During our family vacation at the beach in Ecuador, we were enjoying a late afternoon lunch at a local seafood restaurant, a shack by the water where the locals enjoy home made food.
While having lunch a small dog, made of skin-and-bones, with a crooked back and almost no hair came under the table. The dog began to play with my kids, although the dog was a disaster it did have a great disposition… instantly she attached to our family. Stayed with us during lunch and followed us for a walk.
Isabela my youngest daughter asked if we could take the dog with us. I told her, “sorry, this mutt belongs to somebody and we cannot take her with us;" end of story, I thought.
Next morning, as soon as Isabela got up she ran to my bedroom “Mauchy, (my nickname), can we go back and find out who is the owner of the poor dog?”
When we got there, we found the little indefensible dog surrounded by two large dogs. It was evident that this poor dog was mistreated, abused and soon she would be dead.
So as a family we decided to adopt this dog. The kids understood that if we bring this creature to our house, we would be responsible for it, she will become part of our family, she could be very ill or have lots of issues, but from now on she will be our responsibility no matter what.
We got some special soap and powders to try to get rid of all the fungus and ticks that covered her. We did our best and then put her in the car and drove her back to the city. There, the veterinarian prohibited us to bring her to the house until she received several treatments at the hospital. Her skin had to be treated before allowing her to be with the kids or the rest of the dogs.
Lola, which is the name that my kids chose for her, had to be quarantined for 45 days.
When finally she got home, she was like a bag of bones; when fed, she could only eat 3 or 4 bites of food and it was difficult for her to swallow. Though, kids where committed and gradually, day-by-day, Lola was able to get her strength back.
Now, why am I writing about this experience with Lola?
There is a lot to be learned from it...
First, Lola is the best example of a great disposition. She was in a very difficult situation but she did not give up. With her great attitude and personality she was able to win our family’s heart.
Second, Isabela’s persistence and determination to save Lola! Although we already have decided that we would not take the dog, she ran to my room the following morning asking and insisting to go look for Lola’s owner.
When Lola finally arrived home, she was weak and was constantly fighting to survive. She remembered her past, where she had no food or shelter. So when she was given a treat, she will hide it and save it for a later time. She did the same with toys, shoes and socks. She was always preparing for a reversal in her life where she could be back on the streets.
Today from all our dogs, 5 dogs, she is the smartest and the most pleasant. You cannot trick her and she learns very quickly what is right and wrong and she is truly grateful for her new life!
At the end, the fact is that we did not choose Lola, she chose us. She decided to adopt us and teach our family great lessons in life!
People, like animals, must posses the same attributes in order to thrive: One must have the right attitude, be determined and resilient; most importantly, one must stay committed and never lose hope!