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SMA Redux

By Paul Schiratti

On the flight home from San Miguel de Allende in early March 2015, I felt down, thinking that the beautiful Mexican colonial city I had enjoyed for 4 of the last 5 years has lost its magic for me. Although the highlight of my trip was always the joy I got from walking the dogs at the SPA, the spark had gone. But, after a bleak Canadian winter, I decided to give SMA another try.

The first morning of my return, I headed to the SPA at Los Pinos 7. As I walked up the little alleyway, the cacophony of barking was music to my ears. I cautiously opened the spring-loaded, green metal door and was instantly cheered by the smiling staff and volunteers, not to mention the wagging tails and panting tongues.

I chose my leash carefully and sought out Dipper, a strong, active female who is a favorite of mine. The moment I opened Dipper’s casita door, I was greeted with kisses and a look that said, “Hug me.” I didn’t think twice and obliged her with a nice, long cuddle and then we went on our walk.

My next choice was Güera, a beautiful and fantastic girl whose story confounds me. She is the SPA’s longest dog-resident at 7 ½ years. As I walked her, I couldn’t help thinking that this old soul has an ideal disposition for any prospective owner looking for a sweet-tempered, moderately energetic, small/medium-sized companion to share their home and life with. Little Güera should have been adopted years ago, finding love and warmth in a forever home, yet she rarely gets a second look primarily because she’s timid. As the owner of an older rescue hound myself, the joys of puppyhood don’t remotely compare to the incredible satisfaction of opening your heart to the adoption of a senior pooch.

The last of my walking companions was Buddy, an exuberant, large Airedoodle. He’s a big-hearted goofball with energy to spare. Great exercise! With lungs and legs burning, I returned from his walk to his casita and took his harness off. As I was staggering away, I thought I heard him whisper, “Welcome back, my friend. Where have you been?”

I said my good-byes for the day and, on my way back to my apartment, I realized the San Miguel magic was back. Help feed Dipper, Güera, Buddy, and all the SPA animals by donating to the Pet Food Money Bank. For details and information, see donations up to USD$2,000 will be matched!


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