been found on the street in Guatemala City’s Zone 15. A month later he was having convulsions, had a 104 fever, weighed 70lbs, and there was a fear that he might infect other dogs. He was brought to AWARE. The vet said he was 7 years old, but he looked much older. He was slow and ponderous, he got lost in the woods. The vet wanted to put him down. He said he was a Golden Retriever with problems.

That’s when Margaret met him, while volunteering at Animal AWARE. She knew immediately that her friend Sue would want to adopt him, and when she got back home she sold Sue on the idea, and arrangements were made. In the end, Margaret and Sue decided to fly down to Guatemala together to pick up Khan, along with Crissy – the beautiful, sweet-natured dog that Margaret was adopting from Animal AWARE – and the 4 puppies they were taking back for adoption through the Peninsula Humane Society.

We scrambled at 4.30am. The flight was at 9am with American Airlines, through Dallas. By the time Khan got on the scales at air-line check-in the operatives were so overwhelmed by 3 serious women, 2 dogs and 4 puppies that they did not notice he was 20lbs overweight, and he flew.

And then – a mere 12 hours after arrival in San Francisco Khan was adopted by Sue’s neighbours. They had lost their beloved Golden Retriever to cancer 6 months before, and when Sue introduced them to Khan, there was no going back.

That’s when we received the e-mail. We knew about the hip displasia – but the arthritis? Bladder infection? Kidney problems? Santa hat?

“… but of course they fell in love with him and wanted to keep him. The mother cooks all of his meals especially for him….chicken and vegetables with some kibble dog food mixed in.  He’s in heaven! They also carpeted their entire house so he could walk better…. he doesn’t like slick floors. Their 16 year old daughter brushes and pets him non-stop so he’s very pampered and getting the love he needs. He gets 3 walks a day and loves other dogs and people.»

Maybe one message of Christmas is that there is a better future for us all. Perhaps slowly, slowly learning from our surroundings and other animals, we might all become ever-more responsible and caring Human Beings.


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