Welcome!

February 12th, 2013

Dr. Michael P. McTigue, Dr. Brian C. Hurley and the rest of the Gardner Animal Care Center team are pleased to welcome you to their hospital blog. This fun and fact-filled blog is updated regularly and includes up-to-date information about your pet’s health care. Also included in the blog are fun, pet-related news stories that we want to share with you and photos and information about our hospital and staff members.

We invite you to check our blog often.

Thank you for visiting.

– The veterinary team at Gardner Animal Care Center

GACC’S 2015 AWESOME HEARTWORM & FLEA/TICK PRODUCT PROMOTIONS

May 22nd, 2015
Companies like Interceptor are offering not only a $12 rebate with the purchase of 12 doses, but also a free Sock Monkey Toy with the purchase of 12 doses.

Companies like Interceptor are offering not only a $12 rebate with the purchase of 12 doses, but also a free Sock Monkey Toy with the purchase of 12 doses.

AWESOME 2015 DISCOUNTS

… ON HEARTWORM, FLEA & TICK PRODUCTS OFFERED THROUGH MANUFACTURERS YOU KNOW AND TRUST!

Call our office at (978) 632-7110 or stop in and visit. We will design a heartworm, flea & tick prevention program that is right for the needs of your pet’s life stage and medical status, as well as your family’s lifestyle, and help you balance the benefits of each product while making sure you get the best discounts possible on the products of your choosing.

ON SOME PRODUCT COMBINATIONS SAVE UP TO AS MUCH AS $50!!!!  FUR-REALZ!

The product manufacturers of the following products provide veterinarians with special promotions that are only available through your veterinarian, to encourage the purchase of their product from an educated source.  As an added bonus, most product manufacturers guarantee the efficacy of their products from a veterinarian and most don’t guarantee the efficacy of their product when purchased from an outside source.  We are excited to be able to offer you the following promotional offers from our product manufacturers in 2015.

 

Advantage Multi for Cats (Monthly topical liquid: fleas/ear mites/roundworms/hookworms/heartworm):  Buy 2 Six Packs (equals 12 tubes) for Price of 9 tubes, or Buy 1 Six Pack and Get 2 Tubes Free, or Buy 4 Tubes & Get 1 Free; Expires 12/31/2015.  Redeemed at time of purchase.  (Manufacturer:  Bayer)

Advantage Multi for Cats (Monthly topical liquid: flea/ear mites/roundworms/hookworms/heartworm) & Seresto Collar for Cats (Collar:  flea/tick)Purchase Combo:  Buy 6 doses of Advantage Feline Multi & 1 Seresto Collar for Cats; $50 Mail in Rebate; Expires 1/15/16.  We mail in the rebate for you, you receive the rebate check in the mail at your home address directly from the manufacturer.  (Manufacturer:  Bayer)

Frontline Plus Dogs or Cats (Monthly topical liquid: flea/tick):  Buy 6 doses & Get 2 Free; or Buy 3 Doses & Get 1 Free; Expires 12/31/15; Redeemed at time of purchase.  (Manufacturer:  Merial)

Nexgard Dogs (Monthly beef flavored chew: flea/tick):  Buy 6 doses & Get 1 Free; Expires 12/31/15; Redeemed at time of purchase.  (Manufacturer:  Merial)

Heartgard Plus Dogs (Monthly beef flavored chew:  heartworm/roundworm/hookworm):  Buy 12 Doses ; $12 Mail in Rebate; Expires 12/31/15; We mail in the rebate for you, you receive the rebate check in the mail at your home address directly from the manufacturer.  (Manufacturer:  Merial)

Heartgard Plus Dog/Frontline Plus Dog Purchase Combo:  Buy 12 Heartgard Chews & Buy 6 Frontline Plus Tubes; $50 Mail in Rebate; Expires 12/31/15;  We mail in the rebate for you, you receive the rebate check in the mail at your home address directly from the manufacturer.  (All other Heartgard or Frontline promotions do not apply with this offer.)  (Manufacturer: Merial)

