I have a dog named Coco and he is a handsome, loving, and gentle chocolate labrador who steals the hearts of all my friends – many have fought for the right to keep Coco if something happens to me. It is very common to hear people say “I would love to have a dog like Coco.” Well, Coco was not so well behaved in the beginning.
Coco, the first day he arrived to the house.
Coco is the first dog I ever had; a neighbor brought it to me on December 31st, 2010. He was skinny and had scratches all over his body; Coco had been roaming this hotel for weeks and fighting with other dogs. That first night I left him inside the house (I didn’t have a fenced yard) because I was going to go to a New Year’s Party and when I came back he had “accidents” (both kinds) all over the house. So the first thing was to train him and put up a fence.
Then, one day as I am walking Coco on the beach he approached another dog in an aggressive way; someone suggested I should neuter him. So the next week Coco was neutered and we started working on his behavior towards other dogs. Other things that happened? Coco chewed furniture, destroyed dog beds, and knocked over the neighbor’s trash can and distributed all the trash evenly throughout his yard. One time he even managed to get in some stranger’s car. I put flyers all over town until someone said where they have seen my beloved Coco: he was drinking beers in the pool at the stranger’s house.
Coco wearing the cone of shame; spay and neuter are important to decrease the number of stray dogs and cats in Puerto Rico.
So how did this 80-plus-pound mischief turned into such an amazing dog? Love. And patience. And training. And more love. Coco helps me train all the fosters that come into my house; many of them fall in love with him and don’t leave his side. When I got Coco the veterinary told me he was between three and five years-old. So it is possible to train an adult dog. Many people want to adopt a puppy thinking that is the only way they can train them the way they want, but all my fosters have been adult dogs and, once they are treated with love, they end up being wonderful dogs.
Please consider adopting an adult dog. With patience and love, you may end up with a dog like Coco.
Coco has been a great help when it comes to foster other dogs.
Since I have been involved with ARF of Rincon, none of our dogs and cats (both our own as well as our fosters) have given birth. We are serious about spaying and neutering; we rescued a dog and first thing is vaccines and sterilization. Our own pets, as soon as they are 6-months old, is “SNIP-SNIP”. So we have been newborn-free for many years… Until this past weekend.
Miriam received a call that a pregnant boxer was dumped. In less than one hour she had taken the dog to a safe place and… Oh – was she pregnant. The dog was already looking for a place to give birth. Two days later the puppies arrived. We named the new mom Celia, in honor of Celia Cruz, a Cuban singer.
So now we have seven puppies. We have to wait until they are old enough so they can eat by themselves and have the first round of vaccines; then they will be ready for adoption. Name suggestions are welcome. And as soon as Celia finishes nursing them, is SNIP-SNIP time for her!
On March 14th ARF of Rincón celebrated its 20th St. Patrick’s Day Annual Fundraiser at Hotel Villa Cofresi. Joseph Montaperto a.k.a. DJ Mouse provided us with great music (thank you so much!) and the community of Rincón came and celebrated with us. We are grateful that we can count on your support. This year, we publicly thanked three people. First Jossie and Mike Freundel; this lovely couple never says no and are always willing to help us. They sell tickets like no one and are great at selling 50-50 raffle tickets. Second, Joanmarie Pondolfino, who has been participating since the first St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser (and we even changed the date of the event so she could go!).
Then, on May 20th, the owners of Mangia Mi Restaurant, organized a fundraiser for ARF of Rincón. There was a silent auction and a 50-50 raffle (won by Miriam Juan, who gave it all away). People enjoyed good food and Bruno (ARF’s poster child) was even allowed to eat some pizza!
We want to thank all of you who are involved, one way or another, with our mission. Thank you!
2017 was a particularly difficult year for ARF of Rincon. The damaged done by Hurricane Maria made it extremely hard to restore our personal homes as well as our work as volunteers. We close the year with the hopes that things will continue to get better.