Meet my puppy, Vaquita!
Vaquita is 5 month half puppy I adopted in November of 2016.
I've decided her birthday is August 17th (its somewhere around there). She was born in the floating community in Iquitos called Nuevo Campeon. Her mother is a guard dog living in one of the families homes, but the family couldn't care for all of the pups (nor have the resources to spay their animals). There were about 8 or so puppies in the litter. At three months, only two were still there. It's possible one or two were given away before this point, but most likely they died of starvation, injury, or disease. Vaquita has been with me since November 11th!
Based on comparing her looks and size to lots of google images, I believe she is a rat terrier. She looked like a fox terrier mix for a while, but seems to be growing pretty closely to what a traditional rat terrier would look. However, the reality is that she is an uber-mutt. The dogs in this area of the Peruvian Amazon have been evolving towards an athletic, thin build and short-hair genetics in order to survive in hot and wet conditions where they are forced to scavenge for their food.
Vaquita is a true mama's-girl. She is very good off-leash for a puppy! Though this is because she doesn't like to be too far away or out of sight from her mama. She has been sick a lot over the first two months + I've had her, but hopefully as she gets older and stronger she will stay healthy. There are a TON of disease exposures for a dog living in Iquitos, from other dogs, food on the street, trash disposed everywhere, and lots of people using poison to keep rats away from their homes. Motocycles and moto-cars are also a big risk to the puppies here.
Vaquita's best friend is Maya, a brown baby pit bull. Her second best friend is Chocolate, a huge pit-mix of some kind, who is the friendliest dog ever but is not cared for by his family and therefore is a bit of a risk to our health (I will probably end up taking him to the vet myself so we can keep playing with him). She also has our guard dog in the house, Mani, who is old and grumpy and has a reputation of biting dogs and people. But, with V and I, Mani is a sweetheart and just wants snuggles and snacks.
In Lima, V has her buddy Brontis, who I'm starting to think she secretly hates. They will play without taking a break for up to 7 hours straight (yes, I tried it out one day when I was baby sitting). But, the play is not like with her other buddies. They can't seem to calm done for one second or just lay down next to each other. She has tons of other doggy friends in Lima that I can't even remember all of their names! Lima is a dog-friendly city, in areas like Miraflores and Barranco.
In Philadelphia, she's also got a set of buddies. Notably is Lexi, my parents neighbor, who looks just like her!! But is probably 4x V's size. They LOVE each other and were always looking for each other outside. Poor Lexi probably misses us. I can't remember her other friends names, but they and their owners were all sweet and fun to play with.