I thought the stray dog was pretty cute when he first walked past our door. He was tan and medium-sized with floppy ears. He was just doing his rounds, and happened to stick his head through the gate to see what we were about. This was our first encounter with the dog who would become Pedro.

We saw him around often, and if he came by we would pet him and show him affection. Soon enough he started coming around more often, and he became very attached. Pedro spent most of his day sleeping and most of his nights awake.

During the day the sun gets very hot outside, and he burns up quickly, but at night it’s cooled off significantly.

He started spending his days in our backyard, sleeping in the grass. 

Every morning we went for a walk, and were always accompanied by Pedro, who would either greet us as we opened the door, or would come bounding up to us when we stepped out.

When we started walking he would stay in the lead, but would stop to sniff at something and then race after us to get back in the front.

Him following us did cause problems a few times when there were other dogs, or when he jumped on people for attention, and we were blamed for his misbehavior even though he wasn’t our dog.

Pedro had another bad habit of chasing down the maintenance workers and barking his head off at them. There was one person he especially hated, and this person mainly cleaned the pools and watered the grass. Even if Pedro was asleep in the backyard, if the guy walked within 40 feet Pedro would somehow wake up and go barking after him. He also despised security guards, who would ride around on bikes every so often.

He would also spend entire portions of the night barking, and it could be heard all over the complex, and it could be very annoying when we were trying to watch a movie and we heard constant barking.

However, there were some other things to like about him. Pedro had a fear of being wet, and that’s why he hated the maintenance guy so much; he would spray Pedro when he got too annoying. So Pedro didn’t want us to be wet either. So whenever we went in the pool, he would try and get us out. His most common method was chasing us around the sides, and trying to bite our shoulders whenever we were near the edge. After a while he started venturing onto a ledge to get closer, and it was adorable when he would try to grab our hands underwater and pull back when his nose got soaked.

His other method was less adorable. He would steal our things and run away from the pool. His favorite items were shoes, and he would always take them to a little hill and lay down with them, which guaranteed we would get out of the pool to chase him down. He never destroyed anything, so I knew he did it with good intention and found it mildly amusing, but nobody else liked him for that.

One Sunday afternoon Mom and Dad were sitting by the pool with Pedro asleep at their feet, and two security guards came by on bikes with a rope. I was sitting inside and didn’t know anything was happening until Mom came to the back door in tears telling Brenna and I that the security guards were taking Pedro. As Brenna and I walked up we saw him lying at Dad’s feet with a rope around his neck, looking defeated and confused.. We said goodbye to the puppy we loved so much, expecting to never see him again, and the security guard tugged the fighting Pedro around the corner and out of sight.

I was trying not to think about how sad I was, and about the things we would never do with him again. He would never chase us around the pool, he would never stick his head through our front gate in the morning, I would never look outside and see him sleeping on the grass, and it hurt. I went to bed thinking about Pedro, and what might have become of a troublesome stray dog in Mexico.

The next morning I was laying in bed and heard something downstairs that relieved me and made me smile. Dad opened the front door and said “Hey boy”, and I knew immediately that Pedro had come back to us. We were well aware that if security found him wandering they would make sure he stayed away, so we brought him inside and closed the gates. For now he would be stuck.

Not long after we brought him inside, we saw a guard pass the backdoor to make sure Pedro hadn’t returned to cause more disruption to the neighborhood. I can imagine his first reaction when he looked inside and saw Pedro laying on our living room floor. He discretely came around again to confirm that it was indeed Pedro, and then Dad went out with the phone to talk to him. We explained that we were going to take care of him and that he wouldn’t be a problem. We had talked about taking him in before he was taken away, but we weren’t sure how long we would be able to stay because of our visa. After going through the sadness of the previous day however, we decided that we would take care of him for however long we were going to stay.

For a day and a half Pedro was almost always inside, and the times we let him out to use the bathroom we did so with a string tied to him, just to make sure he didn’t run off. On Tuesday though we knew we needed to get him the essentials, and so I took a bike ride to Walmart. When I returned I had a backpack full of dog things. I had a 9 pound bag of dog food, a red collar, a reflective leash and harness, 2 bags of treats, a brush, and tick spray. Pedro had a nasty tick problem which we didn’t want in the house. It felt good to let him outside, and to know that we didn’t have to worry about him getting taken away.

Pedro had adopted us, and now we had returned the favor. He had protected us (albeit in a very doggish way) and we got to do the same for him. For now we have a dog. I absolutely love having Pedro around, even if sometimes he does get feisty or leaps onto Mom and Dad’s bed all the time.