Meet the beach dogs! I so wasn’t going to get involved with them but how could I not? Look at them! They are the most lovable and friendly dogs. I started out giving the guards packages of hot dogs to feed them with. I figured if the guards fed them, they wouldn’t associate food with me and expect something every time they saw me. Packages of hot dogs got to be a little pricey. So, I started mixing rice with hot dogs.
These homeless dogs don’t like rice! Excuse me, but I would think that if I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from, I would eat just about anything put in front of me, wouldn’t you? So, I experimented…what has evolved is rice and dog food mixed with eggs and water. I let this mixture sit for about a half hour to soften up the dog food…because they don’t particularly care for dog food either…which is just as well as dog food down here is darn expensive! So, after the dog food has soften, I mix in a couple of hot dogs. This seems to be OK. Of late, they have been eating almost all of the food. They each have their own bowls and yes, I now feed them.
They have become my best buddies! The first one is named “Poco”. She is extremely skittish and will not come to people. There are a couple of theories as to why. One is that they were taken to be neutered. There is an organization down here that collects homeless dogs and neuter them, then return them to wherever they were picked up. Evidently, Poco’s experience was very traumatic and she won’t come to anyone now. The other theory is that she was never been around people as a puppy and hasn’t developed trust in them. Whatever the reason, I keep trying to get her to come to me and believe that one day “poco a poco” or “little by little” she will come.
The next one is “Nellie”. She was already named by the maid here. It is a cute name and fits her. She is so sweet and just wants to be loved all the time. Each night, after they eat, we go for a walk on the beach. Nellie will heel perfectly, as long as there are no other dogs around, she is right by my side.
Finally, there is Buddy. He took me the longest to name because I was trying to find something that would fit him and was unique. Buddy isn’t a unique name but it so fits him. He is my “bud”. When I come on the terrace and he sees me, he starts talking to me. When I go down to visit them or give them their food, he is so very excited to see me. The guards have told me that Poco is an offspring of Buddy and Nellie.
They love attention and their nightly walks. They run and play as I walk along the beach. Oddly, Poco doesn’t come to me, but when I am on the terrace, she tries to “get” to me. Today, she tried climbing a tree with low branches and the other night, she got up on the security wall!!! The guard wasn’t happy about that!
One day, I was standing out while the dogs were eating. A man walked up to me and asked if I spoke English. I said yes. Then he asked if I was feeding the dogs. I braced myself and said, yes. I thought he was going to start screaming at me that I shouldn’t be doing it or something. He then said, “thank you”. That was a surprise. His name is Gordon and he is from the states but now lives down here. Gordon adopted Scooby, another beach dog. Anyway, Gordon knows the network of people who help care for the beach dogs. He has been very helpful. Along with feeding the dogs, I am now giving them heart worm prevention medicine once a month.
I don’t know where this will all lead to. For now, I have my routine of greeting the dogs in the morning on my way to spinning, feeding and walking them at night. I know I will be a basket case when it comes time for us to move. However, I will have a plan in place before I go so I know that they will continued to be cared for.