Saving the lives of our dogs and their owner/carers!
The Smithsonian website recently featured a dog rescue centre in Costa Rica that has the odd dog or one thousand being cared for!
I kid you not!
This Costa Rican Paradise Shelters Over 1,000 Stray Dogs
A photographer documents scenes from Territorio De Zaguates, a converted farm in the Santa Bárbara mountains that’s giving abandoned dogs a second chance
By Jennifer Billock, smithsonian.com, March 6, 2018
The article also includes a range of incredible photographs. I have ‘borrowed’ a couple to share with you.
What rescuing a dog means to thousands of gentle-hearted people is no better spoken about than in the words of a poem that Colin published over on his blog A Dog’s Life.
It is republished here with Colin’s very kind permission.
“A Stray they named Ray”
The following is one of the poems in my book “Just Thinking”, which is available direct from Friesen Press, Amazon, and other on-line book retailers.
“This is such a sweet collection of beautiful thoughts and sentiments and reflections. The people and stories and memories are so real and tangible, easy to connect with, easy to read. For each poem I have read so far, it’s like he is talking about someone I know… or someone I would want to know 🙂 This books explores so many things, takes you on so many journeys.. the good and the bad and the beauty in between. This book was given as a gift, and it’s one I will treasure!” (Amazon review)
“A Stray they named Ray”
They were found on a farm
Not too far away,
But… where was their home?
Two dogs, frightened, hungry,
So very tired and,
Surviving somehow on their own.
The rescue van arrived,
And the crew discussed
How best to capture this pair.
Traps were determined
To be the most humane,
But… so many questions were there.
Why were these two dogs
Having to scavenge for food?
Why were they out on their own?
The treats in the traps,
Put an end to all that,
And they were captured, scared… and alone.
They had no collars; no tags;
No microchips were found.
They were just two dogs without names.
Their faces were expressionless,
And their fur in poor condition.
Were they siblings? Perhaps their mother was the same?
Once back at the shelter
They were caged together,
But then a fight ensued.
And gave them separate cages,
But then had to decide what to do.
One (they later named Ray) was not unfriendly,
Although cautious and rather aloof.
He seemed to know he was no longer alone.
He was given a bath and a bowl of food
And, with some loving care (they thought),
He could possibly adapt to a home.
He was a sorry sight,
And no doubt a once proud dog.
Clearly a German Shepherd cross,
Just managing to survive,
By eating scraps to stay alive.
To explain him, they were quite at a loss.
They tried to find his owners.
They checked the Missing Pets files,
But there only seemed one option.
He now belonged to the shelter
And… as he was neither reported lost, nor stolen,
He would be trained for adoption.
Four months later he was ready.
His adoption photo was published,
And all were looking for a sign.
He needed a family,
To love… and be loved by.
This will, hopefully, be his time.
Eventually a couple arrived
Who clearly were drawn to him,
And regular walks were arranged.
It was soon to be seen
That his life, as it had been,
Was quickly going to change.
His day of adoption came.
The staff all said their farewells.
Smiles, and tears, were all around,
For the life of a stray;
Of a dog they named Ray;
A life almost lost… had been found.
I am finishing today’s post with another photograph from the Costa Rican Paradise Shelter.
Then my final words are those in that Smithsonian article:
Now, more than 1,000 dogs roam the countryside of the Costa Rican estate. They go on daily walks in the mountains and eat roughly 858 pounds of food per day. They’re bathed and treated on-site for illness or injury (though more intense cases go to a specialist vet in San Jose). And most importantly, they’re given a better quality of life than they’d experience on the streets.
“There is a major problem with stray and abandoned dogs in Costa Rica,” Dan Giannopoulos, a photographer who recently visited the shelter, told Smithsonian.com. “The government line on [the] treatment of strays is to destroy them. This is the only shelter of its kind in Costa Rica. It offers a new lease [on] life to the dogs, many of whom have lived terrible lives and have terminal illnesses.”
Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/these-photos-transport-you-dogs-central-american-paradise-180968018/#v9xZpKmRadL5JHeA.99
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