HERE IS MY STORY: May 12, 2014
While walking down the beach in San Pedro, Belize, I noticed two people constantly staring at me, one in particular with long blonde hair and sunglasses that reminded Me of a scary bee I once chased away. I decided to follow them since they seemed to be lost. Periodically they would stop, so I would stop and sit. They would start walking again and the I would follow them again. While walking, I was kicked by a local riding a bike. At this point, I walked over to this blonde and stayed by her side for next 1/4 mile. I knew she would protect Me.
We walked to the nearest grocery store where this guy that she was with went in to buy dog food (score!) while her and I waited outside. I listened to their conversation and learned their names were Anna and John. I also learned they loved dogs and they had two of their own. While I was eating my food, Anna and John noticed what appeared to be an archaic attempt to neuter me. My testicles were wrapped with some sort of tight band. Let me tell you-the pain was really bad. They decided to take me to the nearest vet for treatment. We covered a lot of area asking for directions to the nearest vet. After about one hour, we located the San Pedro Animal Hospital. Unfortunately, we all missed Dr. Camille by 30 minutes. Plan B. Where to take Me? The only option was to take Me back to their room at the Exotic Caye Beach Resort. I slept soundly through the night on the couch, my head resting on a pillow and my body covered with a blanket, and for the first time in a very long time, I felt safe again. It was then where Anna named Me "Pedro.” I got a name! Yay! I was so excited! But...what did that mean?
I woke up in the middle of the night and gave Anna a kiss, I sniffed John, but he was facing the wall so I could not kiss him, besides, I did not want to kiss some dude, I have always been a ladies’ man.
The next morning while I slept in, Anna and John discussed adoption options with the local Melt Café owners Michelle and Mark Jacobson. They learned that the local Humane Society called SAGA might be able to assist with the adoption process. After my breakfast (bacon, eggs and toast), it was off to the vet with a quick stop at SAGA to inquire about the adoption process. Upon entering SAGA, we were greeted by Ingrid who immediately stated I had owners and had escaped from SAGA the previous Saturday. I was like “really, well maybe, but I had a reason to escape! They tied my private parts with a rubber band! Who would not escape?”
Anna and John mentioned their desire to adopt me, but Ingrid stated I had an owner. Anna and John pointed out my rubber banded testicles and Ingrid stated, “yes we did that procedure, but he then escaped.” Well, Anna looked at John and Me, and John looked back at Anna. I wanted to scream “Do not leave Me here! I beg you!” But, they had no choice; “I had an owner.” I couldn’t be more disappointed when they left and I could see, they were heartbroken - Anna cried on her way out.
While I was laying in the crate wondering about my future....
Upon return to Melt Café, Anna told Michelle what happened. Michelle quickly started asking around the restaurant if anyone knew the owner; low and behold another local eating breakfast told them he ran a dive business up the beach. Michelle called and learned he was out on a dive but would be done by noon. Anna and John decided to go meet him and ask if they could adopt Me. They left the hotel and stopped at the nearest grocery store to buy some dog food to donate to SAGA. Upon entering SAGA (after only being gone less than ONE HOUR), they learned Ingrid was gone but would return in an hour. John started talking to the woman and the counter and Anna started frantically looking for Me at the cages where the dogs were kept and that’s when she found Me - crying in pain. They asked what happened and were told I was fine. Clearly, I was not fine! I was like “please get me out of here!” You can see Me here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOIAJUtGw4Q .
And they left again… I thought, I would never see them again…
They left immediately to meet with My owner. He was out diving, but his mom who was running the desk at the dive shop told them how I (my old name-Rebel) would repeatedly escape from their yard and she feared I would end up being killed. (Apparently at one time local officials poisoned stray dogs in San Pedro). She told Anna that I have been out of their house for more than a year (I was 2 1/2 years old) and it was difficult to contain me. Well, I used to escape because that’s what dogs do, besides, I wanted to be loved and cared for and they clearly did not have time. Anna asked if the lady would consider letting them adopt Me. The lady stated that after her phone call from Michelle at Melt Café, she discussed it with her family and felt I would have a better life off the island; she agreed to let them adopt Me.
