Thursday, February 14, 2013


While we were in the states this last month attending our daughters wedding, our friend Manon, received a call.

"Manon, we rescued a black dachschund, and was wondering if you would like to give him a home"? Manon already has two mini long haired doxies, so she thought her house was full up, but knew I was pining for one.. Hold that dog, she said. My friends will be back from the states and I am sure they will want to consider him.

The culture in this country is very different from ours where dogs are concerned. There are many dogs wandering the streets, some are mangy and skinny, others look well fed. We found out that alot of dog owners let their dogs loose during the day.

All the houses here have gated yards with fences, and it is very normal to find that as you walk by some of these houses, a dog will charge and attack the fence like he is going eat you if could get through. At first this scared us and concerned us, but now it seems "normal".

There are a few organizations here that try to make a difference in the street dogs life. One, ARCA takes dogs in and trys to find homes for them. Happy Dogs, trys to vaccinate and neuter as many as they financially are able.

The custom here is to not neuter any pets. So going against this tradition is sometimes a very long road.

One friend said her vet just tied her females tubes.. She ended up going to another vet to get the hysterectomy that she asked for in the beginning.

So now to our little guy Frankie. We came home from the US on a Thursday and on Friday afternoon we went to visit him. I had told Randy whether we wanted him or not he was not coming home with us... today was just a look see.

From the minute I walked in I was a gonner. I have always had a dachschund, and to see this cute, black and tan guy wagging his tail was quite heart melting.

On Halloween day, Ken had been walking his dogs along the Yanuncay river, when his dogs ran up to a bag sitting on the grass. As he called his dogs back he noticed the bag wiggling.. Ken returned home and got Judy and they opened the sack. Frankie popped his head out, hopped out of the sack, walked over and peed on a tree and then came back to them. Judy says poor Frankie was a rack of bones, and so starved that he had no hair on his ears. They looked like black elephant skin.

Ken and Judy took him in and named him Franken Weenie (being halloween and all it seemed appropriate.) They fed him wonderful food, and had some immediate issues taken care of.. His teeth and had him neutered. Looking at him here, 3 months later, you would never know he had once almost been at the brink of death.

Bringing a dog into our home was a very big decision because Randy has allergies to both dogs and cats. He, being the sweet guy he is, wanted me to have a dog and was going to "deal" with any allergic issues. Amazingly enough those have been very minor. The greatest one was that Frankie cannot sleep with us.. way too much for Randys system.

Here is Frankie settling in..

Today, Valentines day, we took Frankie to the Vet around the corner. We wanted to get his teeth looked at and get his vaccinations up to date. As the Vet looked at Frankie, he inspected his ear (the one that has a hunk out of it) and asked me where he was found. I told him and then the Doctor sat down and began to write on his computer. He asked me to read.

Amazingly enough, he knew this dog. This little guy was his brother in laws dog. The brother in law moved and could not keep him any more so had given him away. Frankies first name was Brat. He is 8-10 yrs old and the chunk out of his ear was from a rat (?)

Dr. Juan was so happy that he had been rescued and was being well cared for. He said he would tell him family, as they all loved "Brat" and always wondered how he was. He  then took a bunch of pictures to send to his brother in law and family.

Frankie got all his shots and a new harness type collar. As he knows how to slip out of the other ones. Here is  Randy and Frankie having a little nap, recouping from the tramatic day at the vets.

Monday, February 4, 2013


After the excitement of Thanksgiving, Christmas and the fireworks of New Years here in Cuenca, we were all loaded up to travel back to the COLD NorthWest to celebrate the marriage of our daughter.

We had pleaded with her to hold off till summer.. we could come and stay a month and visit more.. not to be done. (insert smiley) I guess parents coming to visit for a month is not really up there with getting married when you want to get married.

We chose to fly out of Quito, as we are comfortable with the accommodations and airport. Once they begin to use the new airport we will probably start using Guayaquil. Quito has moved their airport to the outer edges of town, and supposedly to get back into town will cost $35. ouch. Hopefully they will get the hotel infrastructure going so those of us who just overnight will be able to avoid those long taxi rides.

Knowing that the weather was going to bad in most of the airports, and that we did not like flying through Miami, we chose to fly COPA which also routes through Panama and Las Vegas. After that got on Alaska Air to go to Portland, so we could visit with my mom for a few days.

We loved the trip on COPA. The airline was on time, courteous, accommodating and helpful. The inside of the plane was comfortable, there were free movies, earphones, food and even free alcohol.

Randy does not have and issue anymore with flying but believes he should enjoy the flight as much as possible.. lets just say.. he got his wish with the COPA free alcohol policy.

Alaska air was very nice, but a typical airline that only serves you food or alcohol if you pay. There was a little screen on the back of each seat with pre programed movies in it that you could watch. These were free.

We visited with my mom for about 3 days, ran around and hit all the Goodwill's, shoe stores and yarn shops. (of course) My favorite was Tangled Purls in Salem, Oregon.

What a wonderful little store. Also they had the good sense to ooh and awww over my hand woven pinwheel scarf.

We left my moms and traveled to Eastern Washington (Tri-Cities) on the Empire Builder Amtrak. It was a wonderfully comfortable trip, with reclining seats and lots of leg room. On this train they have sleeper compartments as well as a nice dining car with swivel seats, hookups for charging your electrical devices, and huge windows that went over head so our view would be wonderful... if we were traveling during the day..

Oh and did I tell you that we left Cuenca and it was about 72 degrees? When we got to the Tri-Cities they were having a very cold spell (of course), it was 25 degrees. Oh burrrr. I was told that the weather warmed up right after we left!

When we left the Tri-Cities in 2010, we knew we would miss our friends. Even though we all were busy with work and our lives we always seemed to make time to get together at least once a week.

It was great to go back (first trip for Randy in almost 3 years) and find that they were still as wonderful as we remembered! They put us up and  even gave us a car to use. (with a full tank of gas!) then they wined and dined us pretty much the whole time we were in town.

Thank you guys, you know who you are. We love you so much and appreciate the warm hospitality.

OK, "The Wedding". Kelsey and Daniel have dated since they were 16, so this wedding was really not a surprise. We were just a bit aghast to have to come in the WINTER... ok.. 2 times is the limit of whining..

Kelsey is known for her indecisiveness..she is always teased about it, and takes it real well. I was so proud of her, she made a decision to have the wedding in 3 months .. and she did it. Working full time and living on the other side of the state from where the wedding was going to be held.

Fortunately for her, she has a wonderful support base in her new in-laws and extended friends through church and her years of school in this area.

I was so impressed at how they all came together to make this THE WEDDING.

We were so happy to have been able to be there to celebrate with Kelsey and Daniel. It was such a wonderful day and evening.
I was so impressed with Kelsey's photographer, I am putting a blurb here for her. The photos with the watermark are her photos. The rest are personal photos.
Check out her Facebook site, Megan Meyers Photography.  She was the most patient, easygoing and fun person to have taking pictures.
We ended our trip with a train ride back to Portland, long wait for the plane, a long layover in Las Vegas and then we slept (I slept) all the way back to Quito.
Once we got into our hotel at about 6:30 I crawled into bed and took a hour long nap!
We are now home and getting adjusted to our laid back lifestyle.. with what?.. We getting a dog.. Guess what the next blog is going to be about? Pets in Cuenca...