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What my rescue dogs taught me

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Melissa Adler
Melissa Adler is a New York native who lives in Mérida. She is also a buyer’s agent for Mérida Living Real Estate. Contact her at melissa.meridaliving@gmail.com.

I thought I knew a lot about dogs until I took in two rescues. I was wrong. Rescuing a dog off the street, one that’s never been in a home or felt a tender hand, is a completely different story. 

Four years ago, I found a terrified puppy on the sidewalk, cringing every time a car drove by. I scooped her up and brought her home. Within two days, she had taken over my life.

She also had fallen in love with her two very large siblings (my monsters that moved here with me from the States). She had been someone’s pet I’m sure, but obviously no longer wanted or cared for. 

A year later, a malix came into our lives. There are thousands of them here in Yucatán. Malix is the Mayan word for “ordinary” but they are anything but. He had been injured and needed his leg amputated. The woman who found him on the street got him the medical attention he needed and the community chipped in to cover the bills. 

This is when I realized I didn’t know as much as I thought about dogs.

I took in a dog that had never been behind a closed door. Who spent every day of his life in search of food. Who was wary of humans. He’s taught me patience, how to observe and to accept that what he chooses to offer is the best I can hope for and more than enough. 

Fast forward three years. My first rescue struts through the house like a cross between Bugs Bunny and Jessica Rabbit. My malix has learned that with a good running leap, my bed is the best place on earth. And I’ve learned that there will always be room in my home and heart for another dog.

If you find you have room in your heart and home, contact Evolución Animal AC (evolucionanimal.org), a no-kill shelter in Mérida that has hundreds of dogs and cats, young and old, looking for someone like you. 

A version of this article appeared in Issue 1 of Yucatán at Home.

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