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Awesome Twosome at the SPA

From the SPA

By Mike Svob

During the several years that I’ve volunteered at the SPA on my biannual visits to San Miguel, I’ve walked every imaginable kind of dog—large and small, super-energetic and placid—but have had a special relationship with two, both of whom fit into the big-and-strong category. Miny and I go back a long way, to the time when she had just graduated from Puppy World. A very confident girl who’s always rarin´to go, she has always been very affectionate and loves it when I stop midway through our walk, sit down on a rock, and scratch her all over! On the leash, she’s a bit “pully,” but she knows what it means when I pull back and say no.

The other dog that has a special place in my heart is similar only in size and strength: Sonny, a beautiful multi-colored male who, unlike Miny, is a bit timid (but less so all the time). Whenever I enter his kennel to greet him, he intently looks me straight in the eye so endearingly that I can’t help feeling the love—and then we’re off to the races! Sonny, too, enjoys a few minutes of relaxed scratching and caressing at my sitting-rock. I’ll be happy when they’re adopted —like all the dogs at SPA, they deserve it! But at the same time, I will sorely miss walking them.

For me, the satisfaction that I derive from having the company of such wonderful dogs is augmented by the pleasure of being around a number of volunteers who are making a huge, positive contribution to the community. People like Megan, Harry, Lynn, Gilda, Steve, David, and a host of others dedicate a significant part of their lives to this important work. They and other SMA volunteers like themthose who teach English and art in area villages, knit caps and stuff mattresses for the poor, help kids with their homework at the Biblioteca, etc.are great to be around and restore one’s sometimes-flagging faith in mankind.

Give yourself a treat. The SPA can always use some more volunteers to help walk dogs and play with cats, kittens, and puppies. It’s a great experience and the highlight of my SMA visit. Volunteer hours are Monday-Saturday, 11–2, Los Pinos 7, 152 6124. The SPA’s website ( has photos and bios of all the animals waiting to meet you (Adopt Me! page) and videos of all the available dogs, including Miny and Sonny.


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