Because of the enormous interest in Karma la Perrita Blanca by my English speaking friends, I have decided to write this important blog in English.
All of you have allready heared or seen me speaking and writing about la Perrita Blanca named: Pinky Erendira Karma. I met her in the first week of my stay in Mexico. Milpa Alta was in the middle of their big food and music festival, so all the stray dogs were happy and the weather was quite friendly as well, soon I started recognizing several stray-dogs. Previous to coming to Mexico I was allready scared that I might start saving every single stray I would meet in Mexico so it was only fitting that I saved at least one.
At the end of the first week I saw the dog that Marijke had allready told me about; the one without hair, the white one, la Perrita Blanca, Karma. It hit me right in the heart and Marijke told me: we cannot leave ‘him’ -we didn’t know she was a girl-. Many people around us said that we could not help the dog because this is just what happens, it is life. Ofcourse Marijke and me being very Dutch, didn’t feel extremely comfortable with that notion but we tried to focus on our upcoming concerts. After the initial encounter with Karma I didn’t see her for a couple of days and feld very bad that I did not pick her up immediately to take her to a vet; easier said than done. A few days later I kept seeing her everywhere and every time and that was the moment that I knew I could help her also because the festival had finished and it was much more calm in the streets.
The day before I started to feed her I contacted a Mexican organisation called “Save a Mexican Mutt”. This organisation was set up in 2003 by an American women named Kelly Karger and her husband, they moved to Mexico for a more relaxed lifestyle but couldn’t take the huge amount of stray-dogs on the streets of Mexico and decided they had to do something, thus Save a Mexican Mutt was born.
The first contact I had with Kelly Karger was not promising, she told me that there are so many dogs in terrible distress in Mexico and that she cannot save every single one. I panicked slightly and told her I had pictures of the dog after which she asked me to email them to her. I emailed them and the next day I had a response: “I must be crazy but this dog has spoken to me in a special way, I would like to take her in as a special needs rescue-dog”. I guess everyone can imagine how incredibly crazy happy I was, no one in Milpa Alta really took it too serious because it involved catching the dog ourselves and driving it to a completely different state.
I felt quite terrible for a couple of days while Marijke and me were trying to figure out how to bring the dog to the organization. That’s when I received the email from Kelly Karger and from Reyna -who lives in Mexico-City and is a colleague of Kelly-. They had just organized a transport of dogs from Mexico-City to the state that “Save a Mexican Mutt” is in, I only had to bring the dog to a certain place 1,5 hours from Milpa Alta on a specific date and time!
Yet again Marijke and me were really happy, surely it would not be a problem to find a ride on the day of transport. Actually Reyna -colleague of Kelly Karger- gave us some other options, we could catch the dog earlier and bring her to a veterenarian she knows very well who could allready start treating her -this because the dog had no hair thanks to mange and she was scratching herself so terribly that she had wounds everywhere-. Marijke and me tried to arrange this but no one wanted to transport a sick dog in their car, this was terrible because we knew many people but no one could help us.
At this point I was ready to go into breakdown-mode because if we cannot find transport for this then we cannot find any transport. Our friends were also sure that a taxi would never drive us because they don’t want animals in the taxi. A friend of mine then told me about special petcabs, taxi’s that will accept animals and he would send me the information. At this time I was also teaching local violinstudents in the museum in Villa Milpa Alta and had got to know the local violinteacher very well. I told her about the dog and showed her the pictures of the dog, she felt so bad for the dog and recognized her. She had spoke to her friends two weeks earlier about possibly helping her but they had also said; this is life, let it be. She did tell me about a friend of her who works with dogs.
After this well deserved meal in the local market in Villa Milpa Alta I decided that the violinteacher was the most friendly person I had ever met and that her name would be the name of the dog that I had temporarely named Pinky. Pinky’s new name became Erendira, after a Purechepa Native American princess who fought the conquistadors. I did not tell Erendira -the violinteacher- this yet.
