When I first got the sheet about my host family here in Puerto, I read that there was a perico in the house. I promptly forgot what I had read and convinced myself that I had read perrito – which would mean a dog. I quickly learned that there was no dog here; my host mom said that someone(s) in the house had allergies, but that my 21 year-old host sister really wanted a puppy and so did my host dad. I never expected that after that conversation I would get to live with a dog here in Colombia*.
Sunday Marty and I had a happy hour, so I was locked in my room for an hour or two while my host family was hanging out on the front patio. When I walked out, the birthday girl was holding a bottle. I looked around and didn’t see a baby, so I asked her why she had the bottle. She said, “The puppy,” and gestured at a box on the ground. “Whose puppy is that?” She very casually responded, “Ours,” at which point I began making a lot of stupid noises.
Teo Andrés is a teeny tiny (four week-old!) yellow lab with beautiful blue eyes. His current hobbies are sleeping and eating. He’s definitely a toddler – when he’s awake enough to explore, he walks like a little drunk pup, and he has an adorable chubby baby belly. I’m nervous to make my host sisters jealous because I definitely love puppies. The oldest one is about to head to the interior and won’t get the privilege of seeing Teo grow in person; the younger one just tends to get jealous. But of course I am beyond excited to watch Teo become a giant lab and see his personality flourish over the next 23 months!
*There was a dog at my training site, but he was once a street dog that was then tied up almost 100% of the time, so was aggressive with strangers. He was only let loose at night when the back door was gated up. Right before I left he stopped barking at the sound of my voice, and one time when I got home from the gym he was out and the back door was open. He didn’t make a move, but I was still terrified that he’d come at me. Therefore I don’t really count that relationship as “living with a dog here.”