After all of our failed attempts to continue to wild camp around Baja California Sur, we had finally come to the conclusion that we should put Todos Santos behind us and head up to Bahía Concepcion to hide away near the canyons and the isolated hot springs away from Cabo and La Paz. The universe clearly had other ideas, and apparently it wanted us to stay right where we were for the time being. It had started to tell us by delaying our post arrival by almost two weeks, and to this point we had ignore its attempts to stop us. It was soon about to make sure that we would be sticking around a little longer than either of us would have preferred.
That morning, we woke up in the Thompson’s front garden. We were desperately hoping that our post would conveniently arrive that day and that we would be able finally head north to live off-grid, hidden in a canyon somewhere further north.
With not many options, we brewed a pot of tea and deliberated what we should do in the case that the parcels still hadn’t arrived. Rob and Jen had kindly offered for us to stay in their front garden as long as we needed and Kerstin and Hanno had informed us that they had agreed a deal with the owner for them to not rent any further casitas out unless they were friends of theirs.
Next to the Thompson’s house was a building site for a fancy looking new house which was being built next door. As construction has been instructed to close and so there wasn’t much sign of life on over there, except for the owners three guard dogs which had kept us up most of the night through relentless barking.
As we were now back in suburbia and we had seen that the neighbour to the other side of the Thompson’s also had cats; we decided to let Aimee out to explore. We assumed if the three dogs made themselves know, Aimee who scarper and steer clear of it for the rest of the morning. As to be predicted with any cat, the first thing Aimee wanted to do was explore the building site. The dogs, were nowhere to be seen (or heard), and so after some deliberation, decided to leave her to it.
About five minutes later, she was satisfied which what she had seen over there and so had returned to bother us instead.
It was about ten minutes later that we both heard it. The painful shriek of a cat in terrible pain. We hadn’t realised that the owner was back with his dogs. Not only that… Aimee was no longer with us.
My legs were moving before I had time to process what was happening. Soon I was scaling the small fence which separated the two properties.
To my horror, I found Aimee back into a corner. She had been surrounded by the three dogs who were now viciously snarling at her. Aimee was trying to warn them off. Hissing at them fiercely, whilst pawing at one with her claws.
I yelled at the dogs, grabbing their attention long enough for Aimee to bolt back across to Rob and Jen’s garden.
The dogs did not know what to think of me being there, but before giving them the chance to think any more about it, I yelled at them one final time and thankfully they hightailed it out of there.
I could feel my heart racing beneath my chest. I dared not think about what could have just happened if I wasn’t able to get to Aimee in time, as I knew it would not have ended well for her.
I found the fence a little trickier to scale back over on the way back. Clearly the sudden burst of adrenaline was quickly fading. Willow was searching around the garden for Aimee, who had quickly darted under the camper and disappeared.
Knowing she would be terrified, we desperately searched for her. Checking her usual hiding places first. I eventually spotted her hiding underneath the van on top of the gearbox. Tring to coax her out, I felt around her neck for any obvious signs of a serious wound.
From her neck, I tried to feel the rest of her for any signs that she was attacked, which obviously wasn’t east with her tucked away in an awkward spot. At first there were no visible signs that she had an injury, but you could just tell that she was more than just scared. Trying to keep her calm by talking to her, she looked at me with pained eyes and reached her front paw out towards me, letting out a agonizing yelp in the process.
Immediately I could tell that something was really wrong. Her whole lower foot was wimp and it looked to be snapped in one section. We knew we had to get her out somehow and quickly without causing any further damage!
With Willow pushing her bottom, I pulled her from the front and was able to grab hold of the extra neck skin which her mother would have carried her with when she was young.
With her out from under the van, we could see her injuries a bit better. Her leg was definitely broken and she had a really large open wound from where one of the dogs must have bitten her.
We rushed inside and asked Jen if there was a vet closer than the one we took her to be spade at. Fortunately, there was one literally two blocks around the corner, and so Rob quickly drove around to see if they were open, promptly returning before driving us there.
Due to Covid19, we arrived to find some Americans stood outside with some small dogs, waiting for their chance to be let into the vets. Not wanting to wait around for ages in pain, unknowing if the vet would see her, we walked straight in, to the complaints of the Americans, who clearly didn’t know of Aimee’s injuries. Explaining sternly, we were relieved to find the vet just finishing with her last patient and quickly explained what had happened to Aimee. Luckily, she spoke some English, but sadly informed us that it would need to be x-rayed and that the nearest veterinarian with x-ray capabilities was in La Paz.