Heartgard Plus Dog/Nexgard Dog Purchase Combo: Buy 12 Heartgard Chews & Buy 6 Nexgard Chews; $50 Mail in Rebate; Expires 12/31/15; We mail in the rebate for you, you receive the rebate check in the mail at your home address directly from the manufacturer.  (All other Heartgard or nexgard promotions do not apply with this offer.)  (Manufacturer:  Merial)

Bravecto Dogs (Every 3 Month beef flavored chew:  flea/tick/demodex mange):  Buy 2 Doses (equivalent to 6 months protection) & Receive $15 Rebate; Buy 4 Doses (equivalent to 12 months protection) & Receive $35 Rebate; Expires 12/31/15.  We give you a code to login on line to process your rebate.  The manufacturer mails your rebate check to the address you provide.  (Manufacturer:  Merck)

Interceptor Dogs:  (Monthly beef flavored chewable tablet:  heartworm/roundworm/hookworm/whipworm): Buy 12 Doses; Receive Free Sock Monkey Stuffed Pet Toy and $12 Mail in Rebate; Expires 12/31/15; We mail in the rebate for you, you receive the rebate check in the mail at your home address direct from the manufacturer. (Manufacturer:  Elanco)

Interceptor Cats:  (Monthly beef flavored chewable tablet:  heartworm/roundworm/hookworm): Buy 12 Doses; Receive Free Sock Monkey Stuffed Pet Toy and $12 Mail in Rebate; Expires 12/31/15; We mail in the rebate for you, you receive the rebate check in the mail at your home address direct from the manufacturer. (Manufacturer:  Elanco)

Seresto Collars -Cat, Small Dog, or Large Dog (8 month collar:  flea/tick):  Buy 1 Collar ; $15 Mail in Rebate;  Expires 6/30/15;  We provide you the rebate coupon that you send into the manufacturer and you receive the rebate check in the mail at your home address directly from the manufacturer.  (Manufacturer:  Bayer)

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What We Carry & Recommend for Heartworm, Flea or Tick Product at the GACC:

 

Seresto: (active ingredients: flumethrin/imidacloprid)  8 Month Collar, Fleas/Ticks; Sizes:  Cat, Small Dog, Large Dog

Advantage Multi Cats:  (active ingredients:  imidacloprid/moxidectin)  Monthly Topical Liquid, Fleas/Ear Mites/ Roundworms/ Hookworms/ Heartworm); Sizes:  Cats 2-5lbs, Cats 5.1 – 9lbs, Cats 9.1-18lbs

Frontline Plus Dogs: (active ingredients:  fipronil/s-methoprene)  Monthly Topical Liquid, Fleas/Tics; Sizes:  5-22lbs; 23-44lbs; 48-88lbs; 89-132lbs

Frontline Plus Cats:  (active ingredients:  fipronil/s-methoprene)  Monthly Topical Liquid, Fleas/Ticks; Sizes:  (For Cats & Kittens 8 Weeks and Older)

Nexgard Dogs:  (active ingredient: afoxolaner)  Monthly Beef Flavored Chew, Fleas/Ticks; Sizes:  4-10lbs, 10.1-24lbs; 24.1-60lbs; 60.1-121lbs

Bravecto Dogs: (active ingredient:  fluralaner) Every 3 Month Beef Flavored Chew, Fleas/Ticks: Sizes:  4.4-9.9lbs, 9.9 – 22lbs, 22-44lbs, 44-88lbs, 88-123lbs

Interceptor Dogs:  (active ingredient:  milbemycin)  Monthly Chewable Beef Flavored Tablet, Heartworm/Hookworm/Roundworm/Whipworm: Sizes:  2-10lbs; 11-25lbs; 26-50lbs; 51-100lbs; Over 100lbs.

Interceptor Cats: (active ingredient:  milbemycin)  Monthly Chewable Beef Flavored Tablet, Heartworm/Roundworm/Hookworm:  Sizes:  1.5-6lbs; 6.1-12lbs; 12.1-25lbs

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification on any product and for product pricing.  Often once the rebate is applied or free product dispensed our prices are lower than most outside sources.

 

 

Doggie Daycare Fun – What a Face (15 Second Short)

May 21st, 2015

A face more than a mother can love!  Lucy, what a cutie-patootie.

