Posted in animal death, Colombian life, country living, Devastating sadness, Dogo Argentino, expat life, family, Grief, letting go, life lessons, love, sadness, strength, Uncategorized, Villa Migelita Ecolodge

Que Sera Que Sera, What will be will be.

Orion has passed. I am still coming to terms with his death. I have trouble writing it down or speaking of it. He grew tired. I feel guilty. I brought Kira home and he did his job. He trained her. She is perfect and is a protector of her new home. He is gone. I am devastated. I couldn’t talk about it and will have a hard time with all of your sympathies because I loved that dog so much. He was so special and then I had to make a decision. I couldn’t do it. He became sick and was at the Veterinarians and it was quite sad. He was always free and then he was in a kennel without me and all of us at Villa Migelita Ecolodge. I brought him home and my Veterinarian came to my home to put him to rest.

Orion and Kira
A favorite photo of Orion with Kira

I wasn’t going to write this blog yet because to be honest just writing it down causes me grief. This is why you haven’t heard from me in a while on my blog. I haven’t been able to process the grief I feel. Yesterday, I found out that someone who worked here with me posted that Orion had passed. I don’t know how he found out because very few people knew about it. I was quite upset because this person had nothing to do with Orion’s care or any part of Orion at all. In fact, this person pushed me one time and Orion bit him in the ribs. Orion broke two. That was the only time I saw Orion become aggressive with a human, a human he did love, but he knew he was no one important. Orion could have killed him but he chastised him instead. Quite painfully, but this person is lucky he didn’t do more damage. I am devastated that Orion’s death was sensationalized by a nobody who was a worker at my wonderful nature retreat Villa Migelita Ecolodge.

That being said I need to give Orion the wonderful accolades he deserves. Because of this menial person I am forced to write before I have felt ready about my life with my beautiful Orion.

Orion came to me by chance. He had four previous homes and I was his last. He was the forever loyal dog we all want that was the King of Villa Migelita Ecolodge. My customers loved him, and he was always so gentle with everyone. He was the master of my Villa. He was the gorgeous fixture who was so gentle despite his intimidating presence

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Those eyes of Orion, they come to me in my dreams.

Orion was the dog you want for a farm. Many people do not understand big dogs need space to roam. We rescued Kira and we are now looking for an older male Dogo Argentino around the same age of Orion when he became part of my fur family. He was forever happy at Villa Migelita Ecolodge. It pains me to say that he was ready when he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He never had a leash on for most of his life. He just had my large area of land and he didn’t go outside of my Villa much. I put a leash on him when the veterinarian came up to put him to sleep. He went willingly to the spot in the back of my property where I have buried some of my pets who have passed. He knew. He was ready. I covered him with hugs, kisses and my actual body. I couldn’t quit crying as I am now while I write it down. He crossed his legs and just waited. I kept saying how sorry I was to do this to him. He was noble and everyone was crying when he finally went. I then just lay with him for a long time. I will never forget my Orion, nor the love and protection he gave me.

Kira is now the guardian of Villa Migelita Ecolodge. She sleeps where she did with Orion and she runs outside at any noise she hears. She is growing and Orion made sure she was perfect for her new position.

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Christmas will never be the same without Orion
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No words can describe my grief.
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Always next to me, protecting and observing.
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Always and forever “My big boy”

My life is forever changed because of Orion and I know he is still in spirit with us at Villa Migelita Ecolodge. The first night after he passed, Jazmin heard him snoring outside of her room where he slept. She kept opening the door and he wasn’t there. One of the twins went in the hallway one night and saw him in the same spot. He is still here guiding Kira, and watching all of us.

Posted in Colombia, Dogo Argentino, Entreprenuer, expat life, farm life, happiness, life lessons, love, Puppy Dogo Argentino, Uncategorized

The Adventures of Kira, a puppy Dogo Argentino

Kira came to live at Villa Migelita Ecolodge   in December at 2 months old. She was so little and very calm. We decided against crate training because I have so much land and she has senior dogs to teach her. I also don’t like the look of a crate in my Villa. I have a minimalist view of decorating. Anything that disturbs my image of a house with simplicity will not work for me.   The first month was hard, she cried and wanted to go outside to use the bathroom at least three times a night. She is a fast learner. Because no crate is being used, Kira goes along with us a lot. Tomorrow she is going to the hairdresser.  In the country of Colombia they are very relaxed about dogs.

