When Google Came to Merida-Medical Tourism for Pets

I have never heard of a dog called Google, but my humans have. They met her in Belize once and thought she was a very gorgeous dog. They didn’t really think about her much until they saw a video about a dog that had been rushed to Merida for surgery because Belize did not have the veterinary services that she needed. That is how I found out about Google. Being a very curious dog, I wanted to learn more about her, her humans, and the specialist services in Merida that veterinarians have to offer to pets from other countries.

Google is nine years old and her human, Laura, adopted her in the USA and brought her with her to San Pedro, Belize. Google has a three-year-old human too, who loves her very much. Google likes to lie in the dark in her small human’s room, when her little human was running to jump into bed, she didn’t see Google and landed right on her. It was a terrible accident.

When this happened, Google and her small human were staying with ‘dad’. His name is Elliot. He heard Google cry immediately and went to check on her. He realised that she had been hurt. She was finding it difficult to walk. Elliot hoped that she was just sore and would get better soon. I have a bad back too, so I know how that is. Sometimes rest makes me feel so much better.

Sadly, this isn’t what happened, and Google gradually lost the use of her legs and couldn’t even pee or poop on her own. Google had x-rays in Belize with the very lovely vet, Dr Jahziel Marin, at San Pedro Animal Hospital and that made him very worried. Dr Marin said Google needed to be scanned. I had that happen twice. They called them CAT Scans. It’s creepy to have cats look inside our bodies if you ask me, but that’s just my opinion as a dog.

The problem was that they don’t have that kind of fancy stuff for pets in Belize, so Elliot started to look for vets in Chetumal, which is on the Belize and Mexico border. They found Dr Rafael, a specialist orthopaedic veterinary surgeon, and he told them that they would need to come to Merida where his clinic could organise the fancy scans.

Google loves to sunbathe. It helps her to feel better.

Laura and Elliot had a very special connection with Merida because their daughter, Google’s small human, was born here three years ago, so they had no hesitation in planning the trip to Merida. It was an emergency. Because of the Covid pandemic, it was a little bit complicated, and they had to apply for special permission from the Belize government to bring her here. Everyone did everything they could to help.

Because they are very kind humans, they had a bunch of pet friendly friends who could help them. Laura was not in Belize when the accident happened, so she rushed back to Belize to take care of the small human and Elliot packed up Google and set off on a journey to save her life.

Anyone who lives in Belize and travels to Mexico will probably know of the Menzies family who run Belize VIP Transfer Services. My humans know and love this family very much. They have travelled with them many times and when they moved to Merida from Belize, the pet friendly drivers at VIP brought them and the dog that came before me with all their things all the way from Belize to Merida. Google was in Merida within 5 days of her accident.

VIP have big vans and were able to act a bit like an animal ambulance, making Google as comfortable as possible for the long journey, which takes about 7 hours. When Elliot and Google got to Merida, they returned to the hotel that they had lived in for three months when Google’s little human had been born. It’s the cutest hotel and it’s very pet friendly. It’s called Downtown Merida Hotel. Maria, the incredibly sweet woman who looks after the hotel loves Laura and Elliot and also loves dogs. She helped them so much. She is on my list of super kind humans.

Maria helped to take care of Google while she recovered at the Downtown Merida Hotel.

They also have a café that serves delicious food that humans love called Rosa Frida. It is very cute and, more importantly, pet friendly, so you can go and enjoy a scrummy breakfast with your dog. Everything looks so good there. It’s a great place to relax and just hang out.

If you know me, you know I could talk about food all day (especially tacos) but let’s get back to poor Google. She needed help – fast! One and a half days after she arrived in Merida, the scan was done, checked by the doctors, and Google had surgery on her back.

That wasn’t everything that needed to happen because Google needed a lot of physical therapy, just like I get. So, she had people massage her, give her acupuncture and laser therapy and guess what! She started to get a little bit better every day.

Oh my! Look at that long scar!

By this time, Laura had come to Merida to stay with Google and Elliot had returned home to stay with the small human. Even though Laura and Elliot do not live together anymore, they still both love and care for their small human and Google. They are a very good team. So, while Google was in Merida, Elliot made a video about her story, and this is when my humans saw Google again. They told me about the story, and we all agreed that we needed to find out more.

I asked my humans to get in touch with Elliot and they had a wonderful talk with him. They found out that Google was still in Merida and arranged to meet Laura and Google. My humans wanted to cry with happiness when Google got up and walked to greet them when they arrived at Rosa Frida. She’s still a bit wobbly but she is wagging and walking around.

Google loves her human!

Laura and Elliot love Google so much and want to do everything they can for her to make sure that she has a long, happy and pain free life back where they live, in San Pedro, which is the main town on Ambergris Caye, an island 30 miles off the coast of Belize. My humans and the dog that came before me used to live there too.

Merida is very popular for medical tourism for humans from Belize and other places (especially from north of the border, I’ve been told). People come from other countries to have cats scan them, have operations and to do all sorts of doctory things because the quality of care here is world class, but the costs are affordable. So, why not have medical tourism for pets? What do you think of this idea? I you don’t live in Mexico but live nearby and you could save your pet’s life by coming to Mexico, would you consider that an option?

I know from experience that Merida has some of the best and kindest veterinarians you could find anywhere. There are fantastic specialists in Merida and facilities are becoming more advanced with access to state-of-the-art technology. So, come on down, or up – if you are looking for excellent veterinary care if you are not able to access it or afford it where you live. You might even fall in love with Merida, which is becoming one of the most pet friendly cities in the world.

Pet friendly Rosa Frida is waiting for you.

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