Mary Roberg, Tanzania, June 25, 2014

Today was a beautiful day in Mikumi! Essentially a perfect summer day in the states but this is their typical winter day here, can’t imagine what it would be like in the summer! This morning, we went to another local area of Mikumi, about 15 minutes away from our hotel. When we arrived there were already dogs waiting for surgery and vaccines so once we unloaded we started right away.

Dogs sleeping in the sun, waiting to receive vaccines

Waiting for vaccines

By about 9 am surgery was underway, continuing at a constant rate throughout the afternoon, performing 17 surgeries total, 14 castrations and 3 spays! We also treated 63 patients today (surgeries included) with vaccinations, deworming and flea spay treatment.  We also had the most cats we’ve seen so far today, 3 for surgeries and several for vaccination only.  Five of the surgeries were puppy castrations that could be performed similar to a cat neuter which allowed us to performed several of them in a row on one table while spays and large dog castrations were performed on the other table.  We had quite the audience watching the whole time as well as several dogs around whether they were being treated or not! At one point I looked up from the spay I was performing to see a beautiful Basenji mix dog standing the right of Mike (who was assisting) wagging her tail and watching the surgery!  Dr. Hoenig tried to give away her pencils to the local school children and they all ran away from her! Eventually they came back and each took a few pencils once she realized she wasn’t giving out homework with those pencils J

The surgeries themselves went smoothly.  By the end of the day, we were all quite exhausted but pleased with the overall surgeries and vaccinations performed. Dr. Bennett continues to joke with us that he’s no longer needed since we’ve built confidence in our surgical skills. He had taught us so much this trip and I know we all feel much better about our surgical techniques, even though we’ve been in less than ideal situations!