She went on her first journey in December to see the park in La Buitrera, and she wasn’t really leashed trained yet. She caught on quite well. She was also carried around a lot.

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The best Christmas gift

We then took her to get her vaccinations and she did really well with that too. Then we went to the city of Palmira to see the Christmas lights, she was still so tiny and did very well on the leash while touring the city. She is being held in the photo-op frame and her little legs barely reach the thighs of the twins.

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Palmira, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

She did so well in Palmira we decided to take her with us on a long journey back to her birth place of Cali, Colombia to see Christmas lights there also. She was really becoming adaptable to being out in crowds, also to a lot of attention. She was not frightened of the crowds at all, nor the people who came to admire her beauty.

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Cali, Colombia

As you can see in these photos she is still pretty small, but her weight was changing and to carry her was not easy. Then she started losing her puppy teeth and growing longer. Orion was her best friend and mentor throughout her first month at Villa Migelita Ecolodge.

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Baby teeth falling out

Her teeth have grown in already in front and she has lost bottom teeth now and they are growing in. She has a toothbrush and it is very difficult to get her still, but she does allow it once we have her on her back between our legs with her front paws held. She is a handful, and it is now necessary to always have a collar on her. As you can see she is representing Colombia in the cover photo. She runs away so fast if you try to grab her. She also sticks her nose in the other dogs bowls and that is never a good thing. I have to stand right next to her when they eat. She is learning, and I am finding her to be the most delightful addition to Villa Migelita Ecolodge.

So let’s look at how she has grown from the above photos.

Look how she has grown!
Lizeth can hardly hold her now. Kira is growing fast!

She is adaptable to all we do. We go for hikes and we do let her off the leash if there is no traffic around. I don’t have much traffic where I live, but there is a lot of motorcycles and other dogs. It is best for her to be kept close, she also doesn’t listen well yet. She ignores a lot that is going on around her.

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With Marley my senior dog
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Kira off the leash and the beauty of an eco-hike near Villa Migelita Ecolodge

When we get back to the main road she has her leash back on. However, she becomes very tired quickly as she is still only 3 months old. She always wants to be carried. This cannot happen much longer because she is growing by the day and will be a large dog. I love how the twins have adapted. They spoil her so much. Seriously, Kira has no idea she is a dog!

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I just cannot walk another step!

It has taken a few days to complete this blog because Kira goes on adventures every day! Yesterday she went to the hairdresser. This was an interesting adventure because she was so quiet and laid back. She is very well-behaved but she is very active at Villa Migelita Ecolodge because she can go outside anytime she wants and has a lot of land to play and frolic. Jazmin and I could not believe how quiet she was in this noisy salon. There is traffic outside, there are all kinds of noise inside the salon, with blow-dryers and people coming in and out. Kira slept the entire time, in different places. She was the center of attention when she would open her eyes. We think it was the temperature change. It is hot in the cities.

Today we went on a short ride to bring up some organic fertilizer for the garden of Villa Migelita Ecolodge. As always it is an adventure and we brought a kitten home with us that my gardener decided to adopt. Kira was very gentle with this new kitten and the kitten will get her vaccines and be sterilized because I will do this for my gardener. In Colombia, people are very uninformed and they allow animals to roam the countryside. Then there are babies without homes. I will make sure this kitten who will be named Layla has proper veterinarian attention.

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Kira is ready to go anywhere with us!

I could keep delaying publishing this blog of fun Kira stories and adventures because we bring her with us a lot. Today she goes for her second set of vaccinations. Kira is growing up to love people, the social life and adventures of course! She will become a great addition to my Villa, as all of my animals are. They blend in nicely without being annoying. When an animal is shown love, they are secure and adapt quickly to the household they enter. Animals want to please us, and when they feel protected they thrive. Look for another blog as Kira grows up with her adventures continuing every single day.

