I experienced love at first sight yesterday when I laid my eyes on Guera. She was tied up to a pole in the sun and wagging her tail so ardently at F and I, that it moved her entire body. As I pet her, it felt as though I was sliding my hands down a marimba. She was all bones. And she was unbelievable dirty. Her owner came out and told us she was for sale. 300 pesos. He bragged that she was economical to keep, and that she had survived for 15 days without food in the sun. F and I told him we couldn’t keep a dog and continued our walk to the store.
We were quiet. We both couldn’t stop thinking about her. She was as skinny as she was sweet. We imagined that her owner would try other fasts in the sun or devise equally cruel methods to torture her. We decided that even lethal injection at the pound would be a kinder way to go than by starvation. We believed that after a couple of weeks of eating and a good bath, we could find someone to take her.
We stopped at the house on the way back. The owner wasn’t there, but four other guys with Modelos in hand were. They were gathered around a truck drinking. Guera was laying down nearby with the rope around her neck. F offered them 150 pesos for her and we led her away on the rope.
Our first stop was the pet store. F is friends with the owners, Jaime and Lorena, and they know a lot about dogs. We left Guera with them for a bath. When we returned, Jaime said that if starvation hadn’t killed Guera, she would have died from the fleas. She had been covered in them and he had even removed them from her ears. He told us that he had seen dogs so stressed from fleas, that they had died. Jaime guessed Guera to be four months old, even though she looks much smaller. The malnutrition has also affected her puppy’s coat so that she has the coat of an old dog. She will also never reach her full weight and height.
On our walk home, I noticed that Guera stumbled a little like a newborn colt. I imagine that she’s spent most of her life laying down and that her leg muscles are weak. I’m hoping that as she begins to eat, she’ll gain strength for walking. She follows us around a lot and will never turn away food. We give her a little bit at a time, because she vomited her first meal. She’s muy tranquila: doesn’t chew, bite, bark, rough-house, play or do anything you would expect of a puppy. She just lays at our feet, wagging her tail, emanating sweetness.
Kelly from Save a Mexican Mutt is coming over soon. She’ll lend us a crate, a leash, food and water bowls. We’ll love Guera and watch her get healthy and strong until we can find her a new home.