Saved by the Hero Dog – seven and counting

DSC_1510 Well, the trip was a bit dodgy from Chile to the US, but once we got to the States it was all the making’s of a folk song………. Here then are the dogs who escaped life on the streets in Chile to a life in the beautiful Pacific northwest –



Conaf survived in Chaiten after the volcano erupted and the people evacuated over a year ago. Unlike many of the other dogs that became wild, she never lost her easy trust and love for humans. She is now in Portland, Oregon in foster care until some lucky person gives her a permanent home. We estimate she is about 5 years old. To adopt Conaf, contact Amy at

Zunko_1632_mdZunko, UP FOR ADOPTION
Zunko lost his leg in Chaiten after he was locked inside a house and his owners evacuated the town. He is craving to be loyal to one person or family – behind him is a trail of tears from people who have had to say goodbye to him. Zunko is now in Portland under the expert care of the Pixie Project. To adopt Zunko, contact Amy at


Rinco was abandoned in Rinconada outside Santiago with his mom and siblings. Five of his sisters disappeared and his brother lost an eye before being adopted. Rinco was brought home into foster care for two months. He broke his leg but has made a miraculous recovery. Just seven months old, Rinco is the life of any party and steals hearts wherever he goes! Currently he is in foster care in Portland. To adopt Rinco, contact Amy at

DSC_1267DSC_1533Cassandra, UP FOR ADOPTION
Cassie was one of the saddest looking street dogs I had seen on my journey in Chile. Living in a dump outside Santiago, she was hunched over, nervous and skinny. A few days of love and good food and she has blossomed into a gorgeous dog, socialized to people and other dogs. She still can be fearful and needs training and exercise; she’s eager to please, about two years old and in her prime. To adopt Cassie, contact Vanessa Schulz in Bend, Oregon at

Roberto (aka Bobby Ewing), UP FOR ADOPTION
Roberto is a gorgeous 2-year old retriever/spaniel mix who was dumped by his previous owners in Rinconada. He arrived there in great condition but soon deteriorated physically and mentally. He has come out of his shell and is improving day by day, although the unknown still tends to scare him. He will make a perfect partner for someone who understands and appreciates the sensitive side of dogs. To adopt Roberto, contact Vanessa Schulz in Bend, Oregon at

DSC_1625Fumarola, ADOPTED
My sweety, I lost her once in Chaiten and I won’t lose her again. She is welcome to stay with me forever. Fumarola (which means smoke of the volcano) is living proof of the power of love and a sense of belonging – she has transformed from a terrified loner into a playful and curious puppy. She doesn’t always trust herself, but a few more days and we will be inseparable.

CopitoCopito, ADOPTED
We’re not sure if Copito is adopted or in foster care… he has fallen in love with his foster mom in Santa Cruz, and she might not be able to give him up. Copito was living at the Santiago airport suffering from mange, scabies and malnutrition. The LAN airline personnel took pity on him and treated him, then begged me to rescue him from Chile by bringing him to the US. Now Copito’s biggest challenge is separation anxiety because love really is a drug.
And the eighth on our list is the black mutt who had made a life for himself in the cargo section of the airport (dogs really are everywhere in Chile). With everything going to get the seven on board the aircraft, one of the volunteers was inspired to take the mutt home with her. Now that’s called being in the right place at the right time!!

Cara, thank you for road trippin’ with us! For sharing your car, your blankets, toys, food, collars, leashes, and enormous heart.

And thank you to Gaia Hotels for being pet-friendly and all things eco!



7 Responses to “Saved by the Hero Dog – seven and counting”

  1. 1 Tazlab July 16, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Welcome home! We are so excited the trip went well and at least a few more doggies are safe and waiting for their forever homes away from the despair in the streets. Good job!

  2. 2 Christine July 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    If Copito hasnt been adopted. Id love to have the little guy!

  3. 3 Jeanne Fischer August 15, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I was in Chile a fews years ago and was overwhelmed at the number of stray dogs! I wanted to bring them all back to the US with me. My friend, who lives in Santiago, sent me the links to information about you taking care and rescuing the dogs. All I can say is that you are my hero now. Just wish I could take some of the dogs but we live in a city with 5 dogs which is one over the allowed amount. If there is anyone that I come across that would like to rescue then I will direct them to you. Blessings to you for all that you have done and all the good that will come of it.

  4. 4 heidi sausser August 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    if i can help out in anyway such as adopting one of these amazing dogs, plesase let me know. thank you so much for the awareness and inspieration.

  5. 5 daniela August 20, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Mi name is Daniela, i’m chilean living in Madrid, Spain. I’m too moved to write more than a thank you and the biggest hug to you, from my heart.

  6. 6 Lisa August 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Caught your story on 104.1 this morning – what an incredible task!

    I’ve been looking for a companion for my 7 year old female border collie – retriever mix and Roberto has really caught my eye. They look a lot alike. Luna was a runaway – then pound – dog and we had to work together to overcome some fear issues. After a few months this amazing dog appeared where the old scared one used to be.

    Anyway – Is he still available? Do you know how he does with kids?

  1. 1 Heroes and street dogs | Trackback on November 7, 2009 at 6:46 pm

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