Thelma & Louise

On April 18, 2023, a neighbor stopped by our house looking for me. He had found three tiny puppies, their eyes still closed, abandoned in the dry river bed. Sadly, they appeared to have been disposed of by someone who didn’t want them, like garbage. When he went to investigate, he found that one of the little puppies was already dead, her skull cracked. The dead puppy’s two sisters lay next to her, alive but not for long if they stayed there in the hot, unrelenting sun. Knowing he didn’t have the means to care for the puppies, he brought them to my house in a plastic bucket.

Less than 24 hours before, I had celebrated the fact that my last two rescues would finally be flying to Canada in May. Since I would be traveling for six weeks at the end of May, I was relieved I wouldn’t have to leave my partner to take care of rescues and he could just have to concern himself with our six dogs and one cat who thinks he’s a dog. Imagine my surprise and worry when I was being handed two, week-old puppies less than 24 hours later.

That’s the thing about rescue work. It never ends, and it certainly doesn’t care that you have plans. You must make a decision in a split second and it’s heartbreaking every single time. You see, if you decide to help, you’ve saved that one dog but you may have forfeited your ability to help others. If you decide not to help, you’ve almost surely written the dog’s death sentence or at least condemened it to continue a miserable life. But, you can’t help them all, it’s not possible or reasonable.

On this day, as I kissed and snuggled these week-old baby girls, I knew I couldn’t say no. I scooped them up and brought them to the vet for a check-up, having zero knowledge of caring for puppies so small.

And yet, here we are, almost three months later, and Thelma & Louise are thriving! They’ve had all their major vaccines, will be spayed in about 10 days, and maybe traveling to Canada by early August.

I could not have successfully gotten Thelma & Louise to this point without the help of my partner, Isa. He has been playing the roll of puppy dad while I’ve been in the U.S. helping my sister with her rescue dogs. Six weeks of caring for those two crazy girls PLUS our six dogs and Bill, the dog-like cat has not been easy, and I am eternally grateful to him.

Enjoy the pictures of “the girls”. I can’t believe how fast this time with them has gone and I’m eternally grateful for the experience. I know I’m capable of handling whatever rescue sends my way.


A quick update…

I have finally had some downtime to work on the website and write a quick post. I will do my best to update the website, including the blog. It’s been challenging between working (I’m an online English teacher), my personal dogs, our rescues, sterilizations, community outreach, and building our house! I’ve also done a bit of traveling here and there to visit family in the U.S.

We have just two rescues in our care right now, but they are the cutest little buttons! Thelma & Louise. The girls have been with us since they were just a few days old. The photo in this post was taken over a month ago but it’s one of my favorites. They are just so darn cute!!

When I have more time, I will post some updates on all our rescues. I’m proud to say that we have rescued and rehomed 28 dogs and 1 cat (who now lives with us). We have also sterilized 279 dogs and cats with a dream of sterilizing another 200 by the end of 2023. We just need the donations to help us do that!

If you have anything you’d like to see on our website or something you’d like to read out in a blog post, please let me know. I will be answering most commonly asked questions when I add an FAQ section and I’m dabbling with the idea of a podcast. Stay tuned!

Street Dogs

“Why Do You Help Dogs?” 

People in my small town in Morelos, México, ask me all the time, ‘Why do you care so much about dogs? Why do you help them?’ For those of us who were raised in the United States or Canada, this may seem like a surprising question. Dogs in the U.S. and Canada are treated like children, members of the family. They have fancy breed names, they wear clothes, they go to doggie daycare, they have birthday parties. But here, in the center of Mexico, in an agricultural community about two hours south of Mexico City, many people don’t have the luxury of caring for dogs in this way — and even for those who value canine companionship as much as we do, they simply don’t have the means to give them what we may see as essential. 

The Street Dog Problem

It is not unusual to see street dogs in Mexico. Some are strays; some have owners but are allowed to roam. It’s also not unusual to see healthy street dogs that appear to be thriving while living a vagabond life. While I would love for every dog to have a loving home, I will give a healthy street dog a scratch and move on, always looking for the one that isn’t thriving, that won’t survive without intervention. According to an article from the National Institutes of Health, of the estimated 23 million dogs in Mexico, 70% are street dogs. So, for the vast majority of dogs in Mexico, life is far, far different from that of their cousins north of the border. Yes, things are changing and improving, but not fast enough to save thousands of dogs every year who die preventable deaths. They die from starvation. They die from diseases you didn’t even know existed, like CTVT , or Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor, a contagious cancer. They die from flea- and tick-borne illnesses, car strikes, poisonings, and worse. 

Help, Not Judgment

It can be very difficult to see a vulnerable dog who, perhaps, is skin and bones thanks to a parasitic infection and not want to place blame or responsibility on someone — the owner, the community, the people who walk by every day. Why didn’t they do something? But, this mindset ignores the greater issues that exist in countries like México. Issues such as high poverty rates, underfunded public school systems, low job growth, failing infrastructure, violence, and corruption mean a huge segment of the population is just trying to survive. In the state of Morelos poverty rates exceed 50%, ranking it as the seventh poorest of México’s 32 states. It is not unusual for residents to live in makeshift houses, with dirt floors and no running water or electricity. If someone struggles to provide their children with a safe place to live, regular meals, and clean water, how can we expect them to provide for a dog?

So, Why Do I Help Dogs? 

Because I can. It’s as simple as that. I can’t solve México’s systemic issues and magically raise my community out of poverty. But I can help my community reduce the unwanted animal population by raising money for spay and neuter campaigns. And in reducing the dog population, I can help keep my community clean with fewer piles of dog feces, fewer torn-open bags of garbage, fewer dead dogs rotting on the road. I can help my neighbor ease some of his burden by providing him with a well-built dog house, so that his dog will be safe outside while he protects his owner’s makeshift home from intruders who steal from the poorest of the poor. I can approach my community with empathy and an open mind to best meet the needs of both my neighbors and the community’s street dogs.

These are the things I can do. This is why I help dogs.