Maggie-225x300 Maggie's List - An Important Resource for Chiriqui Pet Lovers Panama Pets The Expat Life
Sweet Maggie Girl

This post is long overdue.

When we moved to Panama, we brought our fur kids, Rosie the golden retriever and Maggie the yellow lab. Little did we know that we would lose Maggie several months later to what we now believe was cane toad toxin. And even now, a year and a half later, not a day passes that we don’t miss her waggy body and the sheer joy she took in practically everything and everyone.

The morning after Maggie died, I wrote this blog post, and I swore that something good would come of her death for the pets of Chiriqui. I got my wish some months later from the good folks at Chiriqui Life, an invaluable information forum on just about any topic for residents of Chiriqui Province.

After hearing about our loss of Maggie, Bud and Marcelyn, the founders of Chiriqui Life, put together a comprehensive list of resources for pet owners and nicknamed it Maggie’s List. Here, pet owners can find up-to-the-date information on just about any topic related to Panamanian pet ownership, from the nuts and bolts of relocating your pet to Panama to pet-friendly hotels and emergency and after-hours vets. If this list had existed before that awful night with Maggie, we might have had a chance to save her. But it’s a tremendous comfort to know that other pets might be saved now.

Maggie’s List has been live for several months now, so this is long overdue – but we’re sending out a heartfelt THANK YOU to Bud and Marcelyn. We know Maggie is looking down from doggy heaven, wagging her entire body, and smiling that huge labby grin that used to melt our hearts.


  1. Mary Lea (Mimi) Reply

    Wonderful resource. Hard to read through the tears because I loved that Maggie girl. She protected her family!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Yes she did, Mimi – right to the end 🙁

  2. This broke my heart (well, the original post, really – this one is very uplifting). Kudos to you for taking a sad event and making it into something so very positive.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thank you 🙂 She was a special girl.

  3. Luana McCamy Reply

    What a great thing to come out of such a sad los! Thanks for sharing with us other doggie lovers!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thank you, Miss L! Love you.

  4. What a great thing to come out of such a tragedy. It took me awhile to get around to reading this post, because I thought it would be heartbreaking. Instead, it’s inspiring that Maggie’s passing led to this great resource for pet owners. Baker, you rock!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thank you, Donder! You rock back 🙂

  5. That is such a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing. I abhor those cane toads! I wish there was a way to get rid of them permanently. I hate to kill them. We collect them in buckets and throw them in the lake, but they always return to our porch. Dang!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thanks, Debbie. It’s interesting but we’ve seen far fewer of them this year. They are horrible, horrible critters. We know a golfer who practices his drives on them (ick).

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thank you, Anita. She was a special girl. We’re just glad that this info might help save other pets from Maggie’s fate.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thank you, Lisa. We think Maggie would approve 🙂

  6. Mary McGarvey Reply

    Hi again, John and Susan–I just posted in your current blog and asked about pets at the hotel you were staying and that we have a well traveled kitty (San Blas twice, El valle, Panama City, and now Colombia) We all need a break, but I don’t want to travel with out her as she needs one, too!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Hi Mary! Hopefully you saw my reply to your other comment. We can’t say whether the Maria Bonita allows pets – you’ll need to contact them directly. Here’s their website: Good luck!

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