The Dog Dilemma

I’ve heard that there are around 100,000 stray dogs in Cuenca.  That figure might surprise me if 78,597 of them didn’t gather to bark just outside our bedroom window every night.  Here’s a snippet from a few nights ago, just to give you a taste.

Whoever let the dogs out, I’m gonna hunt you down…


Considering that there are 500,000 people in Cuenca, that translates to 1 dog for every 5 people.  That’s a lot of dogs!  Everywhere we go there are dogs – hanging around in alleys, near restaurants, outside of shops.  Guaranteed, wherever you are, there will be at least 1 dog in sight.

IMG_0968 IMG_0988

Why do I mention this, you ask?   I’ll start off by telling you that my kids are dog crazy.  All of them.  Especially my youngest daughter.  The first few weeks we were here the air was filled with her squeals of delight at every single dog she saw.  And I mean EVERY.  SINGLE.  DOG.

so fluffy

Yeah, kinda like that.  Which is typically followed by, “Can we keep him?!?”  We’re no strangers to pet requests in our house.  Our kids have been begging for a dog for as long as I can remember.  But now, with a plentiful supply right at their fingertips, homeless no less, well…you can imagine.

Brent and I have debated the pros and cons of getting a pet while we’re here in Ecuador.  And, with all of the homeless dogs, decided that if we were to get a dog, a stray would be a good place to start.  A few weeks ago the decision was made for us.  While walking through a neighborhood, we found a tiny, scrawny, six-week-old puppy that had been tossed out of a passing car.  How could we say no to that?  And how could we say no to this cute face?


She has been a sweet addition to our family.  Which is why we named her Mishka, the Quechua word for “sweet.”  Maybe now my kids will stop looking at every stray with longing.  But I won’t hold my breath.



9 thoughts on “The Dog Dilemma

  1. What’s the Quenca word for “foster home”? You need to learn that word and start searching for one now. By the way, you are 1/5th of a dog short of being “average” if your statistics are correct. Sometimes it is preferable to be a little below average.


  2. That video/audio of your nightly lullaby takes me back. Waaay back to living in the city of Rostov, Russia, as a missionary. It was every single night and added to the dogs were the cats. Cat fights, dogs in heat, and men using the exterior of my window as a toilet. Yup. City life.


  3. Pingback: What not to give a mother on Mother’s Day | Our Cuenca Life

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