146. A Beautiful Reunion

Reunion Dance GIF from Reunion GIFs Saturday 2/3- Many of you who know me know that once upon a time I was in the military. During a deployment to Iraq nearly 17 years ago (Ugh, I really feel old after saying that!) I got close to 2 battle buddies who I hope will be in my life forever. We were all young girls from MN in a military field where very few women end up and we formed a tight while trying to keep each other as sane as possible during a tough 18 months far, far from home. After the deployment we all ended up back in MN, but only saw each other about once a year. Despite not seeing each other very often, when we do get together it’s like no time has passed and we can step right back into our friendships without any problems. The last time I saw these gals was shortly before we moved down here, and ever since then we always talked about when they would come visit us. That was finally happening! We have been working on planning this for a while, and today was my & Ramie’s d

123. Does a Rescue Mission Mean a New Addition?

Saturday 6/24- We’ve mentioned our friend Red in past blogs, she was one of the first people (other than Loren) that we connected with when we were getting ready to move to Costa Rica. She is from the UK and moved here about a year before we did and helped answer many of our questions before we moved down and when we first got here. She lives near San Isidro so she was also a huge help when it came to trying to find things in the area. We’ve been Facebook friends with her since way back when and she posts a lot about nature, animals, and all of the pets she has on her small finca (farm). 

She has become known in her little town as a lady who loves animals and will help out suffering animals when needed, and about a month ago a momma dog and her litter of 8 puppies were abandoned in town and at risk of being killed by coyotes. 

Momma and babies scared and looking for help
Red, with the help of some of her friends, rescued the little pack, brought them back to her house and to safety, and has been caring for them until the puppies were ready to leave their momma, and then all 8 of them would be adopted out to their forever families. 

Babies all loaded up
Momma nervous but appears comfortable and ready to go to their new home
Babies ready to move to their new safe place

Momma checking things out- gotta keep the babies safe!

This all started shortly before we went back to MN and I’ve been following along on her posts. The momma, which they have named Bonita, has transformed so much from a scared and malnourished but very trusting bundle of bones to a beautiful, gentle and loyal dog. Having watched her transformation, I felt that she was so happy to have been rescued and would be the type of dog that recognized that she and her pups were saved by humans and would be a fantastic pet.

Happy Dog!
Of course, I saw lots of pictures of these puppies as they grew from about a week old and eyes closed to playful pups, about 9 weeks old and ready to move away from their mom. 
Nom Nom Nom
Hey move over!
Is there going to be enough food for all of us? We are growing so fast
Puppy Butts!

Red had recently posted that a couple of the pups had been adopted out and momma Bonita was scheduled to go to her new forever home yesterday, but unfortunately that ended up falling through. When I saw that, I told Ramie that I felt a strong urge to go visit Bonita and her pups to see if they were a fit for us. After Breeze passed away we knew we wanted to get another dog, but were waiting until after our trip to MN to even start looking. I didn’t think the timing of this was all by chance, and it just felt like the right dogs to go meet, plus Red has been telling us for 2 years that we need to get together and come see her place, so we’d get to go do that now too. Ramie got a hold of her, scheduled a time to get together, and we set off to go see the doggos.

We were going to meet the momma dog Bonita & the 2 remaining baby girls Betsy & Belle (yes, mommma and all 8 pups currently have “B” names). When we got to Red’s house we were immediately greeted by Bonita and Red’s two dogs Luna and Purdy. We spent the first half hour or so getting to know Bonita while chatting with Red and David. We learned the details of the story of Bonita and her litter of pups, they described Bonita’s personality that they have gotten to know, and of course, we chatted about non dog related things too. The vet figured that Bonita was about 2 years old or less and that this was her first litter of pups. They have given her all of her shots and spayed her, and the vet has given her the all-clear health-wise. She is smart, well behaved, gentle, happy, and very loving! She doesn’t run off and they have never heard her bark, even when the other dogs start barking at something.

Purdy, Bonita, Luna

Then, after a while, it was time to bring the 2 pups up from the pen that they are living in. There are just too many of them to all stay in the house, and the pups would run off if left out to do their own thing, so they stay in a pen down the hill from the house. Ramie got Betsy and I got Belle, we brought them back up to the house where we were sitting before, and continued chatting with Red & David playing with the 3 full grown dogs and now the 2 pups.

Belle and Dana hanging out!
Ramie and Betsy spending quality time together photo bombed by Purdy.

The first thing that I noticed was that Belle snuggled right into my neck and was content, no fussing or trying to escape, just cuddling. Ramie was having a heck of a time holding onto Betsy in a way that she wouldn’t escape. Of course, they loved the attention, but Belle was definitely the calmer of the two. Once Ramie was ready to switch and let me handle the rambunctious Betsy, we traded. The pups demeanors didn’t change. Belle snuggled right into Ramie and Betsy continued trying to escape. We played this game for a while and both of us were getting a little bit tired of trying to hold onto Betsy while we all continued to chat, so David took Betsy to keep her entertained. Ramie & I continued to play with Belle the snuggler and momma Bonita. 

