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Chica came from Amigos de las Animales in Mazatlan where I was volunteering one winter (2007). I knew I would be bringing one of the dogs back to the States in the spring, but until she came in, I didn't know which one. One look and I knew she was it.

She was dumped there by her owner (which, as I think of it, was at least decent of him considering some of the other options). She was terrified of everything and bullied by the other dogs. The director of the shelter figured she had either been in a cage or locked up somewhere the entire six months of her life. It took weeks of going into her cage every day to get her past her fear of me. She went from trying to run away (not easy in a small pen) and peeing all over herself, to wagging her tail while she was peeing herself (and me in the process), before I thought I could take her out on a leash for small, scary experiences in the big world. If she'd ever gotten away from me, I never would have seen her again.

I finally brought her back to my boat where she immediately felt safe and at home. The photo on the left is her in her kennel when she was still afraid of me and my camera. The one on the right is a happy dog who has discovered she is in a good place with love and security. Those pictures were about three weeks apart. She remained spooky and easily frightened for many months, but little by little she has grown into her surroundings and loves people (when she gets to know them anyway). She's happy and races around like a crazy girl when she's excited.

She, like Eloise, is now with my friends in Washington. We all spend a lot of time together as I am down there several months every year. I'm still traveling a lot, so it works out very well, and my friends are awesome doggy parents.

Lynne Stevens
Juneau, AK

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