 

Lucy. "Good dog, sit." #gardneranimalcarecenter #gaccdaycare #gaccdaycarefun

A video posted by Gardner Animal Care Center (@gardneranimalcarecenter) on

Doggie Daycare Fun – Checkin’ Out the New Girl (15 Second Short)

May 21st, 2015

Lucy is known to the group but hasn’t been in the doggie daycare group for a while, as she was recovering from her spay surgery.  She certainly got a warm, or one could say “curious” welcome.

Check in' out the new girl. :). #gardneranimalcarecenter #gaccdaycare #gaccdaycarefun

A video posted by Gardner Animal Care Center (@gardneranimalcarecenter) on

Doggie Daycare Fun – Brody & Roxy (15 Second Short)

May 21st, 2015

Brody & Roxy, best buds at our doggie daycare facility, playing in our outdoor enclosure.

 

They literally do this all day with each other. True best buds. No wonder they are tired every night! #gardneranimalcarecenter #gaccdaycare #gaccdaycarefun

A video posted by Gardner Animal Care Center (@gardneranimalcarecenter) on

Pawsitive Pet Perspectives of a Practice Manager: “The Eyes? Have it!”

December 18th, 2014

It began as a day like any other, but when you work in veterinary medicine, “ordinary” is not the description of a typical day and this day was no exception.

We received a frantic phone call from a woman stating her dog’s eye had fallen out. Now at first, of course, this sounds odd, and even for “the unusual” which is often the norm in our occupation, this was a little extreme. The Client Service Representative asked the appropriate questions and the unusual ones for the circumstances, to ascertain if this eye was truly detached from the body, hanging precariously, intact but maybe swollen around the socket, or  intact and scratched. As frantic as the woman was it was clear that it was not inside the socket.

The woman explained that she doesn’t drive and that the dog officer came to her home and picked up the dog. The woman sent the dog officer with the dog to our hospital. She lived in a surrounding town, a few towns away from us, but a friend had used our facility in the past and recommended our team. She explained that she could not travel with the dog because the dog officer was only allowed to transport pets, not humans.

About 20 minutes later, the dog officer arrived with a very adorable and surprisingly calm little Boston Terrier dog whose one eye was open and the other closed. Upon closer inspection a few droplets of blood seeped out along the eye lashes of the closed lid, and the eyeball was most definitely not inside. To this little guy, it appeared to be a typical day. Sure he lost his eye, but he took a ride in the car, and went to visit a bunch of people that doted over him and gave him lots of attention.  At first the front office team thought he must be in shock. However, he truly was just very calm about the whole situation and all vitals upon examination were normal.

When Dr. Mike entered the exam room, the dog officer presented him with a jar containing the eye with the optic nerve attached and a paper towel.  Again, surprisingly, given the situation the dog showed no signs of trauma to brain function, the other eye, or any other physical or mental concerns.

We contacted the owner to explain the situation and that we recommended he receive further specialized attention, but for now he was stable.  We cleaned the area and told her we would put him on antibiotics so she could determine where he would receive specialized treatment. Because remarkably, the eye had completely fallen out with the optic nerve attached and the injury had stopped bleeding on its own. She then explained to us that she had no income and wasn’t sure how she could pay for our services.

Recently a very kind individual donated to our hospital some antibiotics and some pain medications that we had prescribed for their pet whom had passed prior to the pet’s use. When that happens we keep the medication until it expires in what we call our “donated meds bin” for situations like this.  As it turns out, the medications were just what this little guy needed and fit his dosage requirements as well.

Dr. Mike, whom had examined the dog, donated his time, and because of a kind soul who wanted their beloved deceased pet’s medications to go to good use, to our knowledge the little Boston is on his way to recovery.

You may be asking, how did the injury happen? It is our understanding that another dog in the household bit down on the other dogs head in an altercation in just the perfect manner to cause the very freak accident of the eyeball of a normal, healthy dog to be completely (and what one would think with great precision given the cleanliness of the detachment) dislodged and fall fully intact onto the pet parent’s floor.

