Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dog days in San Lorenzo

This appears to be the designated run at Evolución for small, shaggy mutts - definitely my type!

A veterinary student and the coordinator of adoptions at work
Been back a little over a week now. Out of the habit of blogging after so long away, but still feel the urge to share sights and sounds and experiences. On this trip I am finally getting around to seeing and doing things that I've been planning for years, in some cases.

 One of those things is walking dogs at the Evolución shelter in the Pueblo of San Lorenzo. Man, there are a lot of dogs there. It's a bit overwhelming at first, but they seem to get along.

 People bring their unwanted dogs to the gate of the shelter. Others are found abandoned, like the box of puppies a friend and her daughter found on the corner near the shelter. We walked four of those ones. I also walked a huge friendly doberman that was so excited to get exercise that he nearly yanked my arms off for the first half of the outing.

 The other two that I walked were very cute, medium-sized shorthairs. They were afraid to be leashed and taken out of the small run they shared with their litter mates. They cowered on the road when I first set them down outside the front gate, and could not be coaxed or dragged to walk along.

 So I had to carry each one until we were well outside the town, on a quiet road where no traffic or other noise could scare them. Quite quickly they turned giddy, zig-zagging and dancing to the end of their tether, twisting around our legs, nipping and jumping on their siblings.

 By the time we got them back to the shelter they were relaxed starting to get the hang of walking on a leash. Back inside the compound the whiskery female stayed close by, lying at our feet. She even stretched and rolled over for a belly rub - a real display of trust.

 I felt we'd accomplished something, maybe even helped make these gentle animals more easily adoptable to a permanent home. It was also nice to have a bit of dog time, as I miss our terrible twosome back home in Victoria.

 They welcome volunteer walkers at Evolución on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. If you decide to go, plan to spend a couple of hours.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The long way back to Mérida

Our neighbour Juan de Dios greeted me with surprise on the street yesterday. We have been away from Merida for a year and a half. "We thought you weren't coming back," he said.

For a while it was hard to know how to get back to Mérida. How does anyone get anywhere with all the deadlines and challenges of jobs and kids? (Not to forget the neurotic, biting pets that can't really be left with anyone else.)

Anyway, things got done, or didn't, at least not yet, and we did come back. Well me, and soon, Tom too. Things change when you're gone awhile. People, businesses, landmarks come and go. Plants that I can't identify have established themselves around the patio. A pool! Love the pool! Didn't realize it was so captivating just to watch the ever-changing reflections; the splash of rain on its surface. I finally understand the purpose of flip-flops.

Maybe things haven't changed all that much,though. Maybe it's the long absence that's woken up the senses to the extraordinariness of ordinary things like the scent of jasmine flowers spilling onto the street on my bike ride earlier today.

Hello Mérida. It's good to see you again.