A recent trend for Belizean families is to purchase expensive pure bred dogs such as the pitbull, bull-masstif, German Sheppards and Rottweilers. While these dogs serve as pets they are also used as guard dogs. The price for these dogs range between $250 to as much as $800 for an 8 week old puppy. The dog is purchased with little thought for adequate care and training. In extreme cases, these dogs are taught to fight and be overly aggressive. Oftentimes when animals such as these become sickly, the 'owner' lets them go, out of sight is out of mind, and the animal perishes.
Gus is a full breed pittbull that my partner Don found one day while assisting a friend with her car that had broken down. He and our neighbour Howard were preparing to tow the vehicle to a mechanic. Don looked out the window of the truck and saw something in the bushes that looked like a small animal.
On a hot Sunday in April we decided to cool off with a picnic by the river. First stop was Santa Ana Falls but there were too many people. Therefore, we continued and ended up by Jordan. On the way down to the river we saw a white, very skinny and mangy looking dog. You could tell that with a healthy diet she would be a beautiful and elegant dog. Unlike most pot lickers she was not afraid or skittish but came right up and looked at us. Obviously, she was weak and very hungry so we started feeding her and ended up giving her the whole picnic including a whole cream cheese with fresh herbs and garlic, tuna salad, bread and some digestive biscuits.
Brian’s sister, Verda, was visiting from Texas. She and her husband are dog lovers like us and have adopted no less than 7 dogs from the dog pound. We could not bring ourselves to leave her and ended up taking her with us. She is staying at the dolomite plant with Tom and Betty and is a ferocious eater who quickly gained weight.
Tom is a delightful dog. He is very vocal and talks a lot when he greets you. He has lots of energy and can easily jump straight up onto a table which he likes to do so you can pet him and give him lots of attention (we are trying to dissuade him from this habit which is not really good manners for a dog).
Tom was rescued in June 2009. Driving on a small road behind the dolomite plant Brian was disturbed to find a dog, so malnourished that it was barely able to stand up, being tied with a short piece of rope. When asked why the dog was chained the owner, who also is a Minister for a local church, said that the dog was trying to run away. Brian told the owner that the dog was probably just trying to find something to eat and “that God does not like it when you mistreat animals”. To this the man answered “God no care…!”