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Street Dogs of Costa Rica

About a year ago, our family decided to go learn Spanish in a small remote village in the center of Costa Rica. So we grabbed our backpacks and got on a local bus. The ride was long but we couldn’t wait to see where we were headed. The little bus sped over hills, through valleys across one way bridges until it slowed and came to a stop in a little town.

Looking around, we saw neat little houses lining the street and the air was fresher then anywhere we’d been. All around us were vast mountains, the lower parts covered in coffee trees. This place felt magical.

Over the next few days, we would walk up the mountain to Spanish class every morning and then have lunch afterwards at the local restaurant or back at our hosts home. After that we would wander around looking for something to do. Sometimes we would take the bus to a bigger town and walk around there. But we wondering how we might spend our free time doing something to help out the community in some way? We had tried finding a local animal rescue to work at but there weren’t any in the area. Then we had an idea! What if we started our own project? We headed to the small grocery store, coming up with a plan as we walked. In this town, there were a lot of dogs wandering the streets. Some had homes but most were homeless and they all looked hungry.

We bought a couple bags of dog food and a few plastic bowls and hit the streets. We passed out big bowls of food to every dog we saw. They were all shapes, colors and sizes – little ones, big ones, fluffy ones – every one so loveable. Eventually, the word got around and people would bring their dogs out of their homes to get some food and even walk us to their homes, inviting us in to meet and feed their dogs. We would feed some the small kibble and some a different type, which they all refused to eat until we just gave them all the kibble.

At one point, we stopped to feed a big white dog resting under a truck. He had cuts on his paws and looked very hungry. We set out a bowl of the big dog chow, formerly deemed gross by all the other dogs. Surely he would eat it. He sniffed it suspiciously and gave us a look we will never forget, saying, “Do you expect me to eat this??” After that, we realized that just because they were hungry didn’t mean they would eat anything! We had such a fun time helping out all the sweet dogs and can’t wait till we get the opportunity do something like this again along our travels.

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