Kristine O’Brien, the owner/operator of Paws Republic Boarding, Training & Grooming Centre in Martensville has an undeniable passion for animals. That is abundantly clear given the career choice that she made; however, O’Brien recently took that passion to a new level while on vacation in Mexico.
For the first time in years, O’Brien and her husband packed their bags to head to Los Cabos for a much needed getaway. After five days of sunshine and relaxation, O’Brien found herself falling into old habits. “I started habitually looking into local rescue facilities and I found a website about the Los Cabos Humane Society. As I was looking through the site, I saw that they have worked with rescues out of Canada before, so I thought there might be a potential to bring a couple of dogs back with us to rescue them,” O’Brien explained.
The next day, O’Brien and her husband headed to the humane society to take a look at the animals that were available for adoption. “We made a call to Size Small Dog Rescue in Saskatchewan to see if they would be willing to take the dogs on and find foster homes willing to take them and decided that if we had the support bringing them back, then we would go ahead with the plan,” added O’Brien. The airline required 48 hours notice prior to bringing a dog on the plane, so O’Brien had to move fast and began to get the plan in place.
Upon visiting the humane society, O’Brien was shown a group of five pugs that had been rescued from a neglectful home, with some in rough shape. “Their nails were growing into the pads of their feet, some had eye infections, but there were two that stood out to us. They were friendly, they were social with other dogs and their teeth were good; all things to look for when finding an adoptable dog.” One of the two pugs was blind in one eye, but that didn’t slow him down for an instant. An added bonus to the two dogs that were already bonded was that they could both fit into one crate, as the airline charges by crate, not by dog.
Additionally, O’Brien noticed Mari, who was a two year old female that had a lot of love to give. Mari was found on the streets of Mexico and has a section of missing hair on her side due to an unknown cause; however, is in great health. All three dogs had been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and treated for fleas and ticks. “The one thing you never know is how they will be with cats and kids, so I relied on my trainer instinct and we narrowed it down to the three dogs. After paying the required fees, purchasing crates and organizing things back home, we were on our way.”
On the journey to bring them back to Martensville, O’Brien acknowledged that it could not have happened without the support of numerous volunteers. “It was a lot of people all coming together between the humane society, us coordinating, Size Small Dog Rescue, a fellow trainer friend in Edmonton that kept the dogs for a night and helped assess them before we even brought them home, a volunteer driving them from Edmonton to Saskatoon, foster homes and Paws Republic. It was a group effort and we are so thrilled to have so many amazing people in our lives.”
Choco and Kobe, the two pugs, have already been adopted by a family that could not be happier to have the two dogs added to their family. Hazel, one of the new owners, stated that the family has had pugs for years and is therefore familiar with the breed. Following a standard two week waiting period, the family will bring the two pugs into their home for a one week trial period. “I know the trial will not be a problem. We just met Choco and Kobe and are already in love with them. We can’t wait for them to join our family,” Hazel said.
“Thank you to everyone that was involved in helping to orchestrate this crazy adventure of mine. My advice to anyone that is travelling anywhere is that there are rescues everywhere you go, and they are all in need of support. You don’t necessarily have to come home with dogs like I did, but even taking a bag of food can go a long way,” said O’Brien. Next time the couple takes a trip, O’Brien said she could see herself bringing dogs home again; however, would prefer to be more prepared. “It was a bit of a whirlwind and it is not cheap to bring them home, but the stars aligned and it all worked out. Seeing the joy that was created throu
gh this was such an amazing feeling and I am fully aware that there are many rescues in the province that need support as well, and that is never something that I would discourage. There are dogs that need rescue everywhere, we just decided to take the opportunity as it came and it worked out really well!”
Mari is still available for adoption, and more information as well as updates can be found by visiting the ‘Paws Republic Boarding, Training & Grooming Centre’.
ABOVE PHOTO: Mari, one of the dogs brought back from Mexico is still available for adoption through Saskatoon Small Dog Rescue.