Belle & Momma Bonita

Overall, we probably spent about 2 hours with the dogs, Red & David, and left with a whole lot of things to consider. All 3 of these girls were beautiful, I think all would make great family members, but are we ready for another dog? Are any of these girls right for us? And of course, if we are ready, which ONE is the right one for us, Bonita, Belle or Betsy?? (yes, for a brief moment we considered maybe bringing 2 of them home, but that choice was quickly crossed off after some consideration).

It's so sad, but abandoned dogs in need of rescue and new homes are so common here. We follow several of the local dog and cat rescue/shelters and are always seeing so many new ones come through. We’ve been keeping our eyes open but don’t want to just jump into any ol’ dog and are waiting for one that really calls to us. There are many single dogs that have been given up or abandoned and many momma dogs with litters just like Bonita and hers. If you’re looking for a dog down here, it is definitely not hard to find one that needs a home.

In fact, there are so many homeless dogs here that there are rescue groups in Costa Rica that partner with groups back in the US, Canada, and Europe and bring puppies from down here up to the US/CA/EU. Once in a while we see these groups post that they are looking for “flight angels”, people who are flying back to specific places, to bring the pups with them. All these flight angels have to do is pick up the pup at the airport, chaperone the pup to the destination, and drop them off with the person on the other end who meets you right at the airport to pick up the pup and bring them to their new forever home. They have a great system worked out! A day or 2 after we were back in MN we saw a post looking for a flight angel to MN… it’s too bad that we hadn’t known earlier otherwise we might have been able to bring a pup back on the plane with us. As far as I know, they only do this with tiny dogs that fit under the seat of the plane, no big dogs to go through all of that trauma like Breeze did.

Monday 6/26- Ramie started out his morning today with his routine at Alturas and then had his appointment to get his crown re-installed.

He explained to the dentist that his old crown was installed when he was about 18 years old and he had never had a problem with it no matter what he ate, why did this one come off after only a month? I guess the new crowns and adhesives are made of different materials that don't bond as well as the old ones, plus, the old tooth had been ground down so much that he didn't have a lot of area left for the adhesive to bond to. She told him that he is going to have to be careful when he eats and use other teeth to crunch hard things or chewy things because he could end up having more problems going forward. I sure hope this isn't going to be a recurring problem! The plus side is that his tooth is covered under a 1 year warranty so there was no charge for this visit today, but if this keeps happening forever--- well, we might have to consider other options!

Wednesday 6/28- Work has been not quite so busy lately so I used the opportunity to take a day off and actually have 2 days off in a row this week (with having Thursday & Saturday as my days off each week, I rarely get 2 days in a row, it’s kind of nice to have that for a change!) Unfortunately, even with the day off I didn’t get to sleep in. Ramie had a turtle walk at 4am and since I wasn’t working, I got up early to go with him. It turns out that was a good thing because it only ended up being the 2 of us because the other person he thought was supposed to be walking with him didn’t show up. 

Turtle walks require at least 2 people but 3 is better. This is for safety reasons in case you run into a poacher or someone else who has bad intentions. They are less likely to make threats if you in a larger group even though volunteers are directed to not engage with poachers for obvious reasons. The sun starts making its appearance around 5am, so the first hour of our walk today would be in the dark, and there was no moon this morning so it was super extra dark. It’s a good thing we had a flashlight with us, hopefully the battery doesn’t die (why we only brought one, I'm not 100% sure!?) !! Also, hopefully we don’t run into a crocodile because chances are it would see us before we saw it! Thankfully theirs eyes reflect light!

The sand was very fluffy this morning and the beach was at a pretty steep angle so it made it a somewhat difficult walk, plus we were walking at a pretty quick pace. Turtle egg hunting mornings are definitely different from our nice and easy beach stroll that we take on a relaxing morning at the beach. We made it the 2.5 miles to the turn-around point in about 45 minutes, and at that point it just started getting light enough to see without the flashlight (whew, it didn't die!). The walk back was slightly easier because it was light out, but it was still a fast walk in the fluffy sand. We made it back to the car at about 5:30 and unfortunately hadn’t found any turtle nests. We were back home, showered, and had coffee in hand by about 6am and were ready to start our day with 11,000 steps already under our belt. With a morning like that we didn’t feel bad about not doing much else productive the rest of the day.

