After seeing this announcement in one of the Playa del Carmen forums, I knew I had to go help out with the dogs at Playa Animal Rescue. Volunteers with vehicles even provide rides for volunteers without transportation (like me!) there and back, so it couldn't be easier. The pickup place at Mega grocery store is very close to our rental.
Last Saturday was my first time, and I got to walk two sweet and energetic dogs (not at the same time!) I walked with an experienced volunteer to learn the ropes and the route.
This week, I knew that my bruised hand from my bicycle mishap last Sunday was going to make walking dogs a bit challenging. Of course it's my right hand, and wrapping a leash around it was not going to be comfortable at all. Still, I wanted to go to see if there was anything I could do.
Fortunately, there was Reggae. He's a small senior Cocker Spaniel (or Cocker mix), and had to be kept in a pen by himself as he's been under treatment for heartworms since arriving at PAR a couple of months ago, from what I was told. He seems to be doing really well, though!
Since he's small and an easy walker, I knew I could walk him with my left hand, so we set out. It was a long walk because, as an intact male, he likes to mark. A lot. But that was okay. I was happy to accompany him on his outing.
Reggae's coat had been closely trimmed and his ear feathers were cut quite short, so I didn't even recognize the Cocker in him at first. His tail is not docked as most Cockers in the US either.
He was a bit camera shy, but oh so cute.
Here we are back at the shelter after a fine walk.
Here are a couple of the other volunteers who came out this Saturday. They are from Toronto, which is apparently a top destination for many of the adopted dogs from PAR. The dogs they were walking were enjoying the water in the kiddie pool. Reggae was not interested in the pool!
The PAR facility is really nice, with large pens, concrete floors, a sanitation system, and colorful painted murals on the walls. They even have a full-time vet on staff!
I can't wait to go back next week. I expect my hand will be much better and I will be able to walk more dogs. Most of the dogs are middle-sized to large and full of energy! I'm only used to walking 16-lb. Paisley, so this is a new experience for me, but I am thrilled to be able to help out. Volunteering at PAR is one of the most fun things I've done since coming to Playa, and certainly the most rewarding.
For more on Playa Animal Rescue, visit their web page (they have a really cool Store with handcrafted items and free shipping in the US -- great gifts for your dog-parent friends) and their Facebook page. They are doing great work for the dogs in need in Playa!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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