While a distressing situation for the pet owner, but seemingly uneventful situation to the little dog given his reaction, calm demeanor and completely normal vitals, it produced for Dr. Mike, a beautiful medically preserved specimen of an eyeball for which he holds a special fascination. He walked around with this gem in his pocket, and left it on his desk for viewing for about two days. To us, that is not unusual, but often we forget that eyeballs in jars are not the norm for most of our clients. To Dr. Mike’s chagrin, a photo of the eye does not accompany this blog post for obvious reasons (we try not to post what some would find as gore, blood and guts), but mostly there is no photo in order to protect the “eye of the beholder” who views it. Because once you “see” it, you can’t “un-see” it. Though none of us here would lose our lunch while viewing it, and we can talk about cases like this in great detail while eating lunch without a second thought; we recognize that the general population might find us quite mad. This may be the holiday season, but it is not Halloween. We have counseled him to let it be and to save its viewing for special occasions or upon request. Should you have the curiosity to view it, just ask him. He will be happy to show you and elaborate on the story.

Pawsitively Pondering the Perplexities of Pets (& Humans…)
Gayle M. Craig, CVPM, CVJ, Practice Manager

Day 10 Nicaragua Mission

June 20th, 2014

I am writing from 35,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico. Technically this is day 11 of the mission trip, but yesterday was so busy that I did not write a blog. If you were paying a subscription for this blog I would feel guilty, and you would be foolish, but since this is just for fun, I will write this final blog and limit your exposure to harmful essay.

Yesterday we started out, as we usually do, with a hearty breakfast that included guya pinto, and I must confess I have grown to enjoy rice and beans for breakfast. I don’t expect to continue this culinary delicacy back home, which will make my wife and coworkers happy, but it has been enjoyable in a simple kind of way. We also had fresh squeezed fruit juice everyday, including mango, star fruit, passion fruit, grapefruit, and mixed juice combinations. They have all been very good. The cooks at the Gaitins cabins are quite good, and very warm and smiling, and we will miss them.

After breakfast we went zip lining, which the students universally chose over the other option of touring lake Nicaragua by boat, which was too slow for them. It was a lot of fun to go zipping down the wires, in any position you want, like superman, or backwards, or upside down, or bouncing. As long as you don’t fall off, they are pretty flexible. No one was injured in this expedition, and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone except perhaps by our guides who had to put up with us, but they were very friendly and helpful and seemed to enjoy it also. We then went to tour a volcano at a national park. They had a visitors center, and then a car ride to the top where we hiked up and around the rim. It was belching, or maybe spewing, blowing, or disembubbling, could also be used to describe the white smoke with the slightly sulphuric odor, like it had been eating guya pinto for a few centuries. It was a nice visit, as long as you stayed upwind. After lunch, we went to the market for a couple of hours of shopping, and I was able to pick up some gifts and souvenirs, and we enjoyed a cold Milky Way frappachino, mucho bueno! The market had a very Central American feel, no surprise, with lots of colorful clothes and gifts and hand crafts. The vendors are very happy to see Americanos shopping and gladly except dollars, mucho gracias. Our last dinner included hamburgs and Nicaraguan fries, of which I abstained because of some disagreement between my gastrointestinal organs.

We had a final group devotion and prayer time, and it was very uplifting and encouraging. Our team really bonded, from the very first day, and worked together joyfully and humbly, whether working, playing, eating, or driving, but especially when we were praying. It was unexpected and spontaneous, and everyone contributed to the group. We were of one mind, working together for a single purpose, to bring glory to our Lord, and hope to the people, and health to the animals. It is always amazing how God can work in and thru people, even in such a short time. We came from 9 different states and Canada, with vets, students, vet technicians, and spouses, all working together as “one body, for The Lord”. We treated 470 dogs, 300 cows, 46 horses, 35 cats, 32 pigs, 21 rabbits, and 2 deer. We did 36 spays and 6 neuters. We gave out lots of tracts, and talked as best we could to as many people as we could including playing with lots of children, especially Bill. We were hot and dirty and smelly, sometimes tired, never hungry, busy but not overwhelmed, away from home but not alone, far away in miles but close together in Spirit, had mixed emotions but not anxious or sad, unable to speak the language but able to communicate the heart, and always in the loving arms of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. It really was a special time and I would like to thank everyone on our Christian Veterinary Mission team for their dedication, hard work, and spiritual encouragement. You were a joy to serve with, and I hope we can do it again some day.

