RUFO (“rrroof-oh”)

I live with my wife and step-daughter in TJ because it’s cheaper than San Diego. We are all animal lovers and, in addition to Rufo, we have a Chihuahua named Dolly and two turtles, Lucas and Matteo.

Rufo came into our lives quite by accident, sort of like that proverbial mid-marriage surprise pregnancy. One day last July, my wife said that there was a very young puppy that was abandoned in the green belt around our condo and the children were bothering him, not intentionally, but in the mildly overprotective manner that some children have. She asked what we should do, knowing my answer would be, “bring him up and let’s get him cleaned up and see how he is.”

When they brought him up, I saw this tiny scrawny puppy that didn’t look like he’d survive the night. I went to the store and bought some powdered baby formula and a baby bottle to force feed him, if necessary while Claudia gave him a flea bath (he was crawling with them). It turned out that he was strong enough to drink the formula straight from a bowl and in a couple of days, he was taking in solid food. However, he still looked like those photos that one sees of starvin cattle in the 30’s Dust Bowl with ribs sticking out and shriveled skinny hind legs.

As he grew a little, we figured that he was some sort of boxer mix because he was a little big and had a velvety black floppy muzzle. He also has a great heart, having survived a bout with a near-fatal parvo virus before we got him vaccinated. Today, he weighs about fifty pounds and like said has a lot of heart. He loves to run and leaps and bounds like a deer and loves to jump on me. He refuses to give up when we play tug of war with his favorite blanket. Claudia says he cries when I leave the house and leaps on the back of the couch to stare out the window waiting for me to return.

We’re looking for a bigger place just for him because the condo is too small and Claudia believes he needs to be outside. However, she would bet a dollar to a doughnut, or however the Mexicans say it, that he will still sleep with me even after we move.

By the way, my son is in Iraq right now and will return this July.

Dan from Baja CA