We have a new project: Milo the dog.
The gruesome photo above was taken moments after my first contact with Milo. As you can see, it was painful just to look at her.
Truthfully, we’ve seen some rough looking dogs in our world travels – including here on Panay Island in the Philippines. But Milo was one of the worst.
Milo is also the only dog that has ever looked me dead in the eye and whimpered aloud. I could swear she said ‘help me’. I answered – ‘OK’.
Milo’s hard-luck story
At first I thought she may have been struck and dragged by a vehicle. Her sides seemed raw like hamburger.
But a guy on the beach said it was just mange – made worse by Milo feverishly itching herself.
In fact, I had just struck up a conversation with the chap named Jerry, from Cardiff, Wales, when Milo came loping along.
Jerry said he had first noticed Milo a couple days before, sniffing around the edge of his beachfront property. He had offered her some table scraps, but found her too skittish to accept.
As Milo furtively slinked away again, Jerry and I agreed, we had to do something. We shook hands on it.
Help for Milo
I returned the next day. Jerry reported that he had asked around the neighborhood about who might be the owner of Milo. Eventually, he did find a Filipino family who admitted Milo was one of their dogs.
Jerry was of the opinion that the family had fallen on hard times. Without blaming them, he informed them that we wanted to help make Milo better. They consented to his attentions.
Milo wasn’t around during my second visit. But Jerry said he’d now seen her each day – so she’d undoubtedly be back. He talked about finding a veterinarian. I said I would get some food.
The next day, I returned with five pounds of Pedigree premium dry dog food (somewhat difficult to find here) and a collar. Jerry said I had just missed the veterinarian. The vet house-call had been arranged by Jerry’s landlord.
They had been able to lure Milo into Jerry’s porch area and give her an examination and injection of medicine. The vet now plans to return every week and provide treatment for the next month.
Apparently, after days of trying, Milo has warmed up to Jerry and his calm, stress free environment. Plus now we have some quality food to further bolster her health. Indeed, thankfully, she liked the Pedigree. We’ve sometimes bought dry dog food for street dogs and they won’t touch it.
The next day, almost a miracle! I came by to find Milo hanging around Jerry’s porch and eating bits of the dry food from her half-coconut bowl. Amazingly, the horrible, open wounds on her sides were much better – not nearly as red. Healing fast.
Jerry wasn’t home but I took a few photos. You can see the difference in the photos above. And Milo seemed to have a bit more spunk – and trust too. At one point she was just inches from me, sniffing my legs.
I talked to her for a few minutes. Soothed her. We made eye contact again. I wonder if I can find some dog bones, biscuits, or treats somewhere. Such items are often scarce in the developing world.
We’ve now taken a short getaway for a few days on the nearby tourist island of Boracay. Before we head home, I’m going to check some of the more ‘western oriented’ groceries here for dog biscuits. Hopefully, we can add that to Milo’s ‘recovery diet’.
Further, I’m sure the veterinarian has visited again. And Milo has undoubtedly been eating and resting and convalescing.
The last time I saw Milo she was roaming around on the beach near Jerry’s. She wasn’t exactly playing, but she did appear to be enjoying the late afternoon.
It was good to see the difference we’ve made in just a few days. And I’m confident that with a little more time and care she will improve even more.
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & more beer.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Mangy Milo melts hearts on mainland Malay.”
What to read next: