We came to Costa Rica with three cats (Venus, Bug and Boo) and one dog (my lovely Lucy). Lucy was already old when we arrived, but she made the trip well and was no worse for wear. She did, as dogs often do when they get old, start having incontinence problems, so we took her to a vet who would give her a hormone injection about once a month, and that worked quite well. One time, though, a junior vet just out of school was there and our regular vet was not, and he tried some kind of speed, basically, instead of the hormones. Esposo knew it was a bad idea, and I still kick myself over why I subjected my girl to this. The speed affected her cataracts to the point where she was about to lose her eyesight, and her eyes altogether, and of course no one at Dr. Molina's office would answer an emergency call, even though they supposedly had an emergency number. My dog may have died that weekend if it were not for Dr. Rafael Gamboa (the best vet in Costa Rica, IMHO, he's in Escazu and comes highly recommended!), who saved her life. She did end up losing her sight, though, there was nothing to be done about that. Lucy sort of went downhill after that whole episode, and passed away quietly in my arms at home a couple of years later. She was the best dog ever, and no one could ever take her place in my heart. There still isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her.
Not long after we moved to Costa Rica, we went up to visit esposo's mom and aunt. These women have an incredibly bad habit of taking in dogs and cats (and chickens! grrrr....) and then, when they outgrow their cuteness, giving them away. In the backyard of grandma's house was a little puppy, basically living in a dirt patch, no blanket, scraps for food, and filthy water. All I could think about was this puppy after we left, and the next day, I made esposo go back up there with me and we took her home. I thought she might make a nice companion for Lucy, who, of course, would have nothing to do with her rambunctious self. We couldn't think of a name for her, until one night when we were listening to The Police and "Roxanne" came on. That was it. She is as adorable as can be, loves to escape through the fence and run the neighborhood when she can, and doesn't take any crap from any large dogs (and let's face it, at her size [about four pounds] every other dog is large). We love the Roxy. Oh, and Roxy's claim to fame? She won "Mejor Zaguate" (Best Mutt) at the dog fair in Ciudad Colon a few years ago! The whole crowd (none of whom actually knew her) were united in shouting, "Roxy! Roxy!" Her cuteness and fun-loving attitude are undeniable!
The next dog to come along was Francheska. We happened to be driving in Alajuela one day, and saw a completely emaciated dog, I mean you could count each rib on her. I thought, no way is that poor dog going to live. When we got home I called the McKee Project, and was talked into picking her up if possible. So the next time we went out there, about a week later, we saw the dog, in about the same area as she had been hanging out before, slightly heavier, as though she'd actually had a meal that week. Esposo opened a can of dog food, and she came to him, hesitantly at first, and then he easily picked her up and put her in the car. She was so happy. I still didn't know if she would survive, but she did, and thrived. She's become our protector; Cheska is definitely the dog that will tear someone apart if they make the mistake of trying to break into our house. Unfortunately, she's also one of the fighters, and the reason we need to now keep some dogs in the back yard and some in the front. And she's part beagle, so she's a real barker. We do love her, though, and she's absolutely perfect with the people she knows and loves.
Ok, this has taken me all morning to write, so I need to do a bit of work and then I'll tell you about the remaining four. If you've read this far, pat yourself on the back. I think this is my longest post ever.