There was a small young dog named Skye who lived on the streets of Playa Del Carmen Mexico, primarily between Juarez 115 and Ejidal where he was often fed by the different restaurants and food stalls. A few people knew Skye from the street but no one provided him with a home until he met a foreign man.
One day the foreign man was walking to buy his supper when he saw Skye sitting on the street next to the restaurant. He immediately stopped to pet Skye and thought to himself “Oh, what a cute scruffy puppy”. The man bought his supper and started walking towards his home. Skye immediately started running after him. Perhaps it was the savory Pastor al Carbon that he was carrying. They reached the front gate of the man’s apartment building when Skye started to feel nervous. The man instinctively picked Skye up and took him to his small apartment. Since he had no other food the man gave most of his meat to Skye who was quite hungry and ate voraciously. For the first time in his life Skye slept under a roof.
The next morning the man got up early and went to OXXO to buy some shampoo to give Skye a bath. When the grocery store opened the man bought some dog food and gave it to Skye but he was not used to dog food and refused to eat. Skye already had a taste for the delectable human food that he had grown accustomed to. To him dog food was bland and uninteresting. The man even bought some rice but still Skye refused to eat the cooked rice. The man briefly left Skye home and went to the pet store to buy all his essentials and better dog food which he gave to Skye but he still would not eat.
The next day the man took Skye to the vet. They walked all the way from Juarez 115 to 45th Avenida in Centro. Skye got all his shots, tests, heartworm, Frontline and a bath and grooming. The man told the vet that Skye wouldn’t eat. The vet a kind Senora gave Skye some special kind of soft dog food which he ate immediately. The man bought a few cans of the soft dog food and paid the very large bill. All bathed, fresh and clean Skye walked happily back from Centro to his new home near Juarez 115.
The man would take Skye for at least four walks a day so that Skye would get as much outdoor time as possible. Skye was not trained to walk on a leach and would go in no particular direction yet the man was very patient with him and tried to train Skye to walk properly on a leach but he was never entirely successfully. Skye would pull hard on the leach and speed to the latest thing that distracted him. Everything distracted Skye all the smells, sensations and sounds he experienced. The man would leave Skye on his small balcony but it didn’t matter to Skye that it was small; he now had a connection with the outside world.
There lived an evil witch in the apartment building who was the landlord. Right from the start she took an instant disliking towards Skye. The man lied to her that he had bought Skye from a seller and never told her that Skye was a street dog, he could never expect her to understand.
Skye was also over stimulated. He would go wild with excitement when he saw the man picking up the leach to take him for his walk. He would go so wild that the man worried that Skye might bite him but deep down he knew that Skye would never bite intentionally.
In the building there were several cats and especially one that belonged to the evil witch. Skye for some reason was not used to seeing cats up close. He would go in frenzy when he saw one and that was the only time he would bark or more like squeal. The man tried to restrain him and would often have to douse him with water to keep him calm. The man always carried a squeeze water bottle, mostly for Skye to drink when they were walking in the hot sun and also to ward of unwanted attention from some of the street dogs.
Skye was also not potty trained. He would pee everywhere and on everything. One day as the man was taking Skye out for a walk he met the evil witch in the lobby. She had a dirty old pillow sitting on the floor. For a brief second the man turned to greet the evil witch Skye pee’d on the dirty pillow. The witch was furious and cursed Skye using many bad words. The man felt embarrassed and apologized but the witch demanded compensation. She extorted hundred and fifty pesos from the man for the dirty pillow.
Skye was not neutered. Because of the unwanted attention from the other dogs the man decided to have Skye fixed. So the next day he took Skye to a nearby vet and had his surgery done. After the surgery was done Skye was still groggy and couldn’t walk so the man picked him up and carried him home. Skye had to wear a cone for a week so he could not lick his stitches. It was tough for both Skye and the man but time passed quickly.
Skye recovered from his surgery rather quickly. The lamb shade collar was gone. Skye grew stronger and was so strong that he used to pull the man with great force. Soon other dogs came to fear Skye. Skye had mixed feelings about other dogs. Sometimes he was fine with small dogs other times not so much. He certainly did not like big dogs. But the man would often notice the longing in Skye when he watched the other dogs play amongst themselves and he so much wanted to be part off but they wouldn’t let him. The man often wondered if he had removed Skye from his natural habitat.
The man understood that both he and Skye were outcasts. Nobody liked them or even tried to make friends with them. With this understanding the bond between Skye and the man grew stronger.
