Humans of Nicaragua: Romeo’s Juliets

“Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” ― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Once there was a homeless dog on the Calzada in Granada, Nicaragua. He loved hanging around the outside café tables, begging for food, playing with the tourists, and sleeping peacefully under tourists’ feet. He was nicknamed Romeo for his charming personality. What a lover he was!

Romeo charmed many people with his sweet personality, but it wasn’t until two very special people came into his life, that he found his forever home.

Romeo’s first Juliet

The first “Juliet” in his life was Jennifer who works with Granada Animal Outreach-Nicaragua. Jennifer said that Romeo came to her attention because he was always on the Calzada looking for food from tourists.

He was sweet as can be and we became buddies. I noticed he had the mouth issue, constantly moving his jaw. I tried to look in his mouth to see if something was caught in his throat, but saw nothing. He needed to be neutered so that was a great opportunity to have him sterilized and have his health checked out. The vet, Dr. Steve from Canada, the director of World Vets in Granada, described this condition as the symptoms of a previous case of distemper, probably when he was a puppy. This was now his ´´new normal.¨

13617398_10153778440693660_517514316_nAfter his surgery, the area became infected and he was in a lot of pain so I took him to my house to recover. He was pretty much perfect… wanting to please, looking for love and attention. I knew more than ever that I wanted to find him a permanent home. Also, some of the kid street vendors had started to abuse him and hit him with palm fronds… I knew it would not be a happy ending.

So, she posted this on the Granada Animal Outreach Facebook page:
Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 3.44.51 PM
I had received numerous messages about him from people that had met him on the Calzada…. like maybe 5-6 people but no one ever followed through. I was feeling really down. And then Laura came along…..

Romeo’s second Juliet

Laura and her family were first time visitors to Nicaragua. They toured Nicaragua from January 15-27, 2016 and spent their last few days in Granada before their trip back to Pittsburgh, PA. While on the Calzada eating supper,  they noticed this super friendly dog.

I fed Romeo (we named him frothy because his mouth was quite foamy) and he immediately reacted to us in a way that no other dog in Central America ever acted. He was playing with us and running all around faster than the wind.

We immediately fell in love, but we had to head back to our hostel.  I worried about him all night, but we found him the next day and I knew I had to take him home.

The problem was that Laura didn’t know who to contact about Romeo and they were leaving the following day.

I googled animal rescue in Granada and Jennifer wrote back within seconds asking for a description. She then immediately sent me a pic of Romeo and I was soooo excited that she was familiar with him. We had to leave the next day and I was heartbroken, but along with Jennifer, Gordana (his foster mom) and the vets, we worked together everyday to get him imported.

13588822_10153778437728660_2051743824_oJennifer said, We corresponded for about a week or two… I really wanted to her to know everything and that this could really work. She was committed. I needed to update his rabies shot and some other health things. We researched flights and timing. We finally had a date for the flight. Gordana agreed to foster him the last couple of weeks before the flight… I needed to know where he was to finish the medical stuff and to know he was safe instead of searching for him in the last days. My foundation paid for everything on this end, medical, crate, health certificate, etc. Laura paid for the flight… all in all an expensive endeavor, but so worth it. I picked him up at her house at 3am one morning for his 7am flight… and said adios….

IMG_2020But, this love story doesn’t end yet! I remember meeting Romeo on the Calzada in Granada. He had a way of endearing himself to all females. 🙂 When I heard that Laura was from Pittsburgh and I was returning to Pittsburgh to visit family, I made arrangements with Laura to visit Romeo in his new home.

We discovered that she lives a short 10 minute ride from my husband’s sister in PA. I think this visit was meant to be!!

IMG_2023Laura told me that after a few days adjusting, they immediately got him all his needed vaccinations, license, microchipped and teeth pulled. See what I mean? Romeo is irresistible.

romeo at vetLaura, her husband Larry and their children live on an incredible farm with acres and acres of room to roam, jump in ponds, and munch on fresh homegrown veggies. We were invited to a delicious farm dinner, and of course, Romeo and his siblings took their favorite spots around the dinner table.

feeding RomeoI asked Laura how Romeo’s adjustment was and she responded:

Romeo adjusted like a dream come true, like he was finally home. The first night he met his siblings, Chelse, Perry, Ruby & Wilson. They all accepted him as if he was a long time playmate.

Now, this loving home has five rescue dogs!


His first night at the farm, he jumped up on the furniture and made himself at home.

IMG_2027We love him dearly and I think he is learning English now. He is still slightly stubborn, but you have to expect that when he never had a family, he never had a boss or rules.

romeo smilingThanks to Romeo’s two Juliets, he has a forever family.

Jennifer says, I feel (still) somewhat overwhelmed that Romeo is there and with such a happy ending. I don’t think I have had or tried to use words to describe how thankful and grateful I am for them adopting Romeo. It is a very meaningful moment and experience of my life.

Laura says, I could talk about entire process for hours and I am very, very happy to have made friends with Jennifer, Gordana , you and Ron whom I feel like we have always been friends. I can not wait to return to Nicaragua to spend time in person with everyone. It makes me happy to think about that!!!!

And that is what I call a very happy ending. Spread the love. Adopt a Romeo for yourselves!

Granada Animal Outreach-Nicaragua Facebook Page

13 thoughts on “Humans of Nicaragua: Romeo’s Juliets

  1. Dogs are OK – but Nicaragua needs more human outreach.
    The state of canines there is simply mirroring the human dysfunction.
    Reformation and revival plus literacy are the only hope for Central America IMHO…

    • Desdi, there are many, many wonderful outreach programs in Nicaragua. Yes, Nicaragua has many problems, and I am not saying that all of the resources go to saving the canines. This just happens to be an endearing story of one dog who was saved from a life on the streets. Poco a poco. There are many dedicated organizations in Nicaragua that serve a variety of people. It takes time. Personally, I am very optimistic with the progress and more economic stability I have seen in Nicaragua. Things are changing, slowly, but they are changing. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. What a wonderful story. I love to see such deserving animals end up with a forever home. So happy this gal came along and fell in love with Romeo enough to bring him home. He certainly deserves to be taken care of – poor little guy.

  3. What a lovely story! We just brought our beagle and two tabby cats back from the US to England and it’s not easy… kudos to everyone concerned for giving this beautiful boy a good home!

  4. Who doesn’t love a happy ending? I’ve had rescue dogs all my adult life. I think the dogs are the rescuers.

    It’s so nice to get happy news.

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