And one final thought, if you have not gone on a mission trip, I would encourage you to go. The final words of Jesus were “go, and make disciples of all the nations…”. And remember, the most important mission you have is not overseas, but right where you are, to your family and neighbors and coworkers and friends. They need you to bring hope and love and blessings from our God. It is a wonderful journey that you are on, and you have many divine appointments to keep, and when it is finished, and you are saved, you will be forever with God in a new and Glorious home forever. That is a trip you do not want to miss!

Many blessings and mucho gracias
Dr Mike

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Day 9 Nicaragua Mission

June 19th, 2014

Today was the first day we did not go anywhere in the Baptisa 15 person van. It was not designed for 15 people, but with plastic chairs you can be creative and squeeze more people in. It is not so bad as Mongolia, where sitting on laps and body contortions are often required for travel in an old, hard uncomfortable Russian van, but it is still tight. It seemed surprising when we came to a police checkpoint coming back from one of our trips that Oscar told me to put on my seatbelt, as there were not any seat belts for many of the other passengers, especially the one right between Oscar and I in the wiggly, moving, sliding, folding, plastic chair that needed protection most of all. But we got thru the checkpoint fine, they were just looking for drugs, and I am glad they did not check our bags because we had many different kinds for the animals, and if you could see the looks on the faces of the pets when they are waking up after their first drug usage, they would probably wish the police had seized all the drugs. In Nicaragua, you don’t notice many police, and it is a pretty safe country, unless you are a pet who lives in a village that a Christian Veterinary Missions team will be visiting, and you happen to be an unspayed female dog or a midnight crooning rooster.

Today we stayed here and people bought their animals to us. We probably treated about 100 animals, mostly dogs, but some cats, rabbits, and horses also. No deer though, I was looking for them, and was ready to jump into action to protect the people from these potentially dangerous beasts. But I will continue to be diligent and if the need arises you can relax and rest assured that you are in good hands. And if you see any of those dangerous fish, like tuna or stripers or lobsters, you should first bring them to me for a thorough physical exam, that I will perform free of charge, just in case they are carrying a dangerous disease that you did not even know about, and I can take care of the disposal of the disease ridden body, which usually requires boiling or grilling, again at no charge to you. I am just that kind of guy I guess.

Another thing that is annoying down here is the internet. It is not as reliable or fast as it should be, and there should be some kind of law against that. But what was really grating my craw today was that everyone else was getting on and I could not. They would say with a smirk in their voice “oh you still can’t get on, that is to bad, I got on right away again, it must just be the clouds or something”. Now Nancy will be worried and think that I got into some kind of major traffic accident because we don’t wear any seat belts, or veterinary drug seizure undercover operation initiated by some ill informed deer owning vigilante, because I did not message her yesterday. But don’t worry honey, I am ok, and still bright, alert, and responsive, or BAR, as we put on our physical exam record of any pet who appears healthy and normal. It is just the illegal lack of access to fast and reliable internet that has kept me from contacting you. Hopefully she will get this blog before she sends Lexi and Sam on a rescue mission, because the only thing they can reliably search for and find is porcupine or turkey poop.

Tomorrow is our last day here, and we have no work scheduled, so we will be doing some fun things that I will be sure to tell you about. And if I ever get on the internet again, maybe you will actually be able to read about it.

Until then, blessings from Catarina
Dr Mike

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Day 8 Nicaraguan Mission

June 18th, 2014

One of the first things you notice in Nicaragua is the light, as in sunlight, as in there is less of it. Because we are nearer to the equator there is almost equal day and night, so sunrise is close to 6 am, and sunset 6 pm. That is almost 4 hours less than at home this time of year. So we go to bed earlier because it feels later, sort of like New England in the winter, except 70 degrees warmer. Plus we are tired from long days of work, but in reality it is less than a normal day at the Gardner Animal Care Center, but don’t tell anyone because then they will not feel sorry for me and will count this as vacation and not continuing education, which I have already explained.

