Orion my Dogo Argentino is magnificent. He was given to me by a neighbor the night before I moved to Villa Migelita.
He had 4 homes before he came to me. He is a very delicate dog, although he looks fierce. He has broken two bones, his skin is problematic and he is always needing attention by the veterinarian for some reason. Here are some of my favorite photos of Orion. He is now almost 8 years old. I have lived in Colombia since 2011. He was a young guy when I adopted him. Enjoy the beauty of Orion, my big boy.
Last Monday I was on a road trip with friends and a Roadside Hawk hit my truck. The force of the impact was strong, a loud bang like a hammer hit the side of the truck. We looked back and could see this magnificent bird of prey in the middle of the highway. Immediately we pulled over, while we watched a motorcyclist stop to protect him from being hit by another car. Fortunately, one of my friends on this trip was a veterinarian! He and my business partner at Villa Migelita went to see if we could save him. He was in shock but fine. I will never forget looking at him up close. I have seen many hawks and have even photographed them, but in person there is no description of their beauty and splendor. The yellow color of the eyes, the talons which are so incredibly forceful. The cover photo is from yesterday on a hike locally by my Villa. This is what a Roadside Hawk looks like. They seem small, but they are not small at all. They are compact. For the rest of my life when I see one on a hike I will think of the life I saved. It wasn’t easy. I was worried until I could find a place for him. I realized the very first day I was not equipped to care for this bird. He needed specialists. Thank God for the group The Hummingbird Whisperer on Facebook!!!!
I was told the cage was too small and to put put him in a big dog crate . He calmed down and let his wings down after he was moved to the large crate.
I was also told I needed to feed him live food and put a huge water bowl inside of his new and larger home. Rats or chickens. I had never seen rats at the local area here in Colombia that sells agricultural products, chickens, fruits, vegetables and anything you might need for farm living and is called the Galleria. I went to the Galleria with my business partner and we found rats, and we bought two to feed him. I hate rats. I have cats to keep them off my property at Villa Migelita. But it is different when you buy them to send to their death. But I did it because this bird needed to survive and thrive. Don’t look at this video if you are squeamish. My hawk was hungry and this was a rodent. I still hated every moment of feeding a live animal to this hawk, but we did it and the rat was gone in 10 minutes! All the while we were looking for a place to take him to rehabilitate.
We found out that our local company called the CVC which is the water agency here in Colombia also runs a foundation for endangered and illegal animal trafficking. We called them and they said to bring the hawk to them and they would transfer it to the foundation.
On a side note to make you smile those damn rats ate through the box they were in and were running around on the bed where we set them. EWWWWW. We caught them and put them in glass jars with the lids that had holes. We had one left so we brought it with us to the CVC to feed this magnificent creature. When we got to the CVC they transferred him to another animal crate and I knew he was going to be fine.
This bird became a part of my soul. His eyes followed me whenever I would check on him. I thought it is no wonder they can see from so far away when flying free in the sky.
Some small part of me is in this hawk and whenever I see one again I will think of the life we saved.
You make my heart smile. From the first moment I saw you, I knew you were special. You were desperate for a home, you had too many owners in your short life. You were thin, your ribs showed. You were very big, intimidating by your size, but your eyes were so sad. I fell in love with those eyes, you looked scared and you were hungry. Previous owners had no idea what your breed was, they thought they were getting a Pitbull. You grew so large and they couldn’t accommodate your needs. You needed to be able to run and play. You required food twice a day, real dog food not leftovers from the kitchen. You wanted a home and I was ready and willing to take you when a neighbor came and knocked on my door. She only had you for two days, she was the fourth house you had lived at. I will never forget how scared you looked that first day you entered my life. Your eyes were desperate. No wonder you were sad , you felt unloved, unworthy, no one wanted you. They lost out. You are the most magnificent animal: one who protects and serves for life. You are also a wild child full of playful energy. Your breed is a Dogo Argentino. I often wish I could have seen you as a little puppy. You are so intelligent. I have read that dogs know and understand as many words as a six-year-old. You know so much more than words, you know the language of life. Now I have to see you laying still with a wire in your leg, sitting in the grass while your pack plays around you.
You play too hard, run too hard, and show off for your pack. I worry incessantly about you since you had already had a break before. That break was in your front paw, a very strange place. I saw you trip that day running down the stairs…your body is heavy on your legs when you fall. Oh, what a process that was. You would not stay still, you had a screw in the very tip of your pad. It was over six months of constant supervision and you not doing what should be done; which is rest. You ran, you played and nothing could keep you down, not even the cast that was constantly improved. You finally healed and I remember thinking “please never again!” However, here we are again, because you can’t stop when your pack calls you to play. I close the gates to the lake, but someone always opens them up and leaves them open. You love the water. I have no idea how you did this horrific injury but I am sure it was in the lake. When you enter the lake with supervision you are fine, but when you can just do what you want this is what happens. Never again will you be able to run free into the lake showing off, I will make sure of that. You cannot endure another injury. I cannot endure another injury on you.
