Monday, September 05, 2011

Baker Lake, Nunavut - Catch up

First announcement - We have internet!! Yea!!!  So after letting all of the team members check in with their families and friends I've managed to beat them all away from the laptop to update the blog and let the rest of the world hear about our adventures so far! 

Let me introduce Team Baker Lake 2011 - Veterinarian: Jen; Technicians: Angela, Carley, Jackie, Kristie, Laura, and Renee; and assistants: Michelle and Sue. 

Travel Day:  Most of our team members were meeting each other for the first time just 4 days ago.. either in airports from whatever side of the country we were starting from or in the hotel in Winnipeg.  It is always an entertaining experience to walk into an airport waiting room and try to look for people who you have no idea what they look like.. Almost as entertaining as sharing a hotel room with three complete strangers!  However we all found each other and started getting to know each other.  

Day 1:  The next day we met up with the last two members of our team and started the flights north.  A huge "Thank you" to Calm Air and the people at the Buddy Fund for getting us up here!!  For those of you that haven't done it - flying north is not an inexpensive venture, so we appreciate all the help we get to make it possible for our teams to get where they are needed!  We arrived in Baker Lake pretty late in the evening and after a long day of travel we pretty much just dragged all of our stuff inside the house and went to bed. 
Ok,ok.. maybe it wasn't quite THAT easy.  First we got picked up from the airport, had to have another vehicle come because all of our stuff wouldn't fit in the truck that was there, then some of us got a wee bit lost on the way to the house, and when we did get there we found that someone else was already living in the house but wasn't home.  So while we were all sitting there trying to decide how to word the note to leave on the door explaining that 9 women had moved in and gone to bed, please don't trip over us, and we'll chat in the morning, poor Eric came home.  He was very nice and understanding - and moved right out leaving us the house.  Sorry, Eric!  I was worried that we scared him away, but he's been back to help us set up and even brought a pet in for a coworker, so we couldn't have been that bad!
Some of us got a glimpse of the Northern LIghts, which as always is an amazing experience.  We all have our fingers crossed for more!

Day 2:  We got up the next day and had to set up our surgery area as well as our vaccination area.  Some folding tables, some tarps and rearranging of some lights and we were ready to go!  Our first patient had been waiting for us.  "King"  is a puppy who had a rope collar put on when he was smaller and had outgrown it.  It was deeply imbedded into the skin on his neck, causing wounds and infection.  Dr. Jen and her team spent two and a half hours removing the collar and repairing the wound.  We had to fashion him a body harness out of some of our leashes since he won't be able to wear a collar for a while, we have our fingers crossed he won't figure out how to escape it!  He recovered well from his anesthesia and we will be able to check on him reguarly during our stay in Baker.
After that was taken care of the surgery team did a full day of surgeries - five dog neuters and one dog spay.
It was a pretty busy day after the vaccine clinic got up and running - we saw 19 more dogs for vaccinations and deworming. 

Day 3:  I've gotta say that the most exciting thing for me about this day is that my suitcase, that has been MIA since leaving Toronto, magically appeared!  I've never been happier to see clean underwear or hiking boots in all of my life!  Thank you to Carley and Michelle for dressing me up until this point of the trip.  For any of you thinking about coming up here - capris and sandals are NOT Baker Lake attire!
We started off this moring by heading out to vaccinate and deworm two of the sled teams in town - one had 9 dogs, the other had 13.   We were picked up by ATVs, so went out clinging on for dear life, but had a great time. Strugging with frozen fingers to change syringes and needles, and occasionally having to get our bag of garbage from one particularly playful sled dog, we got them all done.  It's obvious to all of us that the team owners really love their dogs and want to provide the best for them.  Both of these teams were seem by last year's team, and were happy to see CAAT back again!
Today we saw Blackie, a 14 year old cat who's been loosing weight.  We soon discovered that a tooth was infected and painful.  We were able to pull it out and send him home with some antibiotics and painkillers.  Hopefully he's on the mend and eating happily soon. 
Our total numbers for today - 4 dog neuters, 7 dog spays, 1 cat neuter, 11 other dogs  and 4 other cats vaccinated and dewormed.
No more Northern Lights.  At least not yet.

No comments:


Donate Now Through!