Aug 26, 2008

the 3rd one's a charmer

You would think by now I'd be immune to their cuteness. Evidently I am not. This little girl showed up 8 days after her brother. As mentioned in the previous post, we're calling her Gowron. Well, we think it's funny. Maybe someone will take pity and adopt her, spare her having such a ridiculous name.
she is tiny and fluffy:

She's a little wobbly but I'm sure she'll catch up to her siblings in no time. She's already showing signs of being the mouthy one.
it's always the small one:

the unbearable cuteness of being:

after the mandatory delousing, Frijolita says hi:

Godzilla and Rumsfeld don't know they have silly names:

Otto makes his introductions:

enough already, you can stay:

Maldi thinks puppies are great fun. She claims Rumsfeld for her own:

the 3rd (and final?!) pup:

Aug 24, 2008

mission statement rumination

Despite being a blog for pictures, not words, I feel I should clarify what we're doing here.
We left America for a hundred reasons, all subjects for another blog and posts I have no intention of writing.
Why the Yucatan?
Part of the draw was not knowing what to expect, just knowing everything would change. We knew It was warm, cheap and quiet. We thought we could have a positive impact on the lives of the local dogs. We hoped living here would teach us to relax and be less uptight, to live with less.
It has, and patience too.

We've learned that together we can do remarkable things. The trick is in deciding what's worth doing.
The crux of the biscuit is that I'm unwilling to claim rescue/shelter status, either in name or in soliciting donations. I'm unsettled on a few things and I think there should be a clearly defined mission statement in place first.
Let's just call it a refuge for now.
Sterilization is of paramount importance but the dog's quality of life is also important. I won't have them tied out or left alone to guard a property or allowed to roam unsupervised. I'd rather spay/neuter and release. At least that way I'd be less emotionally invested. The one puppy we managed to place didn't live to see her first birthday. This has cast a pallor over my enthusiasm for future adoptions.
Medical care is a thorny issue. There is no local vet. Not everyone can afford to take their dog to the city and I don' t think only the wealthy should have pets. These dogs would be better off with a loving family than on their own. I'm torn. Enthusiastic or not, I'd like to find homes for the newbies.*
There is a tiny chance that a couchsurfer will fall in love with one, but traveling and dogs don't easily mix. Besides, most of the pups take a few days to warm up to new people and they rarely have that opportunity.
In reality, it is all so much wasted thought since people don't want these dogs. There is no shortage, anyone in any part of town that wanted a dog could find one to bring home. There are probably hundreds near the dump alone. We inevitably run into a few during our walks in the woods with our pack. Every sympathetic soul has more than they can. Many people are having a tough enough time feeding their families without the added expense of a pet.
Admittedly, our dogs are cleaner and healthier after some time off the streets and I realize that makes them more appealing/adoptable to most folks. They all come to us skinny, with ticks and fleas, worms, often mange and sometimes an injury. Sean and I know dogs all over town. We are greeted by wagging tails in most places. We feed more than we can know and we are full up at home.
Despite their numbers, they are all fixed, up to date on shots, parasite-free, (mostly) housebroken, and are walked every few days (we rotate)(Zasu gets to go everyday because she's fat.). There are so many left that are not so lucky and we plan to do more to help them.
I have some small hope that we'll eventually find a competent, amiable, person or couple interested in helping for a while. In the meanwhile, we're hoping to have a low cost spay/neuter clinic done in town. The closest animal shelters are in the city and they are dealing with much larger numbers. New programs need to be enacted. I think neuter/spay/release is the best answer. Poison is the popular one. As a recluse, outreach is not my area, but I'm trying to get my head around it. But this isn't a blog about me.
If we do make things 'official', a name would be a good start. Christianity is all the rage in these parts and co-opting religious symbols is a Christian tradition so maybe that's what we'll do. I'm partial to the stories of St.Martin Porres and his examples of humility, practical service and compassion for all creatures. How about Perros de Porres?
"Compassion, my dear Brother, is preferable to cleanliness."

* the newbies: brother and sister, Rumsfeld and Tuesday. I'm nearly certain that their mom is a stray that we see almost daily (Stray doesn't seem like the right word. She hasn't strayed.
She has no human to stray from. She lives in the area.). She is still too shy for us to get near but I'd love to have her spayed. She's always pregnant or nursing. I have my suspicions that she intentionally led her pups to our house but I'll never know.
• Rumsfeld has an amazing coat. Short, plush and a color I'd have to call taupe (I
don't think I ever typed that word before.) with gunmetal highlights.
• Tuesday has long legs, pretty boxer-like markings and a fawn colored coat.
They both have puppy breath, white socks and white tips on their tails.
Ah you task me...y
esterday was Rumsfeld's 1 week anniversary and tomorrow is Tuesday's. Guess what this morning brought...
...another sister, she got us all up before dawn. Lucky for her she's so cute.
She looks like Gowron. What? That doesn't sound cute? Well, it works for her!
She was infested with fleas so she got a bath and an apple cider vinegar rinse. Now she's a trembling ball of fluff. The Notorious Fluffy G! darn, I can't find a link for that...and now it will be stuck in my head all day...."look how fluff I be"...
Pictures in a bit...gotta walk some dogs first.