Ecstatic, they returned to SAGA to rescue Me. Ingrid had returned and was told the great news and asked to call for confirmation. She made the call and confirmed I would be able to be adopted. They wanted to take Me immediately, but were told “NO” that I was under doctor’s care for Tick Fever, Anemia and Heartworm and they would have to wait a couple days. They were told the vet comes in once a week and wouldn’t be back until the following week. They asked again if they could take Me to the vet across the street as it was clear I was in pain and they were told “NO.” I was sad; I felt like I was dying and I did not want to die alone. Anna offered a $100 donation to SAGA. Within 10 minutes, they had all of My medical history and I were out the door. See ya SAGA! They walked me across the street to the San Pedro Animal Hospital; it was like night and day. We all met Dr. Camille – she was very nice and smelled like blueberries-my favorite fruit! She immediately began to take care of Me. Upon closer examination, it was discovered My testicles had been removed and I was stitched up pretty much with a needle and a thread. I was castrated at SAGA Humane Society within the hour while Anna and John were looking for My owner. I was clearly in pain and was told that I may not make it. Anna and John worked out the details of My treatment with Dr. Camille to treat Me for anything and everything I needed to get healthy. Anna and John started to post about me on Facebook. Their friends back home started following My story. I had no idea what a sensation I became! Numerous people started posting that they wanted to help with My medical expenses. One of those friends, Patty Culliton, asked if she could set up a donation page for Me. Incredibly, within 24hrs family, friends and friends of friends back home contributed more than $2,500 for Me; over $4,000 total. Even their new friends that they met at the hotel, Mana and Andy, made a generous contribution without hesitation and helped spread the word on social media. Anna and John were and are still humbled by the generosity of so many good-hearted people.
They went back the next day to check on Me and what a difference a day makes. I had my new cone on and they took Me out for a walk. I couldn’t be happier to see Anna -I gave her kisses after kisses and all I wanted to do is to kiss her more. I was honestly contemplating how can I lose the guy she was with, but I thought I may need him later, so I left the idea alone ;-). Because I just got My rabies shot (May 13), I had to wait 30 days before I could travel. Sadly, I was not going home with them that week. They took me for a walk, cried, kissed me and said “we will be back for you, we promise!” I cried, I did not believe them…this has happened to me before…tourists came, fed me, gave me a nice bed to sleep and disappeared…I was heartbroken.
What I did not know….
Thankfully there were angels living in San Pedro. Michelle and Mark introduced Anna and John to Jack and he volunteered to foster Me and get Me ready for My trip to Chicago. Every day they communicated with Michelle, Jack and Dr. Camille via email and Google Hangouts. Because I was so afraid to be in a crate, I would hurt himself trying to get out. This made a trip in a crate in cargo difficult. Add to the flight restrictions due to heat and they were forced to rule out a commercial airplane. Days were getting longer, hours seemed like eternity…They had been searching for all options to get Me from San Pedro, Belize to Chicago, Illinois. Anna called many freight companies, ships, charters, but either dogs were not allowed or everything was very expensive. They decided to drive me through Mexico, but they did not know anyone who could help. Anna created My Name is Pedro page to communicate with the world about Me. Once they posted their idea, their friends Phyllis and Bill Bobor said they might be able to help. They introduced them to Hector Navarro from Cancun. Hector rescues dogs all the time and stepped right up to volunteer to help. Poor Hector was on crutches, but still helped!
They all came up with a plan that sounded crazy at the time, but it was the only option. My Journey began on June 24, 2014 when John and his dad (John Sr.) flew to Cancun, Mexico to meet Hector and his father Jose Louis. All 4 of them drove 4 hours south to Chetumal, Mexico near the border of Belize. Jack and Michelle took a 2hr water taxi with Me (My first boat ride) from San Pedro, Belize to meet John and “Team Pedro” in Chetumal, Mexico. From there 4 men and a dog trekked through Mexico working their way up to the Mexico/United States Border. Anna worked behind the scenes booking hotels (which was not easy-not too many hotels in Mexico welcomed dogs) and researching areas to warn about dangerous activities. Anna, our friend Mike and my late sister Trixie left Chicago and headed south to the Texas Border in Laredo, TX on June 26, 2014. Mike stayed with Trixie on the USA side, and Anna crossed the border on foot and waited for us in Mexico, where we all reunited. It was a day where I realized, I am safe forever, and I can call Anna and John - My Parents. They kept their promise and came back for me, something I hoped for from the very beginning.
My journey continues and thank you for being a big part of it!
P.S. Except for a few minor mishaps with local police, we all met at the border on June 28, 2014 (my parent’s wedding anniversary) and drove back to Chicago from there. Hector and his father immediately returned safely to Cancun. We all traveled 7,734.88 miles and 2160 feet to save Me and I am grateful to them and all who contributed their help to Save My Life!