Retin A Without A Prescription, This post originally appeared on August 9, 2008. I like the piece so I'm running it again while I'm on vacation.
That's the first question Peruvians ask me when I'm out walking Lola. It doesn't matter if the person is male or female, young or old, with dog or without. Nine times out of ten, a Peruvian seeing my dog for the first time wants to know if she's a bitch (hembra).
Sometimes, they want to know if she's a little bitch (hembrita).
In contrast, back in the United States the first question people ask is, "What's your dog's name?" From the answer, they usually can infer the animal's sex, Retin A Without A Prescription.
Peruvians get right to the point. Hembra o macho?
It's the verbal equivalent of the butt-sniffing that dogs do when they meet, 20mg Retin A Without A Prescription.
I used to be upset by the hembrita question when Lola was a puppy. It struck me as obsessive, Peruvians' ubiquitous need to peg my dog's gender before knowing anything else about her, such as her name or temperament. Retin A Without A Prescription, Now that Lola is 11 months old and in heat, however, I am beginning to understand Peru's hembra fixation.
In a country where most pets aren't spayed or neutered, a dog's being hembra is a big deal. It matters a lot more than whether the dog's name is "Lola" or "Lucky" or "Pisco." Because most girl dogs here aren't fixed and can get pregnant, anyone who chooses an hembra for a pet is taking on a big responsibility. You either breed your dog and spend months tending to the puppies, Retin A Without A Prescription japan, or twice a year, when she's in heat, you guard her virginity like a hawk.
That's the situation we're in now. When El Fotógrafo, El Híjo and I take Lola on a walk, we carry a tall stick with which to fend off horny pooches (the Humping Poodle being our No, Retin A Without A Prescription. 1 target). Most of the time, we keep Lola in the backyard so she doesn't drive the machos crazy. But once or twice a day, we do a quick trot around the park, and each time, it's a drama, Retin A Without A Prescription overseas.
My attitude was firmly (unquestioningly) American when we first got Lola. Retin A Without A Prescription, I presumed we'd fix her. That was what my parents did with our female beagle in New Jersey when I was a kid. Bridgette didn't seem to mind not having ovaries or pups; nobody I knew in the 40-something years I lived in the U.S. ever complained about having spayed their pets. Neutering your pet is the responsible thing to do in America, where the dog population is more than 66 million. With numbers like that, not-neutering is barely an option; the moral obligation to keep down the pet population has been hard-wired into the national consciousness, Retin A Without A Prescription. It's the right thing to do in countries like the United States, where if people didn't fix their pets, the country would be overrun with strays. 40mg Retin A Without A Prescription, In Peru, however, where there are only about 3.5 million dogs, neutering isn't a tradition. The country's dog problem isn't overpopulation – it's rabies – and so public campaigns about dogs focus on that issue. I suspect that as more Peruvians acquire pets, however, fixing dogs will become more common. Retin A Without A Prescription, We bought Lola at 3 months from a British man on the Malecon, who came there daily with Lola's mom and her litter of puppies. El Fotografo first spied the mother dog during his morning runs and was impressed at how competently she managed the nine puppies that swarmed around her in the park. Over several weeks, the litter grew smaller until only two pups were left, Lola and her sister, Retin A Without A Prescription australia. "Peruvians don't want female dogs," the owner explained when we asked about buying a puppy.
I was surprised. "We want a female," I said as EH wrapped the puppy in his arms. That night, we handed over US $100 – the bargain price for a purebred embrita Lab in Peru -- and she was ours, Retin A Without A Prescription.
Our veterinarian, a woman in her late 20s, welcomed our plan to fix Lola, an attitude that's rare among Peruvian vets, Retin A Without A Prescription india, I've come to understand.
'Yes, fixing her is a good idea," she said calmly. "You can do it now or wait."
But other vets we encountered – pet doctors at the groomers, at pet stores – reacted ferociously to the idea.
"It's barbaric!" one vet in Barranco yelled at me. Retin A Without A Prescription, "All the Americans want to operate on their animals. It's not necessary. If you are a responsible pet owner, you keep your dog in the house when she's in heat."
"But," I began, Retin A Without A Prescription mexico, a bit shocked.
"It's horrible, all you Americans cutting off the dogs' testicles and ovaries!" (This lady wouldn't back down an inch.)
I hurriedly paid for the large dog crate I'd come to the store to purchase and raced out of there.
As unpleasant as that encounter was, it got me thinking. Did we have to fix Lola, Retin A Without A Prescription. Might we want a litter of puppies. Freed from the American obligation to fix our dog, and presumably now being committed to keeping her under lock and key during her heat, might it be possible to let Lola keep her options open for a few years. 500mg Retin A Without A Prescription, I let it become a subject for family discussion.
Our verdict: We'd wait until Lola was sexually mature, around 24 months, to see if we wanted to mate her. Retin A Without A Prescription, If the answer was no, we'd fix her. If we wanted puppies, we'd find her a novio (boyfriend) and let her have one litter, then do the operation.
So here we are, EH and EF and I, outfitting Lola with panties and fending off amorous dogs with a walking stick we bought to climb Machu Picchu.
Our backyard is fenced in by concrete walls, Retin A Without A Prescription craiglist, two stories high, so other dogs can't get to her that way.
Still, it is a lot of work, more than I realized. Lola is agitated, sometimes defiant and filled with energy, Retin A Without A Prescription. She yanks so hard on the leash it almost tears my arm out of the socket. Then there's the blood, the sad business of her not being able to spend much time in the house. She can't play with her dog friends in the park, 10mg Retin A Without A Prescription, she doesn't have much room in the backyard to play fetch. Her normal life is curtailed, a situation that makes her simultaneously more animal and more like a human. Retin A Without A Prescription, She's not a neutered pet; she's a female creature. I feel an empathy with her I didn't feel when she was a puppy.
"We're the girls in the house," I say, putting my face to her silky black muzzle. "We have to stick together."
She looks up at me with her brown eyes, an expressive look that seems to say, "Yeah, you're right."
I know she's not really thinking that, but she lets me hold her for a while.
It's an hembra thing.
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