June 5, 2009
Suerte's Rescue and travel adventure!
Since the age of 17 I have been traveling to a city called Iquitos in Peru to bring medical care to the indigenous people of the Amazon. In the summer of 2007 I returned to the Amazon once again. Before going into the jungle for 2 weeks we usually spend a few days preparing for the trip to Iquitos. As with any day in Iquitos, I see many stray animals on the streets doing what they can to survive. One day while walking back to my hotel, I noticed a dog lying on the sidewalk. I approached the animal, fearing it was dead, and starting talking to him. The dog instantly got up, wagged its tail, and responded to my gentle voice. I noticed this small dog wa s missing most of his hair, had warts covering his body, was severely malnourished, and had a brutal eye and nose infection. Assured he was alive, I proceeded to walk away and he started to follow. It was immediately apparent that I had a new friend.
He followed me for a few blocks and I instantly felt responsible. I went to the grocery store and got him some food, water, and treats and we sat by the waterfront while he enjoyed every bite. I named him "Suerte," which means, "luck" in Spanish. I hung out with him for a few hours and then he went his separate way.
I saw him later that night and he followed me back to my hotel and slept outside waiting for me all night. We were going into the jungle a few days later and I wanted to find a safe place for him while we were gone for a couple weeks. Fortunately, I found an organization called Amazon CARES. They operate a great kennel outside of the city that he was able to stay in. I left some money with Amazon CARES so they could take care of him while I was gone for a few weeks. When we returned I saw Suerte again and left more money. I had to return to Seattle and could not bring him back due to his poor condition. For the next year I would send money to Amazon CARES and would get updates on his progress.
In October 2008 my friend was traveling back to Iquitos. I contacted Amazon CARES and asked about his progress and if he would be able to come back with her at the end of November. The vet in Iquitos, Dr. Esther Peña, arranged everything and was truly amazing. She got the health certificate ready for him, wrote a list of his medications and treatments for the past year and got everything ready by November 17, 2008. My friend was able to bring him back with her, and after a year and 4 months, as well as a 23 hour plane ride back to the U.S., my baby Suerte was finally home.
He has been amazing and I'm so glad he is safe, happy, has a full tummy, toys, and love. I still can't believe that I have him here with me. There was an instant connection with this dog and can't imagine him still in Iquitos fighting for his life every day. Amazon CARES is so wonderful and I'm happy that the suffering is over for one dog in Iquitos. Without their help, support, and love for the ananimals of Iquitos I would have never been able to give Suerte a second chance.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety thanks Kari Sorger and Melonie Rockwell for generously donating money to support Suerte during his treatment, recuperation and maintenance in our no-kill shelter.