The day of your surgery I awoke and went to you. I sat next to you just loving on you. I was very distressed to think you would be going under anesthesia just like humans do. I stayed with you and prayed for a good outcome. The surgeon is very famous in Cali, Colombia for his skills. He had just recently put a dogs leg back together who had been shot and the bone shattered. He used a metal rod to connect the bone. When I heard of his success stories I knew you would be fine, but still I could not get over the feeling of trepidation inside my stomach. I did not get much done the day of your surgery. I was watching a movie, waiting for word on when you would be put under and there was the most amazing sign that came in the form of the #89 butterfly. This butterfly is native to Colombia and has the birth year of my daughter on its wings. It came to the windows surrounding the Villa Migelita Suite, and stayed for five minutes. I knew then that you would be fine. You were a gift from Misha. I know she was sending me a sign to calm me down. I was able to relax after the visit from this gorgeous butterfly.
So here we go again: another break, another healing process. I have asked so many to pray and send healing energy to you these last few days. It is all I can do besides making you comfortable. Please my Orion, no more. Stay still, heal and let us all love your magnificent self.
Last night I fell asleep looking at the stars. I slept in my bedroom surrounded by glass walls feeling suspended in the air, floating in the space of unlimited dark sky while the solar system twinkles with life. My thoughts twirled in my head as I looked out at the dark mountains that have trees that look like tiny people walking in line on the top of the mountain. These trees always remind me of myself walking along a path of single-minded determination to make my life a willful dedication to become a person that lives life to experience, touch, and see the beauty that life offers. I try to wake up every day with an attitude of positivity and hope. Hope for a future that brings me a measure of happiness that was lost with the death of my daughter. I want to show the world that from total despair comes the emergence and ability to draw from our inner strength. Daylight brings new light and I am surrounded by the songs of a thousand birds singing in unison, different species all awaking with dawn to warble their songs as I look out from my bed to see them flying from tree to tree. My joy is immeasurable. It is with sadness I feel this joy, as I would not be here in Colombia without the loss of a life along with the devastation it brought to my soul. I think in moments like these my daughter is sharing my world and thoughts, as if she somehow lives inside of me now and pushes me from within to keep working towards this elusive future that I am building. These are the moments of blessedness that I have lived my life in pursuit of. I stretch, and look around my newly renovated bedroom, feeling the crisp air of the mountains flow through the open windows and close my eyes and just listen to the sounds of nature. Sometimes I am not sure what I feel, the space I occupy is so beautiful and serene, the energy so peaceful, I never thought I would see this day or feel a measure of contentment again in my life, but I do. It is there deep within me fighting for a chance to break free if only I would let it happen.
How do I allow myself to live with calm tranquility when my daughter was so young and taken from this world to soon? These thoughts flow freely with my eyes closed. Instead of really appreciating my surroundings, I’m like a bystander staring from afar, noting the look of a house that could be one I’ve seen in a magazine. Surely, this not my house? Why do I feel detachment? Is it possible I will ever allow myself to really appreciate what I have achieved? I have a huge hole inside of me that may stay until I leave this world. I promise myself I will work on these innermost thoughts that plaque me. I drift off to a slumber not quite sleep, but a meditative state sending my messages to the Universe.
The sound of my new puppy crying brings me back to reality. She is my latest rescue dog. I wasn’t looking for her, but could not refuse when I was told that she was going to be put to the streets if someone did not adopt her. I couldn’t let this happen as I lost my dog here on the streets last year, and even though I can’t save every animal if given an opportunity to save a life I will. I realize as she cries to get out of her kennel that perhaps this is my calling, part of my destiny and life plan. She brought me a gift I did not seek. She has shown me that I am not unworthy of blessings, but should count them. I’m surprised by my revelation in that moment. By helping the discarded I’m helping myself. She brings with her the playfulness only a new puppy can bring, and it is contagious. She greets me with such unconditional love when I hold her first thing in the morning, a love only an animal can share without preconditions. In her presence I look around my gorgeous surroundings with a new perspective. Perhaps I am worthy of these blessings. With that thought I walk with her to the yard and let her run free and watch as she takes in her new world all the while accepting this new life without question and only living for this moment in time. Her name is Beeja which means the beginning or origin of the soul in Hindu. Is it possible her name and spirit will allow my soul to emerge and let go of past regrets? I am going to try to be like her, to enjoy each moment without harboring doubts and worries that tend to find their way into my mind. Life is short, the suddenness of death brings this lesson too close for all that have experienced great tragedy. However, the life of a little puppy brings a new beginning along with only the happiness they can show with their exuberant energy. I like the name Beeja, it fits her and gives me a reason to count my blessings of which I have many.
With great thanks I send warm regards to my friend Jo who picked the name of Beeja through a contest I had on my FB page Villa Migelita. I believe nothing is a coincidence and Beeja will help my soul emerge. Please follow and like my page http://www.facebook.com/VillaMigelita to share my continuing journey.