Dogs in Ajijijc, Lake Chapala, Mexico
Recently, Mickey Rourke won a Golden Globe for his role in The Wrestler. None of us have seen or heard of Rourke in a very long time. As it turns out he is a dog lover and although one might expect him to have a Rottweiler o pit bull the love of his life is his Chihuahua, Loki. Evidently, he says, he has made a significant role in his comeback, and seemingly, in his survival during some rather dark days. In an interview in November 2008 he said of Loki: “She is like a giant Xanax. Rourke truly believes God created dogs for a reason and that they are the greatest companions a man could have.
We too, here in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, are dog lovers. Of course, we had dogs growing up in Canada but somehow they were never the best friends and givers of unconditional love that they are to us now.
Our transition to Ajijic, Lake Chapala was difficult for our children who were 10 and 12. The first house I found for us to rent in the village of Ajijic came with a mother dog who had just had 6 puppies. The owners of the house had let this stray Doberman/lab have her puppies in their garage and did not want her disturbed until the puppies were old enough to be farmed out to loving homes.
This was the answer to a prayer for me because what child does not love puppies and we readily agreed to rent the house and look after the mother and her puppies.
When the children arrived the puppies still had not opened their eyes and so they happily raised them with Norma, the mother. Norma seemed to understand that these two children loved her puppies dearly and, therefore, she let them help. If anyone else went near her puppies she would growl but if is was the kids that was OK.
Every day the kids would come home from school and directly go to see to the puppies needs. The vet, Antonio Ladron, was kitty corner to our house in those days so taking them for their shots and checkups was no problem. The kids showed amazing responsibility and they are the puppies and, of course, Norma, thrived.
I knew we would end up with one of the puppies for ourselves but I did not expect the bond that sprang up between our son and Norma who had previously been an abused street dog and loved Conner with all of her heart. One day one of her puppies, the wily Mancha, opened the front gate with her paw, and they left on an excellent adventure. Our son was inconsolable but thrilled when a neighbor saw Norma in downtown Ajijic and drove her home to us. Mancha did not come home for two days. In the middle of the night in a raging thunderstorm I heard something at the gate and knew it was Mancha. She had miraculously found her way home in the rain and she was only 3 months old.
Although, Norma, left us two years ago we still almost 15 years later have Mancha who can still open any door or window in the house.
We have added two more street dogs to our family. First a miniature schnauzer and more recently a beautiful golden lab. Both dogs were about one year old when we got them and had both had bleak lives on the streets of Chapala.
The unconditional love and joy we receive from our animals is truly heartwarming and we agree totally with Rourke that they are the greatest companions you could have.
There are many such street dogs in Ajijic,Lake Chapala and I heartily recommend that if you adopt a street dog your life will be vastly improved. They are so grateful for a loving home and will protect you and keep you safe and love you with all of their little hearts.
The yellow animal shelter on the carretara is a wonderful place to find an amimal that will change your life.