Our hearts dropped to the floor upon hearing the news. La Paz was over an hour’s drive away and we didn’t want her to suffer any longer than necessary.
We asked the vet if she could take a quick look anyway to clean the wound up and to possibly give her something for the pain. Thankfully, she agreed and let us into the back.
Aimee’s leg was already starting to swell and after a quick inspection, the vet confirmed that the leg was indeed broken. She attempted to clean around the wound, to stop any infection spreading, something Aimee was not happy about. Shortly pooping on Willow, who was holding her for the vet. After a quick clean, the vet gave Aimee enough pain relief to ensure less discomfort during the drive to La Paz.
We took the contact details and phoned ahead to confirm that they had an x-ray machine and that they would still be open by the time we arrived in La Paz. Because of lockdown restrictions, a lot of local business were now operating on limited opening hours. Thankfully, they did, and after trying to cobble together an explanation, they agreed to wait for us to arrive.
By this point, our stress levels were understandably high and we were both incredibly grateful when Rob declared that he would reschedule his job appointment and would driver us immediately to La Paz himself. It would save us a lot of time packing Ruby away and his pickup could possible go a little bit quicker if needed.
We hopped in, Willow in the front, trying to comfort Aimee the best that she could. Fortunately, the pain relief was kicking in a little, and after a while she seemed to settle down a little bit. Although it pained me to see her in pain, at least she was still alive. After Molly, I don’t think I could pick my spirits back up if we lost Aimee as well.
We located the vets and were relieved to find them still waiting for us. They clearly hadn’t quite understood what we had said on the phone and were expecting a dog, but they quickly understood the problem we had with Aimee. They told us to leave her with them and they would call us in a couple of hours when they had time to check her over. They were concerned that she may have had a deeper injury around her chest which they wanted to check out as well. Until they knew more, they weren’t sure whether she would need to spend the night with them, so we left them to it.
Not wanting to disturb Rob’s day any further, we asked him to drive us back to his so he could continue with his work. Shortly after getting back, he informed us when we got back that he would move things around and take us back as well. Not only that, but he overheard us discussing where we she stay and offered to move Sloane into Sam’s room so we could stay in her room whilst Aimee recovered. Rob was clearly an absolute saint and we were more than happy to accept his offer.
And then we waited, not very patiently.
An hour passed. Then two. Quickly three and four had gone and we soon started to panic that there had been some kind of complication. I called and was relieved to be told that we could come and collect Aimee. Apparently they had tried to call, but had gotten Rob’s Mexican number wrong.
We soon heading back up Highway 1 towards our little girl. Neither of us keen on the idea of her staying there overnight, as we felt she had suffered enough stress for one day.
The vet apologised that he couldn’t communicate everything he wanted to in English, and that they owner/head vet wanted to speak to us over the phone as his English was better.
Somewhere in the conversation, translations got muddled and so we believed that they had operated on Aimee and that we would need to bring her back on in three days for them to check her. Thanking the owner, we collected Aimee, who was still feeling pretty spaced out due to the anaesthetic.
The bad news was that they had fitted the most ridiculous looking giant cast around her leg, and shaved her middle section to search for any other wounds.
The good news however, was that other than the broken foot, she had no further injuries!
We left relieved. With all things considered, her injury wasn’t the worst scenario that could have happened, and fortunately for us, vet care is considerately cheaper than the US.
Back at the Thompson’s, we moved some essentials into Sloane’s room and tried to make Aimee feel comfortable, something we doubted we would be able to do once the pain killers wore off.
Rob and Jen’s kind hospitality didn’t stop there, as they ordered in some food and set up a movie for us to watch to occupy us whilst Aimee slept. We felt so grateful to know such a caring family in such a problematic time.
None of us where able to get much sleep that night, and. As Aimee became more conscious, she became more aware of her discomfort from her injury and the giant cast she was now dragging around with her.
With Aimee’s broken leg, the dream to leave Todos Santos to live in Ruby was over. Realistically, we would need to stay where we were to be able to take Aimee for check-ups. Maybe this was the universes way of telling us to find somewhere more permanent to wait out the pandemic.