Thursday 6/29- It turns out there was a mix-up with the scheduling and Ramie wasn’t supposed to do the walk yesterday, there was a different group that was going later in the morning. He was actually scheduled to do one at 4am today. Typically he wouldn’t do two walks two mornings in a row, but due to the mix-up, he was on the hook for today’s walk. That person that we thought didn’t show up for yesterday’s shift actually called in and said they wouldn’t be able to make it to today’s either and I had already told Ramie that there was no way I was going to do this 2 days in a row, so he found another volunteer to walk with him instead. They decided to go a little bit later (5am) in order to let the sun come up a bit and they wouldn’t have to walk in the pitch dark. Once again, no turtles or nests, so Ramie was home at about 7am.

He didn’t get to sit around today, though, because we had decided that today we were going to San Isidro. He quickly showered, refreshed his coffee and we were back on the road around 7:30.

We have a busy day ahead of us. As you loyal readers already know Thursday is feria day and that is going to be the first stop. We haven't had fresh veggies in the house since we’ve been home and I was really craving some. It didn't take us long at the feria and we were on to our next stops. We've made a decision and we were on a mission to look for dog stuff today.

We were looking for the standard things like collars, leashes, toys, food and toys, but also a wire kennel. We have the travel kennel that we brought Breeze down in but that is completely closed in plastic and there simply would not be enough air flow through it with the heat down here, not to mention it is quite large. We stopped at all the various pet stores that we knew about and other ones that had been recommended to us to see what we could find. Some of these stores were more like feed stores catering to large farm animals, but had small selections of cat and dog items, but there was nothing like a PetSmart in the area. We found the standard stuff, but in store after store we were just striking out on the kennel. Eventually we ended up at Walmart and did our regular shopping. They have a very limited pet section and all we found there were some treats. Unfortunately we completely struck out on kennels today, I guess they just aren’t readily available down here.

It was around noon when we were done shopping and we sent Red a message that we were heading her way, today we’d be bringing a new family member home with us! When we arrived at Red’s house she was so excited for us. We talked for a little bit before walking down to the puppy pen to pick up our new little girl. There were 6 puppies left and all 6 of the little cuties came running to the edge of the fence, all fighting for our attention. Red walked into the pen as we waited outside of it playing with the puppies through the fence. She was looking for the little girl with a green collar. It was hard to pick her out of the crowd since they were all so excited, jumping, running and playing. Eventually she picked her up and handed her over the fence, we were holding our baby Belle, the new cuddly addition to our family.

We decided on Belle because of her loving nature and all of those snuggles she was just so content on giving and getting. We know that this demeanor may not last but there was something about her that called to both Ramie and me. I really think that she picked us more than we picked her. We made it back up to Red’s house where Bonita (momma) got to say her goodbyes to Belle. She licked and nuzzled her like she knew she was leaving home. 

Goodbye little one
Rawr! Mom, your so embarrassing!
Sorry its hard to see but Belle is snuggled into Dana's shoulder.

We snapped some pictures and walked down the hill to our truck. We put Belle down to go to the bathroom and let her run around a little with momma, Luna and Purdy (Red’s dogs) before the long car ride home. Having seen Red’s Facebook posts when the 2 prior pups had gone to their forever home, we knew that she would post us with our new pup as well. We let her know that she can update all of her Facebook followers that Belle had been adopted and what her new forever name would be. We loaded up in the car, took our obligatory "heading out" picture (Taryn, Steven and Taylor will understand) and let our new family member settle into my lap.


Wink! I already have them wrapped around my little toe
Where are we going?

The pup spent the hour long drive home snuggled in on my lap and she did fantastic, she was completely content, not even a single whimper or peep came from her. She just seemed so happy. When we got home we let her sniff around and go potty, but had to get a picture of her in her furever home. 

Everyone, please say hello to Skye! 

Hello everyone! I've heard a lot about my big sister that is no longer here but I want to be just like her!
I know we've never met Skye, but you will be a perfect fit for your new family. Tell them I miss them, because I know they miss me!

We originally had a list of 5 names, but in the end decided on the Skye. The other options were Echo, Mocha, Rayne, & Zayda.

According to Google, Skye means: Island of clouds; winged; nature-inspired and prone to puns.
Origin: Scottish, Skye is a gender-neutral name that exudes a light, breezy nature. (The fact that this description included the word “breezy” is what did it for me, it’s like it was meant to be).

At least we didn’t have quite as difficult of a time coming up with a puppy name as we did with Dusti!!  

Get ready to be bombarded with cute puppy photos in future blogs.  Here she is as a little pip squeak💗(Photos stolen from Red's Facebook page)  

P.S.  As of 8/5 Betsy was the last pup remaining and went to her forever home today!! 

Only momma Bonita is still looking for her forever home. 

We are noticing a trend with her, see if you pick up on it as we post lots and lots of future puppy pictures!

The Official Casa Costa Breeze end of June rainfall total was 15.25 inches

Pura Vida!


 

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