Nilo {Dalmatian}

February 22, 2012

Well, after a few months of waiting and lots of concerned emails back and forth, Nilo has finally arrived!  Our volunteers travelled into the wee hours of the night to bring him home from the airport earlier this week.

img 3140 Nilo {Dalmatian}

It’s been a long journey for Nilo.  Against all odds, he has shown tremendous strength and spirit.  Nilo came to us from the same organization as Taco (now Tango) in Cuba – APAC Varadero.  He was found starving to death on the street, half the weight he should have been, with his neck sliced wide open by someone with a machete.  It’s hard to believe.  We will save you the details, but you can learn more about Nilo’s story on the APAC Varadero facebook page where they have posted some albums of his progress (there are graphic images – be warned!).  He was in the hands of a great vet and amazed everyone with his recovery.  He is now a healthy weight and the scar is nearly invisible – it’s nothing short of remarkable.

Here he is all bandaged up and getting some loves from Ingrid, his wonderful caregiver in Varadero.  It shows how small he is, much smaller than you’d think – around 40 lbs.

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Nilo was supposed to travel back to Canada in December but believe it or not, he was diagnosed with cancer right before he came.  His tumor was removed and he soldiered through 4 weeks of chemotherapy, but you’d never know it!  Luckily the cancer was very treatable and the tumor is gone.  He is looking healthy as ever and is a happy, energetic busy guy.

Here’s the thing about Nilo – he doesn’t need your pity.  He is strong and confident, boisterous and willful.  What he needs is a family who is committed to teaching and training him, focusing his energy and smarts and giving him a loving and stable home to live out the rest of his days.  He’s just a young guy (maybe around 2 years old?) so we are confident he’s got lots of those left.  Couch potato, he’s not!  His new home had better be prepared for lots of exercise and playtime.

What we know about him so far:

- He’s housetrained, but doesn’t know how to ask to go outside.  And he may, or may not, have had a small tendency to mark when he first arrived…

- Obedience class is a must.  He is excitable and needs to learn how to redirect his focus to appropriate behavior.  Manners will be a work in progress with this happy boy.

- He knows his name, can sit and down, and loves to play with toys and other dogs.  He graciously ignores the cats.

- He is so sweet and friendly – loves every person he meets.

- He will need to learn some real-life skills, ie. kitchen counters are not for jumping on!  Our friends in Cuba did an amazing job with him, but life in Canada is a little bit different.

- Training should be successful as this boy is totally food motivated!  He is eager to learn and catches on quickly.

img 3132 Nilo {Dalmatian}

He’s had the best medical care available, is neutered, up to date on vaccinations and is officially looking for a Canadian family of his own.  Dalmatians are a unique and attractive breed, and we know there will be lots of interest in Nilo.  We will be carefully screening applications, looking for an experienced and dog saavy home who understands the breed and Nilo’s high energy level.  Dalmatians were bred to run with horse-drawn carriages and as a result, have a vast amount of energy and enormous stamina. We encourage you to do your research on Dalmatians! http://www.dalmatianclubofcanada.ca/

In the meantime, Nilo is wishing for the perfect family!

img 3134 Nilo {Dalmatian}

Wondering why we occasionally help the dogs in Cuba?  You can read our thoughts here

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