We went into a small village called Los Madera today, and it was a very busy day. We treated 120 dogs, 9 cats, 5 rabbits, 4 pigs, and 2 deer. Yes that is right, 2 deer. And I helped…really. They were 2 small fawns the lady bought to be dewormed because she was going to raise them for their milk. Now that is a new one on me, as most deer are used for their meat, but we dewormed them and let them go. That was the closest I have been to a deer in years. I know Eric would not have let them go, but they were too small even for him. Maybe next year if I come back and the lady brings them back for more deworming, I will do a physical exam and pronounce them unfit to be kept because of a serious zoonotic disease, and they must relinquish them to me for further testing, including a necropsy. I will take care of the diagnostic tests at no charge to the owner, because I am such a kind person. And afterward, when I find everything is normal, I might as well not waste anything, being a frugal Yankee. I might even feel a little guilty, but it is for science after all.

We had lots of kids crowd around us, especially interested in the surgeries, and enjoying watching the dogs wake up, all groggy and drunk looking, with their tongues hanging out and a blank stare on their faces, like me trying to speak Spanish. And when we castrate a pig, well that’s the best of all because they squeal so loud it is like a dinner bell siren for all the dogs to come looking for a little appetizer. And there were a lot of roosters running around, but they were too chicken to come close. We did have chicken for lunch, and that made me feel better thank you.

For dinner we had a traditional Nicaraguan meal with yuca, cole slaw like salad, spicy onions, and pork rinds. Now I have not had that before, and I must confess this was the first meat thing I did not like. But this pork was actually pig skin deep fried and very crispy, and hard enough to almost hurt your teeth. I do not like it Sam I am, not in a hut, not in a car, not in a box, just let me be. Now I know why they make footballs out of pig skins, because they are not fit for eating.

After dinner we had a very good prayer and devotions and singing time. Now I am not a very good singer, but I was sitting between 2 ladies, Bouno and Hannah, who were very good, so it made me sound better. We have a very close group and I really like spending time with them. I will miss them when we leave.

Tomorrow we have our last day of work, and we will be staying here at Oscar and Tamy’s, and all the people will come to us. It should be very busy, so I must go and rest so I can continue to work so hard on this continuing education mission survival trip that does not count as vacation.

Blessings from Los Maderas
Dr Mike

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Day 7 Nicaragua Mission

June 17th, 2014

Today started…quietly. That was different. Maybe the dogs are used to our smell and the kids ran out of fireworks and all the roosters were eaten, but whatever the reason the noise didn’t wake me up. I just woke up, at 4:30 am, for no particular reason. It’s that internal alarm clock that just goes off, and since we are 2 hours behind, it went off at 6:30 am eastern standard time. Now when Nancy’s internal alarm goes off, it usually means something is wrong with one of the kids, or I did something foolish again. And the problem is, she is usually right. You can try to BS, change the subject, take the offense, and all those other natural defenses we have, but in the end, she is usually right. You would think I would learn, but no, 34 years later I still fight it, and usually lose. Bad habits die hard. Oh what a tangled….

So we got up, ate breakfast, hit the road at 7:30, and off to the capital city Managua, to do some small animal work in one of the poorer sections of town. It is interesting driving in Nicaragua because it is so different than the US. First the paved roads are better than ours, seriously. The second poorest country in the hemisphere has better paved roads than Ashburnham. By far. No potholes, no frost heaves, no layers of patch on top of patch. Smooth as a baby’s…well I won’t go that far. Second, there are not near as many drivers. Most people walk, bike, or ride a bus, so the roads are uncrowded, even in the city. No traffic jams or long backups. Third, people do not drive fast, they are not speeding, swerving, one finger saluting, honking, or swearing. They are actually easygoing and in no hurry to get there. And when you get behind the slow drivers, which is often, it is easy to pass them because there are not that many cars and the roads are long and straight. I wish it was like that back home, but that is about as likely as snow in Nicaragua or smooth roads in Ashburnham. But mostly what I notice is all the people near or on the roads. You can drive for miles at home and the only thing you see is other cars. Here you cannot drive 100 yards without seeing people or animals walking the road. And they are usually talking, the people that is, I have not heard any animals talking, but since I don’t know spanish I guess it is possible I’m missing it. We live in big insulated houses, and have large cars with closed windows, and often have ear phones or cell phones stuck to our head, and we usually don’t interact with other people. Here they are always close to other people and talking with them. I think they are better at the people end of it than we are, so I am not sure which country is richer.

