A story about Rinco’s mother

People often ask me how I chose the seven dogs that came to the US with me a month and a half ago, out of all those thousands in need. I’d have to say it was a combination of instinct and pragmatism. Instinct on what I thought was the highest good and what I could handle, and pragmatism on what I had promised the director of the Pixie Project, an adoption facility in Portland that would be accepting three of the dogs.

What I promised was no food guarders, so when I saw Rinco’s mother snapping at another dog, she was scratched from the list. Taken in context, she was living in Rinconada and hadn’t eaten for three days. They all snap in Rinconada but that doesn’t make them aggressive. Still, Roberto took her place, and Rinco travelled without his mom to his idyllic new home in the Pacific Northwest.

But the story doesn’t end there. On Saturday, August 15, Gabriela Jarpa took three dogs from Rinconada to an adoption fare organized by the Maipu municipality. DSC_1219Constanza, a sweet and gentle dog from which we removed a wire snare during the shooting of “Lost Dogs” was one of the dogs adopted, and Rinco’s mother, who we called Mammy.

A woman and her daughter were thrilled to take Mammy to their home in Rinconada, not far from where she had been living with the other strays. A dog’s trust is something eroded by the conditions in this inhospitable place, and as they put Mammy on the floor of what was to become her new home, she ran away.

Gabriela emailed me, desperate and saddened by what had happened. She immediately set about making posters that offered a reward for anyone who found her. I tried to comfort her, saying that Mammy would find her way back to the pack. I honestly believed she would. When I read the first few words of Gabriela’s conversation on iChat, my face broke into a smile, but it would only be for a split second…

Gabriella: Vanessa

me: yes

Gabriella: I found Mami Rinco dead

me: no no no

Gabriella: In this moment I’m going to bury in my garden

so sad ..

me: what happened?

Gabriella: she run away in the autopista del sol … and a car …
she look without blood .. nothing
she is wearing her collar and pink dress
she is sleeping

me: i feel so bad

Gabriella: me too

me: i wish i could hug you

Gabriella: me too
Vanessa I feel destroy
I’m going to put in the land in my garden
she will be near me forever

me: i feel so bad that i did not take her, because of one snap she made at another dog over food. in that second her fate was sealed. if i had not been looking at her in that moment, she would be here now. instead roberto is here.

Gabriella: this days the dogs don’t have food since 3 days .. all have been eating less Mammy because she never there when we arrive ..

me: i’m sorry Gabriela, I wish I could be there with you.

Gabriella: yet I can’t believe
I feel in confused

me: Cassandra comes to lick my tears away…
I have to leave. i think of you tonight and send prayer. sorry Gabe.

Mammy, you will live on in the hearts of many for a long time to come.


1 Response to “A story about Rinco’s mother”

  1. 1 Catalina Saavedra August 20, 2009 at 4:33 am

    OH this was a really sad history 😦
    But now, we now mammy is on a better place, and she is not hungry anymore…
    I`m sure she is playing right now with some dog friends! Or I really hope it!

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