Happy 13th birthday to our best boy, Foco the dog.
This is Kuiper’s older brother, who I scooped up off the street in Quito, Ecuador 12 years ago. I was studying abroad and this little guy followed me home from the hardware store. “Foco” means “lightbulb,” 💡 and also “center of attention.”
With the help of a local vet, I was able to house him til the end of the semester and complete the paperwork to bring him home to Oregon. There’s no quarantine to bring dogs into the lower 48 states; you just need a rabies shot and a health cert.
Foco has been through a lot. He nearly died of HGE and pancreatitis while we were still in Ecuador (we made two appointments to put him to sleep but he kept rallying.) He’s had numerous teeth and semicancerous tumors removed, and several episodes of Intervertebral Disc Disease starting at just 5 years old. Due to his IVDD, for the past several years he’s been unable to potty on his own so we have to assist him several times a day. He’s not in pain though, and keeps on trucking along.
Bringing Foco to the US changed his life, and it’s a pretty heartwarming story. However, I wasn’t under any illusions that adopting him would impact the long term situation in Ecuador. If unaltered dogs are still running around loose, street puppies will continue to be born (and live for only a few years on average. ☹️)
It takes a concerted effort of trap/sterilize/vaccinate/release and education to effect change (and even then the economic reality is that a lot of people in developing countries simply can’t afford to prioritize street dog welfare.)
Not all free-range dogs are cut out to be pets behaviorally, and international rescues don’t always perform comprehensive health screenings. Dogs imported from Asia are likely the source of recent H3N2 (dog flu) outbreaks in the US & in the past 15 years, 6 imported rescue dogs have tested positive for rabies. 😐
We adore our Foco, but if you want to help street dogs long term, I encourage sourcing dogs locally and donating to reputable rescues in other countries who don’t routinely export animals. Your💲will go a lot further, and you will help a lot more 🐶. ♥️
Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs4ARkXj83b/