Skye still yearned for his past street life. He orchestrated many escapes right in front of the man. One evening the man was talking to his neighbors and came back to his room to pick up something. Skye escaped and made headway to the front gate. The man chased after him but Skye could slip through the iron bars of the front gate. When the man got to the front gate only to realize that it was locked and he didn’t have the keys. He resigned to go back up to the room to retrieve the keys. Worring thoughts flashed before him imagining that by this time Skye could be miles away. When he finally opened the gate he could not see Skye. He whistled and out of the darkness Skye came running into the man’s arms. There were a few more attempts by Skye but they were not as serious and eventually there were none.
Another problem soon surfaced. The evil witch’s daughter had a dog and they would come every few days and leave the dog in the lobby. Skye did not like this dog and would growl loudly when he saw him. When Skye was recovering from his surgery the man was about to take him out for his evening walk when he discovered that the witch’s dog had been left in the lobby again. He prevented a huge confrontation between Skye and this dog and abandoned the walk by taking Skye back to his room. Next day the man got angry and confronted the evil witch that her daughter’s dog did not belong here and that he needed to be able to take Skye out whenever he wanted. From then onwards the evil witch her daughter and son-in-law became mortal enemies of the man and Skye. They even tried to poison the man but that is a completely different story.
As far as the man knew Skye was a Golden Terrier with long hair. Every day the man would brush Skye’s coat so it wouldn’t get matted. Skye’s coat became very golden and shiny. The man enjoyed brushing Skye as it relaxed him but Skye was not easy to brush. Every few weeks the man would give Skye a bath using good dog shampoo. Skye enjoyed the baths as he would sit calmly through them. After he dried off, his coat would sparkle and to the man he was the most beautiful dog on this planet. Maybe he was who is to say? It will stay our little secret.
Everyday the man gave Skye lots of love, hugs and kisses and played with him. Skye responded to the new love in his life. The man bought him a nice chew toy for Skye. He thought about what to get Skye but didn’t like what was available. He found a small clothing shop and saw this Tasmanian Devil from neopets and he knew that was just the right toy for Skye. Skye bit into the toy but the toy was as strong as him. The men enjoyed countless hours watching Skye bite into his toy and toss it around.
The man would take Skye to the park and let him wonder around a little but keeping a very watchful eye on him. One day the man got careless and let Skye off the leach. Skye was so happy he started running around the park. Skye saw another puppy and a couple of little children play by the slide and started playing with them. The man froze in fear as he saw Skye in reckless abandonment run after a little girl who was part of the group that Skye was playing with. He knew that Skye was only playing and he also caught a rare moment of the expression on Skye’s face, Skye looked so happy and innocent. That is what the man loved most about Skye that he was so innocent. But unfortunately Skye scared the little girl as she feared that Skye was attacking her and started to cry. Swiftly the man caught hold of Skye and put him back on the leach. The man felt sorry for Skye a moment of innocence lost.
Many happy days passed and Skye mostly kept out of trouble except for the cats. Time came when the man had to leave on a long personal journey to the harsh hot desert of Northern Mexico. This was certainly no place for a dog but he knew that Skye was very sturdy. He could not figure out how to take him with him. Since the man did not own a car or afford one and this being a week long journey by bus the only way Skye could travel with him was to be put in the luggage compartment of the bus. In all conscience he couldn't put Skye through this ordeal knowing very well that he may not be able to survive this trip.
The man kept thinking what to do. Perhaps he could find a new home for Skye. He met a few families who wanted to adopt Skye but the man was reluctant. Skye was completely wild. He could not be trusted with small children or could he? The man was not prepared to gamble. Skye was also extremely mischievous and what if his adopted family were to lose patience with him, beat him or perhaps even abandon him? For the man these were real possibilities. There was no forever home for a dog like Skye.
The man finally decided to return Skye back to the streets. On the night of his departure the man took Skye and walked about half a mile on Ejidal. He stopped and took his leach and collar off and gave him a big hug. After a minute or two he yelled “Run Skye Run”. Skye’s instinct kicked in and he started to run as fast as he could. Skye ran like he had never run before. He did not look back and the man did not call or whistle. He just stood there with tears rolling down his eyes. All of Skye’s mischiefs flashed before him. But to him Skye was always the innocent child that he never had. With his head down he started to walk back and didn’t turn his head to see where Skye was.
Author Notes: The story is based on a combination of real facts and some fiction.