Peruvian Hairless Dogs are a well recognized breed here in Peru and even globally. You can click HERE to read a post about them. But that is not what we decided to adopt here in Peru.
After our last trip to the USA in May, we knew that we wanted to add a second dog to the pack. Geneva searched some websites and watched the roadsides and streets for the right dog. There are many, many dogs wandering the streets and highways in Latin America. But not all those dogs are without a family. It is customary to let your dogs out of the yard to go wander, forage, breed and procreate. These dogs are often fed at home, sleep at home and have a pretty good life. But their days are spent on the street, so they can mistakenly look like an available street dog. Although we saw many of these that we would love to pick up, we hesitated because we didn’t want to “steal” someones pet.
Ultimately we decided we would adopt through a rescue group. In Ecuador we met two dogs in a rescue situation. But neither one of them really were interested in leaving their doghouses to meet us. In Peru we searched a beach town for a sweet, lonely dog that a traveler had told us about. But she was nowhere to be found, hopefully adopted. Then in Lima we searched rescue groups on Facebook and found a dog in a rescue group that met the qualifications (female, adult, spayed, large-sized) We arranged to meet her at Hogar de Tiwi (animal rescue and boarding) in Chilca.
We arrived with three big bags of dog food to donate. Geneva was giddy with excitement to meet Negra. She is a 9 year old female, lab mix. She has been at the rescue center for over a year. We entered the rescue center amid a lot of noise and chaos. There were over 70 happy dogs living there, awaiting homes.
We the dog we had read about. Her name is Negra, a sweet, slow-moving old gal. We took her for a walk with Nica and showed her the camper. But we quickly realized that Negra was very, very attached to Yamile (the angel that runs the rescue center) and really didn’t want to leave that place. She is a loving, old dog who needs a calm, grandmotherly type home to retire in. Not the unpredictable lifestyle of travel.
But while we were there we decided to meet one other dog. There was a tan and white female that had stared at Geneva the entire time she moved around the facility. Her eyes tracked Geneva when she left and returned with Negra. She followed her along the fence like a lion in a cage. The tan and white dog seemed to be trying to communicate with Geneva and everyone noticed it. In the photo above, you can see the circled dog, intently staring at Geneva, who is standing back in the doorway, while all the others are looking elsewhere and barking.
We took this large, spayed, female for a walk with Nica. They seemed to like each other. We learned that she was about one year old. She was picked up as a 6 month old puppy in Pachacamac ruins. She is friendly, gets along well with others and chews on dog beds.
The decision was made, and Pacha became the newest member of the family. She and Geneva seem pretty elated about the outcome.
We loaded in to the rescue van with Yamile and took she took us to the vet for a check up and requisite paperwork. She was already growing attached to Mike as she waited nervously in the vets office. Then we returned to the camper and worked with the introduction to the new house, Nica and our lifestyle. In the next photo you can see that Nica is a little jealous about a new dog on her turf. But after the first night together, they were fine friends. The next day we loaded up to the truck to take Pacha off to her adventures in the world. After a few days they laid some ground rules and developed a friendship. Nica is clearly the boss of the dog situation. But she appreciates that Pacha is larger and more protective during walks in sketchy areas. They play together, sleep together and share the dog-love that we have to give them! It took a while for Pacha to relax and trust the situation. She was nervous, tail-between-the legs, hesitant and not sure that this exciting new lifestyle was really going to work out. But after about a week of traveling with us, we caught a photo of her first smile. We are very glad that we patiently searched through Colombia, Ecuador and Peru to find Pacha. She has been an excellent addition to our family. She has already adapted to the lifestyle, she enjoys running in open fields as much as she likes watching city traffic from the window. She is loving, gentle and is learning to respond to commands and speak English with us. She has passed all health check and obtained all vaccinations, so she is ready to cross borders and enjoy the life of adventure with Mike, Geneva and Nica in slowcarfasthouse. Follow along this blog, Facebook and Instagram to see more of Pacha and Nica as they adventure along the PanAmerican Highway and beyond.