 

 

Posted in Colombia, country living, Dogo Argentino, Entreprenuer, expat life, family, farm life, freedom, friendship, Grief, happiness, life lessons, love, parents of deceased children, Perfection and Peace, Signs of the Universe, Spanish speaking, Spiritual Presence, Uncategorized, Villa Migelita Ecolodge

The Christmas Surprise

I have been telling everyone for the last year I need to find a new Dogo Argentino puppy. Orion is getting old, and unfortunately for all of us dog lovers we know life expectancy for large dogs is not a long time. Orion is our big boy here at Villa Migelita Ecolodge.

I never thought it would be possible to find another dog of my dreams here in Colombia. I wanted another Orion. I thought this would be impossible, how can one find perfection again? I was given him by a neighbor before I moved to Villa Migelita Ecolodge because he grew huge and ate so much. He was in a tiny house and needed space! Orion came with health problems, he has broken two bones since I have had him, is allergic to any collar he has ever worn. My veterinarian put this blue rope on him which they use for cattle, but he still gets small outbreaks of irritation.  I give Orion Kumis a pure yogurt without sugar every morning for help with his skin. He never waivers in his loyalty, nor his job of protection and love. My guests who visit adore him. He is a dog who is gentle but has a tail that can cause bruises from wagging. He is that strong, and I always have bananas around for everyone to give to him, they are his favorite treat. He is the main man in my life. Orion is intelligent, he listens, he is kind,  and he is gentle with my new baby Kira (Key Ra) whom we just adopted. He has the intelligence that some humans do not have. He is why I was determined to have a Dogo Argentino puppy when I was ready to adopt again. He is probably not pure (his color) but in every other way he is a Dogo Argentino. Maybe this is why he had so many homes, he wasn’t perfect, possibly the runt of the litter. I have always wondered about him as a puppy. I am finding out with Kira. She is strong of personality and determination.

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He is not a perfect Dogo , but he is close. I don’t care because I always RESCUE my dogs!

Orion would be perfect a Dogo Argentino if he was white as snow. He was given to me after 4 different people gave him away. He was so scared that first day he came to me, right before I moved to my farm. He was so happy to be fed a good meal, he accepted all my animals, and he became my most loyal companion and protector. For me to make a decision to look for a puppy was difficult. I didn’t want him nor Marley to feel sad, insecure, or upset. Well, guess who accepted Kira (Noel) unconditionally? Orion. Marley can no longer hear and when Kira surprises him he acts out a little bit, Nayela is jealous, while Orion is being patient and kind. He even allows her to sleep with him in his bed. She follows him and copies him, which I want. He is her teacher for the future and as of now he is doing a perfect job.

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Except for the color Orion is a perfect Dogo Argentino and Kira will soon be his size!
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Orion came to me with those ears, and they took two years to heal. Kira will keep her floppy ears!

I first started talking to my friends here in Colombia about getting a puppy early this year. I wanted a little girl because Orion would accept her much easier than another male. I also wanted to find a rescue. I thought this would be impossible, but decided to start looking after the beginning of the New Year. Little did I know my sweet Jazmin, who is always doing kind acts and is a daughter to me, was secretly looking for months on rescue groups in Cali, Colombia for a baby Dogo Argentino for Christmas. She found Kira. Exactly what I wanted! She contacted the person who had Kira listed and was told come quickly, we have many who want her. But this lovely woman became friends with Jazmin when she told her about how beautiful Villa Migelita Ecolodge is and what a beautiful place for Kira to live. We arrived in Cali after two days and were handed this sweet little baby who is forever part of our lives now. She is not easy, but learns quickly. We refuse to crate her, our dogs are integrated and she is learning the schedule and adapting quite well. Nothing is perfect with a new baby, and Kira is a baby! She is a smart and cunning baby though, and we can’t take our eyes off of her, even though she already knows during the day to walk down the stairs to go out to the bathroom.

Now for the part I have been holding back about. It involves Misha my deceased daughter. I know I bring her into a lot of my blogs, but she is really part of my life still. This will give you the chills about the name for Kira.  Kira pronounced Key Ra is Kara in English. I didn’t pick her name the twins who are Jazmin’s girls did. Cara (spelled with a C) has the same pronunciation as Kara was my deceased daughter’s middle name. They told me the name they wanted and I was floored. I had no words except to say, I love it.

