Dog Withdrawal

Don’t get me wrong, I (Joy) love my children dearly and miss them very much while I am wintering in Mexico.  My fur children though have those sad eyes looking up at you from photos. They  wonder why they were left up North in the cold! What did I do to deserve this?

We love our pets! We talk to them as if they are human, we tell them our deepest thoughts, our problems, our secrets.  (They’re very good at keeping them to themselves)

78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the U.S.  Approx. 44% of all households in the U.S. have a dog and 35% own cats.  They provide warmth on a cold night, a pillow to lean on, and a body to cry on.

We left for our first winter in Mexico last year with our then 14 year old schnoodle Colby.  With his arthritis setting in, hearing loss, and cataracts, I thought the warm semi tropical sun would do him good.  After a 5 hour plane ride, Colby found himself in Mexico, a strange place for a little guy not too far off the ground.  The cobblestone streets were not comfortable on his little foot pads and he never seemed to settle in. It certainly beat trudging through the 3 feet of snow we got last March in upstate New York, but it wasn’t home for Colby.

Dogs are everywhere here in Mexico. It is a huge problem with strays on every corner.  Thankfully through the efforts of a large expat community active in rescue, there are many no kill shelters that scoop them up and care for them until they are adopted. It’s a wonderful mission and many dogs make it to the US as adoptees.

Last February, almost a year ago, I fell in love with a Mexican mutt.  The Ranch, one of our local shelters was holding an adoption day. I had no intention of getting a second dog, but I made my husband stop and look anyway.  One dog caught my eye.  He had been neutered the day before and was groggy and limp.  I asked to hold him and fell in love! He was so sweet and took to my arms easily and readily. I was smitten.  Before I knew it (with my husband dumbfounded) I had offered my name and contact details for adoption of this Mexican perro.

He came to be known as Winston, although my daughter thought he would be better suited to Rodrigo, so he became Winston Rodrigo Estaban! Nice ring to it.

This year my husband and I decided to leave both Colby and Winston up North and be dog free for the first time in our married lives.  No responsibility, no being awakened at 5 to be let out to pee, no accidents in the house.  Poor Winston has to suffer through his first winter in upstate New York and Colby, well he’s not sure where he is.  Age sucks!

Dog withdrawal is real.  I miss them both.  Pets become a part of us, they get under our skin, they touch our hearts, and they are there through thick and thin. Love them while you can, because they too are only on this earth for a short time.


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Winston preparing for Winter shock; Colby wondering where she is!


Today’s Takeaway–

  • Pets play a key role in our lives. In retirement, they may be more important than our EPH! Never underestimate the power of a lick!
  • Love them with all your heart and know that they are put on this earth to bring us joy.


Enjoy the ride

xox,  Barclay and Joy






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