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We met Jeanny, Chad, and Coba on the Animal Travelers Facebook group. We all happened to be in Cusco, Peru at the same time, asking the group whether it is possible to visit Machu Picchu with a dog (it is and it isn’t. You can read the post I wrote to learn more.). I had remembered Jeanny and Chad posting photos several months earlier of this dog they had found while traveling Mexico. The dog looked rough. She had very little fur left and just looked so weak and meager. When I realized that they were the same people who had rescued that sweet creature, I knew we had to meet them, and their dog Coba. So we met for lunch one afternoon in Cusco and plotted our plans to tackle Machu Picchu with our pups.
What is your name, your dog’s name, and his/her breed (if applicable):
Jeanny Raith and Chad Gauthier, and Coba, mix breed from Mexico
Where and when did you adopt Coba?
In Mexico, in Yucatan in March 2016.
Tell us how you first met Coba and how you knew you had to take him home with you.
Coba actually found us. We were traveling through Mexico and checked out a cenote, where we camped for a night. The next day, when Chad came back to the parking lot he was followed by a little puppy. He was very friendly and excited and at the same time very rough looking. He was only 6/7 weeks young, abandoned and with no mom or siblings around. We cleaned him up, removed all the ticks and bathed him twice. We fed him gave him lots of attention and left to continue on our travels.
But, the next day we were still thinking about him. Talking about him. We would love to take him with us, but the thought of traveling with a dog and doing 12 border crossings didn’t seem to be the best idea.
Aaaaand after two days thinking and discussing, still being indecisive we drove back, just to see if he’s still there, or even alive.
Once we got there we went and looked for him and when we saw him, he immediately followed us back to the van and seemed to be very happy we came back. We made him a bed outside under the van and he slept there the entire night till we got up. Then we put him in a box and took him to the vet!
In what condition was Coba when you first met?
He was in very bad shape. He was covered in fleas and ticks, had mange, and worms.
What sort of medical treatments did you have to undergo in order to get Coba back to health?
We took him to the vet right away where they did a skin and blood test and found out that he had mange, worms, and his health condition in general was bad. He got flea and tick treatment, deworming medication for three days, and vitamin B drops for a month.
Every two weeks we went to the vet to get him checked (thank God the vets in Central America were affordable!). When he was in a better health condition, he got his first rabies vaccination and the combo shot for other diseases.
How has Coba adapted to life as a pet?
Having Coba since he was a puppy was great, as the only life he knows is traveling! Traveling in a van, exploring new things every day, that’s the only life he knows so far. And he’s been a really good dog. He’s a fast learner, he loves people and other animals, and is always excited to get to know other dogs and play with them. He met so many street dogs and always got along with them.
Now we are back in Canada to our normal life and things will definitely change!
How many countries has Coba visited with you?
17: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Germany, USA and Canada (his new home country. And, yes he looooooves the snow).
Have you had any unexpected challenges?
We were rejected when entering Chile because the name of the anti parasite medication wasn’t on the official document. Then once we finally got into Chile, both Chile and Argentina had their difficulties with parks not being dog-friendly.
What about unexpected benefits?
Coba is a great dog even being so young. He entertains us a lot and we can bring him anywhere we want. He loves hiking, kayaking, canoeing, flying in an airplane, and sailing for 6 days!
Why should someone else consider adopting a street dog?
Personally, I would always get a street dog first before I would buy a dog. There are so many dogs out there on the street or in shelters looking for a forever home.
Before adopting a dog it helps to look into the requirements to bring your pup back with you. You don’t want to have your new friend get put in quarantine!