How did we ever find such a special dog? Well, therein lies the story!
Camila started out life in Mexico. But she didn't start out eating cheese and sleeping on couches. In fact, when she was found she was starving!
Some friends of ours were on a geology expedition, bumping along a lonely dirt road in a truck, when they spotted a man on horse back ahead of them. As they got closer they could see that he was dragging something. Closer still, and they could see that the "something" was a little puppy attached by her neck to a rope.
The poor pup was barely able to keep out from under the horse's hooves! They stopped the truck to talk to the man, telling him that he was killing his dog. He laughed at them! So they did something amazing. They cut the rope, grabbed the pup, and sped away. Was this a foolish thing to do? Undoubtably. But it is also one of the bravest things I've ever heard of!
Of course, then they were in the middle of Mexico doing field work with a tiny puppy along for the ride. So the pup got to do quite a bit of camping while they emailed friends asking for help. One friend researched the laws about bringing pets into the States. Another got the proper forms translated into spanish. And all the while the puppy grew stronger.
She visited veterinarians in small towns and got the proper vaccinations (apparently getting the one for rabies was a bit of a trial!). A leather smith made her a little collar, and the young daughter of a helpful vet named her Camila.
We airmailed her a crate, muzzle, and leash, all of which was supposedly necessary for her arrival into the US. Plans were laid: first a long train ride through Mexico, then a few nights in a hotel, then a shorter plane ride to LAX and her new home. The train ride was difficult; apparently animals aren't encouraged to ride on Mexican trains. They were almost put off in the middle of nowhere!
Finally the big day arrived. Would the forms hold up to scrutiny? What if someone had filled something in wrong? And how long would they really make her stay in quarantine? Officially it was to be a month, but by this point we had decided to adopt her (our friends were living in student housing, so no puppy for them) and we were anxious to meet her!
Well, to our joy but perhaps border security's chagrin, no one checked anything! They let her right through without even looking in the crate to see if there really was a puppy in there and not a giant monitor lizard or 20 rare parrots.
Now she's a SoCal girl, with all the rights and privileges that entails. She goes to doggie daycare and has gotten past her fear of horses. She had a long journey getting home, but hopefully she thinks it's worth it!