Living in a van means frequent trips to throw out our trash. We are roaming the streets of Guerrero Negro on the lookout for a bin, instead, we find a puppy.
She’s wandering the streets, her back leg held high and her bones protruding. I swerve the car to the nearest available parking spot and leap from the driver’s seat with an emergency pouch of dog food – saved for moments just like this.
The puppy is nervous but her extreme need for food takes over and she hobbles towards me, eager to get her mouth around the Pedigree wet food. It’s gone almost as soon as it’s in the bowl. Desperate for more she grabs at the empty packet.
Jacob leaves the van; I sense his imminent words that I know would echo around my mind for months and years to come; “We should go.” I break down. Tears are cascading and my mind is hysterical. I can’t leave this dog. I simply would never forgive myself. He knows this by my outburst. Our eyes meet, both are full of fear and confusion.
She’s in the van, sitting on a blanket and we’re ransacking the first-aid kit, dabbing ointment and wrapping her severely wounded leg. We carefully only touch her while wearing gloves, making sure she only lies on the blanket – in case she has rabbis. Our lunch is shared with her, though surprisingly, she turns her nose up at our Gringo food, eager only for tortillas.
“Disculpe, tenemos un perro y ella necesita ayuda.” We call into the quiet vet’s room. A middle-aged man emerges, he speaks only Spanish, so we try our best to explain the situation. A bath, a worming, flea and tick tablet later and we’re sent on our way with antibiotics.
“I’m sorry, I thought he would keep her at least overnight and we’d have time to decide what to do with her” I mutter to Jacob. “I know,” he says “we can decide if we want to re-home her after the three to four weeks when she’s healed, maybe somewhere in Baja.” “Yeah” I reply my gaze on this skeletal vanlifer now curled up on the blanket, but I know I’ll never want to give her up.