Moving to Ecuador was not only a transition for Dave and I but also for Audrey and Lilly, our dogs. Where we are located, in Crucita, there are so many street dogs and beach dogs without homes that we have to be very cautious about where we allow them to be outside of our home. We live in a single family home on the beach with a fenced yard which is absolutely wonderful for them in terms of going in and out to go to the bathroom. Our doors are always open and they are free to roam in and out at will which is fantastic. But for the most part they are not outside of the property which is a bit restrictive compared to what they were used to.
We choose not to walk them on the streets at all mainly because their behavior is not the nicest toward other dogs. They like to bark and make a lot of noise which would bring all of us trouble I’m afraid. We do walk them on the beach though, and it is especially nice during low tide when we can put a nice distance between us and the areas where the fishing boats are (this is where many of the beach strays live). We always have them leashed because it’s so unpredictable when a dog may come running out. There are no dog parks here to let them run free. We are also not able to take them for car rides anymore which is something they loved back in the states. We have however been able to take them for a couple of rides on the local tuks tuks, which they seem to enjoy quite a bit!
Lilly is part shihtzu and requires regular grooming. We were able to find a groomer that will come to the house which is very convenient! She plugs her shears in outside and Lilly gets a groom right on the patio! If I were able to ask Lilly what she prefers, I would bet she likes the grooming here as opposed to going to the “spa” back home. I did miss the other parts of the treatment that we got back home like getting ears cleaned, bath, anal glands expressed (I know…gross) and a cute bow, but overall the groomer here got the main job done.
Groomers are often trained veterinarians here as well, which ours was. We were told prior to leaving the states that Audrey (our dachshund mix) had a bad tooth that should be removed. We asked the vet/groomer to take a look and she didn’t think it needed to be pulled however she did recommend a good cleaning to get tartar off. We opted to get both girls teeth cleaned the following week. As a result we were able to get some experience with veterinarian services here as well.
Since teeth cleaning requires some local anesthetic, we were instructed to not let either dog eat or drink prior to 9PM the night before. When the vet arrived to do the cleaning, she had also brought an assistant with her to help with the process. All of this was again done on the same patio as the grooming. The dogs were administered the anesthetic and teeth were cleaned all in the confines of the home which is wonderful!
What isn’t as wonderful is that as owners, we were involved in the process which was a bit nerve-wracking. Each dog handled the anesthetic completely different. Audrey who is usually the most mild mannered was the first to be done and her body shook throughout the process (which lasted about an hour) of getting her teeth cleaned . After the procedure which involved bleeding gums, she was laid on a towel to let the medicine wear off while Lilly was next. Lilly’s body reacted quite different and she was very relaxed and limp throughout the process.
Both dogs had lost control of their tongues and the way we knew they were starting to come out of the anesthetic was their tongue slowly went back in place as they gained control. Audrey was crying and moaning and it sounded horrible. She kept also trying to walk and get up but she couldn’t as she was so disoriented and unsteady. I had to hold her down from trying to get up so she wouldn’t hurt herself. Lilly didn’t make a peep and seemed content to stay put until her antistatic wore off.
Dave and I were both very relieved when the dogs were back to their old selves again!
Since we’ve only been here a short time, I’ve yet to find out about shots and what if anything is recommended differently here in Ecuador for them. They were completely up to date when we left the states, so I still have time to learn this as time goes on.
Flees and ticks are quite prevalent here and we found a natural exterior preventative to rub on them every two weeks to protect from bites.
They are great little watch dogs for us and are able to stand on the balcony and look over if anyone comes to the gate so they keep us alerted at all times!
They also love chasing the little geckos that scurry around the yard at lightning speed!
We had brought some of their good quality food with us which we have just recently run out of. So going forward, we have decided to feed them a mixture of homemade food (rice, carrots, some garlic- which also helps keep insects away, liver, gizzards, chicken) with some dry dog food that we have found here.
Audrey has always been a fan of the warm weather (always in the 80s here) and even still looks for patches of sun to soak up. Lilly prefers the shade but has more fur! Overall, I think they approve of their new home and have settled nicely in. And of course mom and dad most likely wouldn’t have even made this move without them!