While we were touring around Los Cabos at the south end of the Baja Peninsula we stayed in an RV park near downtown Cabo San Lucas. On our first evening there we decided to stay home (the bus) have a low key evening. Over dinner the conversation turned to us getting a dog when we got home from our trip. We've always wanted a dog and we decided that when we settled down (if that ever happened) we'd get one. We also talked about how many stray dogs there are in Mexico. Apparently there are over 10000 in southern Baja alone. Our curiosity got the better of us and soon we were online looking for local shelters. We found the website for the Los Cabos Humane Society and decided that tomorrow we would pay them a visit.
The following morning we headed over to the Humane Society which is just north of downtown Cabo San Lucas. When we got there we were overwhelmed by all the sad puppy faces starring back at us through the bars of their kennels. There were dozens of dogs, most of them mid-size dogs known as Cabo dogs - a term used to describe the general mutt breed of dogs in this area. When they saw us coming they all started barking like crazy as if to say, "Pick me, pick me!" It was heartbreaking.
The head vet gave us a couple leashes and let us walk some of the dogs in the field behind the shelter. We took out a few dogs that we thought would suit us. While we were at the shelter we met Maggie McLean, a Canadian from Calgary who is living in Cabo with her husband. She volunteers at the humane society to help care for the animals. Maggie told us that she was currently fostering a female black lab that she thought would be perfect for us. She asked us if we would be interested in going to her house to meet the dog and see what we thought. We agreed and after walking a few more dogs we left the shelter and followed Maggie back to her house on the other side of town.
When we pulled up to Maggie's home we saw a scraggly black lab run down the driveway to greet us. Her name was Luna and she must have weighed no more than 30 lbs. Her ribcage and spine stuck out through her thin coat of fur and her stretched belly hung low from having a litter of pups in her just days ago. She was in pretty rough shape but was super happy to see us and seemed full of energy. We fell in love almost immediately.
After spending an hour or so with Luna we left Maggie's place and headed back to the RV park where we were staying. We told Maggie that we would have to think things over and that we would call with her later that day to let her know our decision.
Back at the RV park we discussed the pros and cons of adopting a dog while we were on our trip. What it would be like to train her and how she would react going from a cage in a shelter to the back of our bus. We still had over 6000 miles to go before we would be home and we'd be spending many more days in the bus that was already feeling way too small and now we would have a big dog and all her stuff to deal with. Not to mention the cold weather that this poor skinny dog would have to endure once we got back into Canadian winter weather.
After spending the afternoon discussing our options we decided to go for. We had endured living five months in the bus so far, adding a dog to the mix couldn't be that bad. Could it? We called Maggie and told her the good news. She told us she would take Luna back to the shelter in the morning to get her final shots and one last check up before she could be released to us. We were stoked and very nervous. Did we make the right choice?
That evening we went to the Costco and Walmart in Cabo to shop for doggie supplies. We picked up a comforter we could use as a dog bed, food bowls and, of course, dog food. We also had to visit the bank to get out a 1000 pesos (about $77 US) which the humane society asks for as a donation for all the shots and to keep the shelter going. Pretty reasonable if you ask me.
The next morning we drove over to the humane society to pick up Luna. When we got there she was back in the cage she was sharing with another black lab before going to Maggie's place. As soon as she saw us she recognized us and stood on her hind legs with her nose poking through the chain link fencing. One of the employees at the shelter took Luna out of her cage and brought her up to the office area where we had to sort out the paperwork for her adoption. Along with the adoption papers and shot records they gave us a new collar and leash. They also gave us a used dog coat knowing that she was going from sunny Mexico to the cold Canadian winter.
After getting the adoption sorted out and paying the fees we were on our way. At first Luna was quite apprehensive about getting into the bus. I don't blame her though, she had been moved around a lot in the past few days and she was probably fairly scared and confused at this point. Eventually we managed to coax her in to the bus and we said our goodbyes to the humane society staff and off we went. After a few minutes on the road Luna settled down on the blanket we bought for her and fell asleep.
We left Cabo San Lucas and headed northeast through the city of San Jose up the East Cape on our way to our next destination Cabo Pulmo. Luna was settling in nicely in her new pseudo-home for the next month until eventually she would have a real home.