How A Stray Dog Near Death Became My Best Friend

For Adopt-A-Shelter Dog month, we've asked out friends to share thier life-changing animal rescue stories with us. Today, Sharyn Evron tells us how she met and adopted Flaca, an abused stray who was only days away from death. It's a stirring testament to the healing power of love, as well as to a dog's amazing ability to forgive.

...

When my husband and I first moved to Costa Rica from NYC in 2006, the first three things we needed to accomplish were finding a place to live, get a dog and buy a car. It only took about a week to find a place to live and then shortly thereafter, to find the love of my life.

One Sunday morning while having breakfast at a local expat-owned breakfast place named Kay’s, we met Frances and Bruce. We quickly learned about their love of animals and how they run an animal rescue in Atenas (the town we lived in in Costa Rica) called Lighthouse Animal Rescue. We quickly made plans to come see the “shelter” and find our new furry friend.

We had heard a lot about a dog named Flaca. Flaca is a mixed mutt (definitely with some German Shepherd) and was probably somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. She had been a stray that was severely malnourished, with a bad case of mange and horribly mistreated.

We took a taxi (still hadn’t gotten the car yet) for the 5 mile 15 minute winding ride through the mountains of central Costa Rica. When we arrived, the “shelter” turned out to be their beautiful home with an even more stunning view. In addition to about 10 or 12 dogs running around our feet, the vista from their back patio was beyond compare. The house has two walls of windows making it feel as though you are in the midst of the vista you are gazing at. We were told the sunsets were absolutely amazing as well. No surprise!

...

Credit: Frances Jones

After we got over the view, we got down to business — the business of playing with the dogs. Frances specializes in American Eskimos dogs which are gorgeous white long-haired dogs. As adorable as they were, with the amount of white fur they shed, and the amount of black clothes I wear, not a good combo.

We had heard a lot about a dog named Flaca. Flaca is a mixed mutt (definitely with some German Shepherd) and was probably somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. She had been a stray that was severely malnourished, with a bad case of mange and horribly mistreated. She was skin and bones. And I mean just skin and bones. She lost most of her fur due to mange. And was found wandering the neighborhood. They very aptly named "Flaca" which means skinny.

...

Credit: Frances Jones

Once she was found, everyone knew exactly where she had to go to get the care she needed — Lighthouse Animal Rescue. Frances has such a way with animals and treats them as family. After rounds of antibiotics, skin treatments and loads of tender loving care, Flaca was on the rebound. How she is not afraid of people after all she's been through is beyond me. She was mistreated and abandoned and yet is so sweet and gentle – although she does love to jump up and say hello.

...

Credit: Frances Jones

It was hard to choose which dog to adopt, but after hearing Flaca’s story and seeing her ability to wrestle around with my husband and definitely hold her own, we knew that Flaca was our girl.

They take those animals that at, face value, look as though there is no hope and with love, affection, food, antibiotics and other medical care, they are brought back to life for someone to love.

Just like her new mama, we were told that Flaca tends to get car sick, so Frances gave her a Dramamine for the trip home. She got sleepy in minutes and we had to lug her to the car. We had the taxi driver drop us off at Kay's so Flaca could say hello to everyone. They hadn't seen her in months since she really got back on her feet. Everyone was so happy to see her looking healthy. On the way home we stopped off at the butcher and got her some bones to gnaw on.

...

Credit: Frances Jones

It is amazing what Frances and all the others do who work in animal rescue. They take those animals that at, face value, look as though there is no hope and with love, affection, food, antibiotics and other medical care, they are brought back to life for someone to love.

When you find an abandoned animal, please make sure you take it to a "no-kill" shelter. There are so many people out there that are looking to make a home for a precious animal.

All images courtesy of Frances Jones & Sharyn Evron

Learn more about Lighthouse Animal Rescue by visiting their blog and Facebook Page.