Aug 19, 2008


Last week was a l o n g week. This week already is.
5am Sunday morning, this little boy woke us all up. Yes, a boy!
Hallelujah, so much easier and cheaper to fix.
cuter than a button:

Yeah, he's cute. They always are. He was stuck in the grass outside of our fence, making a ruckus. We considered calling him Xmool, after the grass spines.
Rita watches :

Everyone thinks he's swell. Shirley and Greta say hi:

He likes everyone just fine. The kitten thinks he's fun to bully. He has a white spot on his butt shaped like the Pentagon so we've been calling him Rumsfeld. I hope that doesn't stick.
a kiss for Zasu:

This morning Sean went his run with 11 dogs (the picture is from yesterday) -all off the leash the whole time. On the beach, across the roads, through the woods and back home. Pretty good, eh? :

We were just about to bask in a well deserved moment of pride about their steadily improving behavior (this ain't magic people) when ...what does Sean hear? Heavens to Betsy, Rumsfeld has a sister. What do we do? If we leave her she'll soon be dumping unwanted litters on the beach, just like her dear old Mom.
She just got here this morning and has been doing a lot of sleeping. Looks like she may be tall. sigh She is beautiful though.
Truman, Maldita and her brother say hi:

Maldi and Rumsfeld (help me out here, this poor pup need a better name!) wrestle while sister (Tuesday?) sleeps:

Maybe we can find them homes but I'm not holding my breath. I know they are garbage dogs to most people; they're not up to breed standards and they don't match the drapes. Pretty much how I feel about most people.
Rumsfeld contemplates the arrival of his sister:

Aug 9, 2008


Miles Davis Monroe, our West Virginia buddy. We've done a lot of traveling together, from WV, to Pittsburgh, to Portland, to the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. We found him through Petfinder at the Marion County Humane Society. They were (and I'm sure still are) doing a lot with a little and could use donations.
He came home with us on New Year's eve, Dec.31 2003. Life was a lot different then. Less dogs, more cats, we had furniture and we wore shoes.
Miles seemed impossibly small and fragile to us at first. We know better now.
He was scrawny and couldn't figure out stairs (that took many months!). Now he's a happy and buff little dog
who can outrun us all!
He has a deep and unrelenting hatred of motorized vehicles. Nothing can dissuade him from barking at them. What could we do but move far from traffic?

young Miles, dapper in his harness:

Pittsburgh spring 2004:

Miles and Zasu (our WV dogs) enjoy their new home:

Soon after the move to Mexico
(ah, the days of furniture...).
small dog on a big chair:

You can't always walk on the beach.

Miles was never too fond of other dogs (ruffians!) but he's coming around.
napping with wee Archie:

walking with Gracie:

although he usually insists on having personal space,
not even Miles can resist Oscar:

He has grown into a pretty mellow dog...unless he gets the zips, hears an engine, or thinks he might get beans. He REALLY loves beans. We love our Miles Monroe. He is a funny fellow with an iron will.
The smallest of the pack, he tolerates no impertinence.

it's hard to get a shot of him, he's low and fast:

Aug 6, 2008


Henry, he's a hell of a guy! That what I always tell him and it's the truth. We met...back in Feb'06. Sean and I were biking home from town when we stopped to talk to the mailman. I saw the dog eventually to be known as Henry and went to visit with him. He was completely matted with spiny burrs. They're known locally as xmool (sounds like shmool). He must have been miserable, he couldn't move or rest without jabbing himself. He followed us home and has been here ever since. He's only small on the outside. To those that don't like small dogs -I say you just don't know Henry.
we imagine that if he spoke, he'd sound like Gabby Hayes:

day one, after the de-xmooling:

He weighed next to nothing, we called him our balsa wood dog.
he was mostly fur:

now he's a substantial little fellow that runs with the big dogs:

he isn't always the center of attention:

but he's always part of what's happening:

He's a dog of many names...Humpy Buttons, Fozie Bear, Mr Piddles... Amanda calls him Phillip:

he suffers through bad haircuts without a complaint (maybe that's why he's hiding?):

Henry is a hell of a guy:

Aug 5, 2008

Bette & Shirley

Nothing I say about Bette can do her justice. Bette is made of rocks and love.
she is a visitor favorite:

We met her at a restaurant on the edge of town where she was scavenging. She was young, skinny and her eyes were cockeyed, probably from a blow. Even though she wasn't in terrible shape we brought her home. We were without a camera at the time, so I don't have any early pictures of her.
a few months later (back when we still had a bed):

Pure-hearted and thick-headed, she is heavy for her size and hard to deter.
you will be licked:

buddy to everyone, she is the best playmate a horde of puppies could ask for:

Shirley came a later, November '07. We've come to suspect that she might be Betty's mom or sister. The similarities are uncanny -in appearance (including an under bite), disposition and habits. It seems unlikely but not impossible (besides, we've suspected that we have some sort of improbability field at work around us for some time now).
what a face:

She was a wreck! We saw her limping around the center of town when we came out of the market.
skinny, mangy and on 3 legs:

after her first bath:

day one, Bette checks her out:

Shirley made herself at home and got to work recovering.
here she's napping with Archie:

getting better is tiring. napping with Sean:

eating her veggies....mmm, beets:

all better and out for a walk:

Jan '08, already hard to tell apart:

in motion:

at rest: