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Thinking about pet adoption?

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I can't recommend enough how rewarding adopting a pet from an animal rescue or shelter can be.    HomeoAnimal.com has an excellent guide for anyone looking to adopt.  They gathered their information from hundreds of rescue groups and shelters.  I strongly advise you take a look at their guide before you adopt. 

The Ultimate Guide to Pet Adoption

I'm not a fan of puppy mills, mall pet stores, etc.  I understand the desire for many is to have a purebred, but I also know some breeders do so primarily as income revenue.  One common myth is rescues and shelters don't have purebreds.  That's not true.  Purebreds have just as much chance as mixed breeds to be offered for adoption.  They don't end up at a swanky hotel for pedigree pets and while away free time perusing a list of potential human companions.  They end up at the same shelters and rescues as lovable mixed breeds. So there's no real excuse for not at least taking a look at the guide above from HomeoAnimal.com.

 


Guayaquil, Ecuador

 

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During my trip to our U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil, Ecuador, I took some time after work to stroll the city's boardwalk, called the Malecon, and see the sights.  

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Is the dog real or a painting?

Guayaquil is actually larger in population than Ecuador's capital city Quito.  It's rest near sea level and provides all the amenities that comes with being a coastal city.  Great seafood, beautiful waterfront views, and fascinating urban architecture, I look forward to coming back and seeing more of the city.

While I was away for a few days, Lucia had her own adventure.  I told her she was going to summer camp, but she knew that translated to a dog kennel.  Fortunately, we were put in contact with a great vet who also runs a very nice kennel just outside of Quito.  It's run by Dr. Ellen and her husband, who both run a veterinarian clinic called Ecuavet.  Over the labor day weekend, I took Lucia to check it out and get use to the surroundings.  Upon arrival, she was welcomed warmly by all the current canine residents.  So I knew she'd do well while I took my first trip for work. 

 


Parque La Carolina

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I blew Lucia's mind awhile ago when I took her out of our neighborhood for the first time.  The destination- Parque La Carolina. Up until then Lucia was only exposed to the normal stream of neighbors, dogs, and traffic.   We hopped in the truck and drove a few miles to this large central park.  Since the park lies in the city center.

Parque La Carolina offers many activities for all ages, such as football, basketball, tennis, biking, paddle boats, Ecuavolley (similar to volleyball), just to name a few. The park is over 160 acres and surrounded by high rises and these main thoroughfares, Río Amazonas, de los Shyris, Naciones Unidas, Eloy Alfaro, and de la República.  It use to be an airport until the city grew around it and they decided to move the airport farther away.

Among the most popular attractions in the park, is the Jardín Botánico with native habitats covering páramo (high-altitude Andean grasslands), cloud forest, wetlands and other areas, plus an orquideario (orchid greenhouse), ethnobotanical garden (exploring the plants used by indigenous groups) and Amazonian greenhouse.  Since I was with Lucia, we didn't have a chance to explore them.  But I'll check them out next time and post an update.

All in all, Lucia gave it her paw of approval, so I'm sure we'll be back.

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Foreign Service pets

 

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photo courtesy of http://fstails.blogspot.com

 

Even though I'm domestically assigned, I'm always on the lookout for Foreign Service pet travel stories.  Here's a great write up from DP's Blog about the current issues he and his wife faced with planning the transport of their dogs.


16 days left

Dogs for Defense
Taking a break from my ex-smoker journal to comment on a "This American Life" episode that ran recently.  It's called Animal Sacrifice and you can find it here.

Although, I suspected it, I was still surprised when I learned how far we went with using donated dogs during wartime.  I would never have let anyone donate my dog and hope I would have gone instead.

While their use as guard and detection animals makes sense, I can't fathom killing one species to fight a war against another.