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…


This little guy is Tango. He’s a seven-year-old Cocker spaniel that needed a home, and we just happened to have a Cocker-spaniel-sized hole in our hearts. Last week, Tango joined our family and made us a foursome once again.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When we brought both of our girls with us to Panama, it was with high hopes that we would all grow old together, and that Maggie and Rosie would live to a healthy, happy old age. Last night, we lost Maggie. It pains me even to type those words. Apparently she got a lethal does of toxin from a cane toad. She died in my arms, in our car as we were frantically driving around trying to find an open vet office. This morning, we buried her in the back yard of our new home outside Boquete. She was only eight. There are so many things I need to say about this experience. About how unprepared we were for a medical emergency with our dogs, and about the paralyzing guilt that’s fueling our grief. But for now, I just want to reflect on the…

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