One day last week, an adorable, sweet little street dog living in the cloud forest of Costa Rica found Johnny and Jess sitting outside their hostel in Santa Elena. They didn't really know why they had travelled so far out of their way on treacherously winding mountain roads, but he met them there the same night. Early the next morning, he followed them on a long walk they took around the area, trying to find a big old hollowed-out tree in the middle of the forest. He nudged their ankles when they didn't hear cars coming around the bend to get them out of the way, tugging at them when they were about to take the wrong road and get totally lost, and led them directly to the tree, completely unexpectedly. The humans tried to give him treats--bits of bread--but he would take them, put them on the ground in front of him, and look up at them as if to try and convey that he wasn't in it for food, just for them.
Poncho Wigglesworth, as they called him, picked Johnny and Jess, and they couldn't help but pick him back. Everyone in town loved him, and when they told them after a long thinking through that they wanted to give him a home, they were sad to see him go but so happy to see him get a home. As they said, street dogs in Costa Rica don't last long. They get hit by cars, they get poisoned by black hearted people... they die. And it would've just been a matter of time for that fate to befall Pancho.
Already once, this little dog had been adopted by a family, who called him Torcido--"Twisted"--because as a puppy he apparently had such a bad ear infection that he walked with his head cocked to one side and often walked in circles. After caring for him for awhile, they returned to their home country, and left him back out on the streets. Johnny and Jess decided they couldn't let that happen, so they took him back home to San Jose. Almost immediately, things just fell into place for this little guy--they reserved the last seat on the plane for him and got his immigration papers worked out.
Back in San Jose, he was his quiet, loving, uncomplaining little self, even when he started limping, not using his back leg at all. His people got worried, but didn't know what to think because other than limping, he didn't make a squeak or a face, just loved on everyone. Just to be sure, they took him to the vet. They found out that he wasn't fine at all, and that he needed life saving surgery on his leg. If he didn't get it, his back would eventually snap in two because of the nature of the injury. See, he'd already been hit by a car. His hip and his knee had been knocked out of place, and never got back in. He had nothing between his knee bones and they constantly popped out of joint, as did his hip that never healed. Because of that, his back was getting weak and bent. He had been, the vet said, undeniably in constant pain. All while he never let on, and never whined, ever. He walked around with Johnny and Jess up the mountain, took them to the tree, and followed them everywhere. That was when they realized two things. One, this was one amazing, special little dog. And two, they could not in good conscience let him be in pain any longer, or risk his life.
So, Pancho Wigglesworth is getting surgery as we write, and we need help. He needs help. The cost of the surgery is not cheap. It's $850 to take care of his knee and hip and ensure that instead of becoming paralyzed, he has a chance to live a full, happy, and healthy life. The vet who will be performing his surgery is the best in Costa Rica, and has already given us a lot of help, but can't cut the cost any more. So any little bit helps to get this little guy better, and any little bit is appreciated. If you can spare even the cost of a cup of coffee, we would all be incredibly grateful. We think he picked us because we knew he could help. And we know we can help because we have so many wonderful people in our lives. Collectively, Pancho can get the help he needs and his second chance at life.