Allow me to introduce Oso, the latest member of our troop. One morning back in March, we were sitting around Casa Playa Blanca when suddenly the cat stood up and arched her back. A small black puppy, maybe six months old, was poking his head in the back door. A break from the usual raccoons that normally try to slip by security. We played with him and fed him up since he was pretty much skin and bones. He’d come and go when he wanted jumping through the big P in the Playa Blanca gate. One day, he showed up limping with a big hole in his foot. Knowing he belonged to the local family up the road, we left him be. A few weeks later, he was laying by the creek looking pretty beat up and unable to put weight on his foot. PJ scooped him up and we dognapped him and took him to the vet in Huacas.
We got him fixed up and kept him around for a while giving him his meds and treating the wound. He was treated for heartworm, fleas and ticks. After a month, his fur was sleek, he had filled out and his foot was back to normal. We weaned him off of hanging out with us because it was time to head off for Panama.
After three months in Panama, we returned to Playa Blanca. Things went on semi-normally until we traveled to California to have my shoulder surgically repaired. We were there a little over a month before returning to Playa Blanca at the end of August. A few days later, we were driving home from Tamarindo when we spotted him, or at least we thought it was him, wandering on the road in Junquillal near the surfer cafe. PJ called him and at first, he just stared, then got all excited and came running over. He was skin and bones again and his once shiny black coat was spotted with the hairless patches from mange. We gave him some cat food which he snarfed down then drove home lamenting his poor state.
A few hours later, we heard a commotion at the back door and he came slinking in, cringing and groveling indicating the difficulty life has been handing him. We fed him up and the next day, September 5, we took him again to the vet and got him all the meds necessary to treat the mange. We took him home, bathed him in special shampoo and kept him pilled up until he started getting better. He was hating us for the bath but still stuck around.
We met the owners sister, walking with him out front. We talked with her a while then she called her sister and we spoke. She said she was okay with us keeping him, so his adoption was official. The family lives in an old school shack with pigs tied up out front and numerous dogs. Oso wasn’t particularly aggressive so he wasn’t getting a full share of the meager rations. For them it was one less mouth to feed and to us it was a new family member. We had been calling him Magic, but when they said his name was Oso and we could see how well he responded to it, we stuck with it. So there you have it. An anchor. Another fly in the ointment to make traveling harder, but there was no leaving this pup full of mangy bald spots and ribs sticking out. His is smart as a whip and has such a mellow demeanor, living with him is a joy. So, I guess he’s here to stay.