Sunday, February 12, 2012

the things that break our hearts

We're in Mexico this week. It's the first time for both of us, and we were prepared for paradise, and stray dogs. No matter how prepared you are though, it's still heartbreaking to see the homeless dogs. It's hard to know you can't save them all - especially when we can't even save all the ones we'd like to back home...

We met this guy while snorkeling on Cozumel, at a little shop on the side of the road. We weren't sure if he was owned, or just hanging out for the day, but he was beautiful!

Of course, it makes us miss our pooches. Beyond that, though, it reminded me of India - where there are also an incredible number of strays - unfortunately not all of them were as well-fed as the few we've seen so far in Mexico. I was in India a few years ago, and probably took more photos of the dogs than I did the scenery. I bought dog treats that I carried around in my pocket for weeks - not a single dog would eat them, though. They must eat so much human scrap food, that they were unsure of the actual dog food I was trying to share with them. I was so bummed, but it also told me they weren't in such bad shape, if they could be choosy.

It made me wish for the ability and opportunity to start a spay/neuter organization in India.
The people there seem to care for these dogs, even dressing some of them in sweaters! I believe if provided the resources, they would care for the dogs properly. I was relieved to find out that such organizations exist, including Pet Project Rescue, which focuses on dog care and rescue in Mexico. Sarah Beth Photography (an amazing MN pet photographer) did some volunteer work with them recently, and posted her photo blog of the events. Here are a few links to her photos and story of her time in Mexico:
spay/neuter clinic :: cancun, mexico :: pet project rescue
far-reaching and a few more favorites

Here is part of my Dogs of India collection (taken with a point and shoot, and iphone, excuse the quality :)

The first dog I met in India (in Delhi). He was sleeping there, but must get fed by strangers and popped up as soon as I approach.

This guy started doing tricks when I walked up to him. He showed me his belly, and broke my heart because I didn't have any treats. "Show me your belly" is Suvi's default trick when she wants something...

Sleeping in the ashes of a fire from the night before.

Fat and happy in Bangalore.

A common scene on the sidewalks in India. 

I hope that someday we can save them all, and give them warm beds, good meals, and tons of belly rubs. I know though, that Chad and my time is best spent focused on ending breed discrimination, and if we spread ourselves too thin, we risk losing the ability to make a big impact in any area. It's hard to remind ourselves of this, and we often discuss what else we could/should be doing to help. I hope for now, we are truly making an impact by working hard to promote dobermans and pit bulls, by sharing ours, sharing others' stories, and volunteering and promoting rescues that help these breeds. When that battle is won, we'll move on to the the meantime, we'll never travel without treats in our pockets....


  1. Perto Rico is the same way. There are so so many stray dogs all over in the country and major cities. I was iin PR three years ago. On our last morning I was watching from the hotel balcony a stray sitting watching two dogs play with their owner on the beach. It was so heartbreaking. I was crying hysterical as the stray watched the owned dogs frolick in the water and then walk away. He watched them walk away!! then he got up slowly and walked the opposite way. My husband came out to see me in hysterics, sobbing and just pointing. I couldn't even speak.

  2. Turkey is the same well too. Maybe a little better than India. Anyways, keep up the good work and cheers from Turkey!