A couple of days before teaching the local violinkids I had started feeding Erendira la Perrita Blanca every morning and every evening and also managed to give her medicine thanks to Carlos -boyfriend of Marijke- who’s friend is a veterenarian. Reyna and Kelly had strongly advised me to give her medicine already, I could always find her anyway. Because I was able to get medicine for Erendira the dog, I also thought I could rent a dog-kennel with the local vets. This was not as easy as it seemed, all the vets had all their kennels full with their own patients, so they were not sure they could rent one to me at the moment that I needed it -I still had not found a ride for transporting the dog to Mexico-City center and was getting furious-. Marijke and I felt like it might not be able to find a dog-kennel so we decided to buy a big piece of plastic and fabric, just incase.
At this point I was so furious with so many people that could not help, that I was almost giving up. The problem was that I kept finding Erendira so I knew she wanted help and I knew I would find transport because otherwise things would not be going so well between me an Erendira who I had already been teaching to follow me. I believed that it would work, I knew that Marijke and me would save her.
The day before we were supposed to bring Erendira the dog to the transport, I heared for sure that we would not be able to find a dog-kennel and this made me hysterical. I started emailing and texting and calling everyone, I also sent a message to Erendira -the violinteacher- to ask if her friend had a dog-kennel for us and also that we could not find a ride……… Guess what: Erendira -the violinteacher- could drive Marijke, Erendira -the dog- and me to the transport meeting-point in Mexico-City center.
By this time Reyna and Kelly were aware of the trouble we had organizing the whole transport for the dog. Kelly posted a message on their facebook-site about all the trouble we had and that they weren’t sure the dog would make it to the transport meetingpoint in Mexico-City center and that we should all leave it up to ‘Karma’ to see if she would make it. Kelly said that if she would make it, they would call the dog Karma. From this moment on Pinky Erendira was called Karma because I knew we would be able to bring her to the right place at the right moment. I also discovered -thanks to my own mother- that so many people were interested in the adventures of Karma, every day there were about 50 comments on pictures and news-feeds about Karma! Also they donated a lot of money to make the transport possible. At this point I was sure everything would be OK.
Disaster hit the day before the transport! Not only could we not find a dog-kennel, Marijke and me could also not find Karma to feed her and to give her her medicine. It was raining terribly and it was very cold so all the dogs were hiding and we felt horrible because if we couldn’t find her now, how could we find her the next morning at 7:00 precise? We were slightly happy because Erendira had a small time-frame in which she could pick us up and drop us off -without dog-kennel-.
The next morning I woke up at 5:40 and I met Marijke at her house at 6:20, we immediately started searching for Karma but there were almost no dogs on the streets. It was very cold but thankfully it had stopped raining at 01:00, still the stray-dogs had disappeared. I had dreamed I would find her at the busstop near the market but she wasn’t there. Marijke and I looked everywhere and I had fresh ham and pedigree-dogfood with me but Karma was no where to be found. At 7:00 I called Erendira -the violinteacher- that we had not found her yet but that we would find her before 7:30. Erendira said it was OK and that she would be a little bit late but that I should call her promptly when I had found Karma.
Marijke was quite hopeless and I started showing Karma’s picture to people to ask them if they had seen her, I still knew I would find her even though it started to look not so good, we were almost out of time because it was 7:30. I decided to look one more time near the busstop near the market and there she was!!! I called Erendira -the violinteacher- and told her that I found the dog. Erendira sounded like she just woke up and told me I had to hold the dog there for about 30 minutes, I wasn’t scared for that at all and was so happy. Marijke arrived soon and looked like she could not believe it.
For about 30 minutes I was feeding Karma little pieces of dry-food and then Laura -cousin of Carlos (friend of Marijke)- arrived with a sedative and a dog-collar and soon after that Erendira arrived. Marijke, Laura, Erendira and a friend put the big plastic sheet and fabric in the car. Now we only had to lure Karma across a treacherous and busy street, everyone helped and no one honked the horn. Karma did not want to go into the car so I lifted her up and put her in the car.
Then everything went so quickly, Karma peed in the car but the plastic and fabric saved the car. Erendira gave me good directions like: “hold her”, “talk to her” and “push her back”. At one point she was sleeping in the back of the car and we even arrived an hour early at the meeting point. Thankfully Erendira was way to late for class anyway so she could stay with us and Karma did not have to leave the car untill the transport arrived!