Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on September 13, 2012. Enjoy!
Chica the Doberman puppy commited an unforgiveable crime. She grabbed hold of laundry that was drying on the clothesline and ran about the yard chewing and soiling it. When her family discovered her game, they didn’t shrug their shoulders or laugh at their 8-month-old dog’s antics. Instead Chica’s guardian went into the house, grabbed a roll of duct tape and began wrapping and wrapping it around Chica’s muzzle, over her delicate whiskers, determined that she would never open her mouth again. Yet destiny had more in store for Chica than a slow death by dehydration, and clear across Mexico, a rescuer was being summoned to the plate.
Hector Navarro and his wife Carla Cabrera of Cancun are die hard animal lovers. They’ve rescued many animals and Carla had just mentioned that she’d like to open their home to a Doberman. Because Carla was on her way out of town for a few days, Hector got to work on his own and began looking online for a dog to join their household. He wasn’t prepared to stumble across a ghastly Facebook photo of Chica and a desperate plea for help from an anonymous neighbor who had been watching Chica’s suffering. From the moment he saw Chica’s Facebook photo, Hector was a man on fire.
Hector poured over thousands of posts on Care2 and Facebook and sent hundreds of emails. He called veterinary clinics and rescue groups in the area and kept coming across the name Fernanda Janine Luna as someone who could help, but he simply could not find a way to reach Fernanda. With time running out, he decided it was time for plan B.
Hector packed his bags and was preparing to fly to Tepic when he was introduced to a man there named Miguel Dibildox, a Scout leader who was known for providing veterinary care to rescue dogs. Miguel and Hector had an instant connection and Miguel had heard of a woman named Fernanda who had jumped the fence to release the doberman but was caught.
Hector dialed the phone nervously, almost afraid to hold out hope, when a friendly voice on the other end welcomed his call. It was indeed Fernanda Janine Luna and she was ready to try again. Hector gave Fernanda ransom money to buy Chica from her abusers and as she summoned the courage to bang on their door and negotiate for the dog’s release, he waited breathlessly by the phone for news.
When the phone rang several hours later, Hector could barely believe his ears. Chica was safe.
“I hanged up the phone, collapsed to the floor and broke down in tears,” Hector said.
And that began one of the most beautiful love stories between man and dog. Chica made the 1,400 mile journey to meet Hector and his wife Carla and their house full of rescued pets. The Harmony Fund international animal rescue network has named Chica “Happiest Dog on Earth” for 2012 with hopes that her incredible story will spark further rescues.