We worked inside one of the churches Oscar had planted and it worked out very well. Now you may think it is wrong or foolish to work with dogs inside of a church, because when they get nervous, they get messy. But these churches are very basic, with cement block walls, open areas for windows, plastic chairs, an aluminum roof, no lights, and a dirt floor. So if an animal pees on the floor, just wait a few seconds and voila, it disappears. Brilliant. I spent all this time and money on our floors at work, and have nice shiny tiles that we have to mop 20 times a day, and I should have just put in dirt floors and been better off. And the people are very patient and wait without complaining or saluting. But to be fair, they are not paying either, which tends to make people grumpy, so it is not apples to apples, or mangos to mangos in Nicaragua. Still I wish I could bottle some of their attitudes, just not the ones which want everything for free.

We came home, went swimming, played pool volleyball, ate dinner, got to FaceTime with Nancy, and had an hour and a half of group devotions and prayer. Now that is a good way to end the day. Tomorrow we are off to do it again in some other small town. I hope it will be a blessing to the people we serve. We have a very good team, and I am blessed to be here. Thank you Lord!

Blessings from Managua
Dr Mike

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Day 6 Nicaragua Mission

June 16th, 2014

Today is Sunday, and Sunday morning in Nicaragua is special, so special that they celebrate with fireworks. I can understand why they like them so much, because all guys like to light something and make it explode, it is just so fulfilling to blow things up. It may be genetic, or cultural, or just guys being stupid, but it is still fun. And it is father day so just let us have some fun. Except that Father’s Day is next Sunday in Nicaragua, so I don’t know why they are blowing them off this morning. And they only have the loud noise fireworks, none of the color burst kind, so it is not like having the full affect of an explosive device, it is only partially fulfilling.

They do the children’s church in the morning, and our group split into 3 different teams to go and help at children’s church. Then we had lunch, rice but no beans bummer, and mashed potatoes and beef, very good. Then we visited a potters house and the husband and wife explained what they do and then she made some pottery and showed us how to do it. Then a few people tried their hand at it. The girls did ok, but Bill got a little rough with his bowl and it fell apart. I bet he is better at fireworks.

After that we went to the lookout, which sounds like a shady type of place, but in fact it was a sunny little tourism spot near the top of an old volcano, and down below was a lagoon, and in the distance, lake Nicaragua, which is the largest lake in central and South America, and the only lake in the world with its own freshwater shark. I wish Paul was here and we would do some fishing, and maybe we would actually catch something, but not this time, so the sharks are safe (actually everything is safe when I go fishing).

After that we went to the 5:00 service in Pacaya, which is a small village that Oscar and Tamy planted a church in several years ago. Oscar asked me to preach the sermon, so I did, how can you say no to someone who’s nephew just scored a game winning goal in the World Cup! The sermon started out ok, and then about half way thru, the rainy season started. Last year it started when we were spaying dogs outside. This year it started during my sermon. It rained hard. Oscar had to turn the microphone up. I don’t know if God was trying to tell me something, or if it was just meteorological coincidence, but since it was not thundering or lightning, I just kept on talking. It was hard to tell how it went, because you had to keep starting and stopping for Tamy to interpret, but I guess it went ok because I didn’t hear any snickering, unless Nicaraguan jeers sound like snoring, in which case it did not go so well. But they are very kind and polite here, so no one said anything mean, not that I could tell anyway.

Tomorrow we head into Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, to do some small animal work, so I will let you know how it goes. And maybe I will buy some fireworks, and shoot them off, really early in the morning. Then I will feel better, just like one of the guys!

Blessings from Pacaya
Dr Mike