Kira is special, and like Orion I believe she was given to me with a lot of love from above. Whatever you believe in spiritually, you cannot deny when you see a real life miracle happen. Kira is that. She is difficult, she is headstrong, she is beautiful and she is my Misha in a way. I will never look at her without thinking of my daughter Mikel Cara Carson. Because no matter the difficulties of culture, language and more I experience here in Colombia, love always finds a way into my life.

After many years of avoiding Christmas and all the festivities, I am embracing and holding them close. I have the perfect gift. Her name is Kira and she was sent from above.

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My perfect Christmas Baby

 

 

Posted in Colombian life, Dogo Argentino, expat life, family, farm life, friendship, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Orion the Magnificent Through the Years

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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.

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My Big Boy with me looking fierce
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Orion and Luci all animals at Villa Migelita Ecolodge are rescues
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Orion eyes
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Happy Orion
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Sleeping Orion
Orion and me big head
Orion with me recently
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Orion getting acupunture
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Me and the big boy

 

Posted in Colombia, Colombian life, country living, Dogo Argentino, expat life, farm life, minimalism, mother nature, nature, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, Uncategorized

On a scale of one to ten…I give Colombia 10!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/scale-2/

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This cow, this window, these hats.

The scale of this photo through the window of a rustic farmhouse in Colombia is a favorite of mine. Look carefully. You have the shutter, the hats and the tiny cow. This cow was huge in real life. The window shutter looks bigger than it is and the hats are perfect because the proportion is exactly as they were. Splendid meshing of all elements. I am going to use this photo in my Villa. It is like I step inside a painting when I explore, I live a 3D life. I see three-dimensional views, and sometimes I can capture the beauty and sometimes I can’t. It is impossible to describe unless you are right here with me, but these photos tell my story of life in Colombia. Simple, lovely and in real-time.

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The Andes mountains of Colombia, and one tiny branch of bamboo captured in sequence

The scale of a photo shows up without warning. This photo below was taken  from below. My Dogo Argentino Orion looks huge, His head is huge, but in this photo the angle makes it look larger.

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That Dogo Argentino head!
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Tenerife, Colombia the clouds are bigger than the valley with homes

The ratio is incredible in the Valle del Cauca, Colombia with the clouds and mountains.

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The scale of the clouds overtakes the entire picture.

On a scale of one to ten I will give  life in Colombia with nature a twenty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Dogo Argentino, Uncategorized

Orion the Best Partner Ever

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There is no one I want to be partners with more than my dogs, but Orion is just the best ally a person could ever have. He protects, loves and gives so much. He is a gentle giant that looks like a bad ass. He is the mascot of Villa Migelita. We have so many tourists, guests and family that visit. No one can leave without their requisite photo of Orion. He is just such a celebrity. Seriously. I think I could make an Instagram account of him just having fun, lying around, swimming, or with a cast on. Yes a cast, like for breaks. He has broken his front paw and his back leg femur. He is a delicate dog, even though he doesn’t look like he is. He is always hurting himself. I am always worrying about him.

If Orion had his way, he would just sleep all day and all night with a person lying on top of him, hugging him and cuddling him. He has no idea he is huge. Orion is an albino Dogo Argentino. He prefers a body to his dog beds…yes he has many dog beds because Orion is the king, el rey, of Villa Migelita

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Me using Orion as a pillow

Orion has a job to do, and he knows it. At night he is a protector of my castle and he does it well. No one would dare enter my property with Orion guarding the palace. NO ONE. But, he has never been aggressive with a human, and I hope he never will have to be. However, he knows his position and every night when it is time for bed he goes to his dog room, yes he has his own room as in bedroom, and sleeps with one ear always perked up for any noise he is not familiar with.

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Love snuggles

So when you come to visit me at my Bed and Breakfast be prepared for big love from my big ole dog…and enjoy a very good night’s sleep while he watches over my lovely finca in the mountains of Colombia. He will always be available for a photo, a treat and a big doggy kiss. He is the most amazing dog, and he is a rescue I adopted. He is growing old way to fast, as time quickly moves on. I worry about him getting older and am already looking for a Dogo puppy. The tradition of Orion must live on.

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Posted in Uncategorized

An Ode to Orion

10459092_689725637760172_5238165932732310864_oDear Orion,

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.Hike and Orion injury 015

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.

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My daughter’s birth year on a butterfly native to Colombia

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.hike and poco 004