|Mika—From Cancun to Canuck|
Some 18 months after leaving Mexico, Mika the hound-cross from the streets of Cancun has settled in nicely with her new life in Canada.
A testament to adaptability, Mika has shown equal levels of enthusiasm for both the snowy cold and sweaty heat of central Canada, as well as the wet, temperate coastal weather of Vancouver. A tail wag is always close at hand when a walk is in the works, no matter what the outdoors has in store for her. She especially enjoys off-leash time in the parks of Vancouver and Burlington, Ontario, where she can indulge the ultimate thrill of pursuing squirrels and/or rabbits. No, she is not quite fast or determined enough to catch either one, but the chase seems to be the principle payoff for her.
Maria Alicia Salgado, a dog rescuer and shelter operator in Cancun, says that the dogs she rescues seem older beyond their years, with street smarts acquired from lives as abandoned strays. And she says that her shelter dogs seem to have a much keener appreciation for being adopted, as if acknowledging that they have been saved. I think she’s probably right on both counts.
In any case, Mika has an incredibly friendly, outgoing personality, and would prefer to meet almost every stranger on the street if she could. It’s amazing how the tail-wagging approach of a dog like her breaks down the communication barriers that most people apparently have. And almost everyone seems to appreciate Mika’s headlong determination to break down those barriers.
Conversely, other dogs have been a different matter. Mika originally met most with a growl, potentially a snarl and even a battle on occasion. The tough conditions of her life on the streets of Cancun, where she would have needed to fight for food and to protect herself, have no doubt played a role in this conditioned response.
But even that is changing quickly, as she seems to be learning that other dogs here are not hungry, nor afraid, nor in a struggle to stay alive. They simply pose no threat to her. As this realization continues to sink in, Mika has become increasingly socialized and is more willing to take up high-speed games of chase with the many dogs that she meets.
This progressive change in attitude is wonderful see, as are the many other character traits of this amazing dog. We look forward to a long future in the company of Mika.
Ted Davis and Beatrice Ang