Guest Writer

Costa Rican Dog Days

ApolloBy David Seyhun

So about three month’s ago, I decided I’m going to Quepos for a nice extended stay.  There’s nothing going on in the states and some years before I had visited the area and told myself I’d be back to do more exploring.  So here I am, with my dog  Apollo.

Now my dog Apollo, not named after the American speed skater about which I get asked a lot, had no say in this move.  Here’s a Chow Chow and Border Collie mix, with high energy and extreme curiosity mixed in with that Chow dog aggression that’s so prevalent in the breed, and I decide, let’s go to Costa Rica!! Needless to say he was not happy our first week or so.  With the extreme heat, the most mysterious sounds possible and all the unleashed dogs that walk about, I didn’t blame him.  However he quickly realized that he would have to give into the dogs, none of which has shown an once of aggression, even the dogs of the country know the pura vida spirit, and would have to deal with the heat like everyone else.  Now, a trip to the beach or river cures his hot flashes and he even has a few best friends who love to just come into the place we are staying and make them selves at home.   The sounds of the jungle on the other hand still prove to be an annoyance.  At least to me it does.   Don’t get me wrong, I love the sounds of nature, another reason for loving this country, and especially this part of it with its abundance of wild life all around.  But Apollo, with his curiosity, seems to get in trouble as he follows these sounds, or chases off the wild life, which I love to see.  Here’s a 3 day example of Apollo and the trouble he’s gotten in.

Day one he decides, “hey I’m off leash, and my owners not around to yell at me to stay; now’s a great time to chase that car.” I hear my neighbor Holly yell, “Apollo, NO”, I run outside to see my dog tearing up the street.  Mind you this is a dumb American dog.  Doesn’t know to avoid the main road, which he could make it to, running at the speed he was, in about 5 minutes.  On my best day, without this heat, I could make it to that road in like half a day.   So after running up the road to chase after him, to no avail, I decided it best to go with Holly in search of Apollo with the use of her car.  And she knows the nooks and crannies of our neighborhood.  After 5 minutes of driving and almost at the main road, Holly spotted a dog that is usually tied up on our street walking back, looking very distraught and unhappy.  She said, “I bet Apollo just got into a fight with that dog”.  Sure enough, not more than a minute later, sitting there on the road, looking just as distraught and unhappy as the other dog and drooling profusely; Apollo.

The very next day, my housemate comes to me and says, “I heard noises on the roof and thought they were monkeys, look up aye”.   There on the roof of our 2 story house, was Apollo.  Now, how he gets into trouble as fast as he does, or how he does, I will never get.   The dog will be right next to me, and the next minute he’s on top of the roof; or halfway down a jungle road, chasing after something.  So I go behind the house where there’s a hill and a barbwire fence, where I saw his hair stuck in, that leads to a 3 foot gap to our roof. My housemate told me to just call him, and that he would come.  But again, this is a dumb American dog, and he was looking down at me from the roof as if he was ok with letting me trying to catch him.  I decided I’d go up and get him myself.

And the very next day after the roof incident, Holly, asked if Apollo and I would like to join her and her dog Splash, on a trip to the river.  Before I knew it, Apollo was in the back of her car.  Sure, I said.  At the river things were going great.  Apollo and Splash were running around playing, swimming in the river, just having the time of their lives, or at least for that day. I decided it was a great time to enjoy a beer. While taking the first sip of my beer, I looked over at Apollo and saw his back end very shaky and his head wobbling like a bobble head toy.  I looked over at Holly, asked what she thought, and all she said was, “Let’s go!”  We made it back to the city on the dirt roads in half the time it usually takes to get back to Quepos; helped that Holly is an animal lover.  Good thing she drove as fast as she did, because we just made it to the vets as she was closing, a minute later and we would not have been able to get the help he needed.  The vet decided that it would be best to keep him there and administer IV’s and tranquilizers.  At that point I think she also gave me a tranquilizer, but I don’t remember.   I got the call later that night to come pick Apollo up.  Turns out he either ate a decomposing animal or some poisonous plant.  Either way, he was going to be ok.  But the vet could not understand how with all the medicine he was on; he still had the energy he did.  I just said “that’s Apollo.”

These are just a few examples of his adventures so far.  I’m sure we will have many more.  But it’s great to see him being more comfortable with his surroundings, even though it means more stress on me.  So begins Apollo and I’s dog days in Costa Rica.  Let’s see what happens next.

2 thoughts on “Costa Rican Dog Days

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  • Hi, I live in Las Vegas and next year will be moving to Quepos. I already have a house and will be bringing my dog, Sammi. How was the plane trip and who did you fly with? If you do not mind me asking. I hope to meet you when I arrive. Thank You, Maryann

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