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Finding Purpose After Finding Yiuka


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For the past 18 months, my husband and I have met extraordinary dog ​​people, all thanks to a homeless puppy we rescued over two years ago in beautiful Costa Rica, a serendipitous encounter that changed our lives.

Yiuka was on the street and nearly starving when we found her in January 2019, returning from a day of hiking near La Tigra.

We passed several barnyard dogs, a common occurrence there, and started throwing some kibbles when I noticed this homeless pup visibly struggling to stagger towards food.

She seemed to be resigned to her fate, but, not knowing what to do at the time, we just went back to our Airbnb, but promised to do something.

With 48 hours remaining until our flight back to Canada, we had to speed up some arrangements. Our host recommended that we contact Cristina, a woman who for over 20 years has been caring for injured and abandoned dogs alone in an idyllic setting outside the city. Despite his impending move, he agreed to take Yiuka away, now we had to go find her.

After three attempts to locate Yiuka where we had first seen her, we finally found her on the last day of our vacation. He looked at me with huge brown eyes and let me gently wrap his listless body in towels.

Cristina met us at the clinic and, coincidentally, the vet was on duty that weekend. Yiuka was dehydrated, swollen and anemic, but at the end of her exam, the vet smiled and declared “Good news! This one wants to live! “

After just a few hours, I had already lost my heart to this pitiful little stray and she managed to make me sob in relief.

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We left for the airport while Cristina brought Yiuka home, pampering her with nutritious food. After sleeping for over a week, the bitch finally ventured out to meet her other canine companions, all of whom were welcoming and curious to meet the newcomer.

Ten weeks later, we flew back to Costa Rica to check on Yiuka’s progress. Her swollen joints were almost normal, and although her skin was still uneven, she was alive and playful. For that vacation, we had randomly booked a place near the city, not quite sure of its exact location. We turned off the main road and my jaw dropped at our good luck – our hotel was just a 5 minute walk from Cristina’s new property!

Johanna deheer

In December 2019, we returned to Costa Rica for the third time and met Scott from Costa Rica Dog Rescue in the nearby resort town of La Fortuna. He has more than 20 dogs that he considers his own and finds foster families for other homeless dogs that he rescues. He suggested that we contact Save our Scruff in Toronto and they directed me to Charlie’s Angels, another puppy shelter south of the Costa Rican capital.

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Our future has radically changed due to a small dog blocking our road one sunny and humid afternoon in 2019 – we intend to help Save our Scruff and Charlie’s Angels with relocation dogs in North America. Naturally, we are eager to resume our lives, to support these amazing dog saviors, including Cristina (in —And see Yiuka again before she forgets how much she means to us!

– Submitted by Johanna Deheer

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