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Having a Dog in Cabo

Having a Dog in Cabo

Reading this you’re either a pet lover who loves this kind of story or you’re someone who is interested in adopting a dog in Los Cabos and maybe doesn’t know where to start. My wife and I were both and we had waited a while before adding a furry beast to our family. Before we relocated to Cabo San Lucas we were busy working and travelling and somehow having a dog at the time seemed really unfair.

We never liked the idea of leaving a dog alone all day or leaving a dog at a kennel or with friends to go on vacation. There was also the snow and crap weather back home Canada. Who’s really excited to get that dog walk in when it’s 30 below outside? Once settled in Cabo we realized the time was right. Semi-retired and living somewhere where any day can be a vacation day. Perfect! No snow, no wet mucky dog feet, never too cold to walk the dog – although sometimes it can be too hot for the walk up the hill!

Adopting Our First Mexican Dog

Now this was my first dog and first pet (I can’t really count the turtle I had when I was 5) and Samantha’s 12th counting cats, dogs, snakes and a bird. But we’re in Mexico, there’s no pet store on the corner and we had my allergies to deal with so we got to thinking we may need to go to the States or Canada to find that perfect perro that won’t have me sneezing and wheezing. Wrong! We said to ourselves “what about a rescue dog?” and is there actually a place for them around Los Cabos? One google search later and I found the Los Cabos Humane Society. I found the adoption page and after two minutes I found the one. A male black Cockapoo with reddish fur tips, about 15 lbs and close to a year old. We found out Cockapoo’s don’t shed, so no problem for my allergies! I was away at the time and emailed Samantha several pet profiles late at night with the black Cockapoo being the first email. In the morning I got back a priceless “Shut the front door!!!!! Way cute.” Away she went to the Humane Society that morning to meet the dog and understand the adoption process. She walked him and that was it. She could have no other dog. There were several other nice dogs, don’t get me wrong, but there was something about this one that she knew was special. I knew it too when I met him a day later. back in January of 2016.

The people at the Los Cabos Humane Society were very nice, thorough and diligent. They have a process they follow that ensures rescued dogs have a required time with them, about 2 months, to get their shots and a clean bill of health before they can be spoken for. They also need to do a home inspection to ensure you’re going to provide a safe environment for the dog and not be running some cruel dog fighting operation. We met our cute little boy with a week until he could be spoken for. We know processes are what they are and technically we weren’t allowed to ask for him, but we did. We filled out all the paperwork and said that we wanted this dog!! We came back every day to walk him and ask when the home inspection was happening. Scheduling hiccups and some miscommunication caused some panic-stricken moments that somehow this wonderful dog might not be coming home with us. We finally got the word on a Thursday afternoon to come and get him on Friday. We signed off the final paperwork for him, made the 1,000 Peso donation and loaded him up in the truck to come home. Like proud baby parents we had dog beds, dishes, toys and food all lined up and were ready to bring home the new addition to our family.

Like all the dogs at the humane society, no one knows their name. They are given one but it’s hardly a name that would stick in the two months a dog is there. Our Cockapoo had one of those names, it didn’t suit him. We thought long and hard about names for him. Like many ex-pats the idea of giving our Mexican dog a Spanish name seemed appropriate. I wanted to call him Chapo like the infamous El Chapo which means “Shorty”, an age old nickname of mine – given my last name – and an obviously cute name for a small dog. Samantha wasn’t about to have our dog named after any celebrity let alone one known for….… well you know.  After Pepe, Luna and countless other Spanish names the one we liked the best was Hefe or Jefe as in “El Jefe” which means “The Boss”. I’ve always been one for irony and somehow a 15 pound dog with a big cute grin on his face all the time being named Boss seemed perfect. We call him Hefe for our gringo friends back home so they don’t try referring to him as “Jeffey”. Hefe is awesome, he doesn’t bite, chew, or dig and he only barks when people come to the door. How someone gave him up we’ll never understand.

Our cute little Hefe came with no history about where he’d been before. The only thing the Humane Society knew was he was sitting at their front door. After having Hefe for 6 months, we noticed he doesn’t wander off – still doesn’t.  Somehow someone just dropped him off there at the Humane Society. When those reddish tips of Hefe’s fur disappeared with his first haircut, we got to thinking he had never been groomed and spent most, if not all, of his time outside taking in a lot of sun to turn that black fur reddish brown. We think he’d been hit or swatted. He hates brooms and is fearful of the pool guy.  He is deathly afraid of those fly zappers that look like tennis rackets and we think someone swatted him with one of those. Have you ever accidentally zapped yourself with one of those things – ouch!!

So six years on and we have had the greatest time with Hefe. He’s not the same scared little puppy he was when he first came home. We’re convinced he was less than a year old, more like 6 months. He’s grew some more in the first year with us putting on a healthy 7 pounds. Over time he became much friendlier with people especially the ladies. 

Adopting Our Second Mexican Dog

Ultimately Samantha had concerns about Hefe being an only dog and she went looking for a buddy we could adopt for him.  This led her to Casa Sheila, a dog rescue in San Jose del Cabo.  I found out about the plan when she picked me up at the airport on a Saturday morning and said we needed to stop in San Jose to look at a dog buddy for Hefe.  When we met our newest member of the family his name was Bob Marley.  He was a very chill dog who had some really long matted hair like dreadlocks when he was found.  I guess the name fit.  He’d spent close to two years wandering around the arroyo by the SJD airport.  With not much in the way of food he chewed on a lot of rocks and is missing his bottom front teeth as a result.  When he sleeps his tongue pokes out.
Our boy Solly when he was found in the arroyo by the SJD airport
Solly at Casa Shiela before haurcut
We took him home and ran through our list of names in the car.  We settled on Sol which means Sun in Spanish – like the beer of the same name.  He seemed bright and happy to us like a ray of sunshine.  Had we waited until we got home and fed him, we might have named him Hoover because he can vacuum up the food.
Sol was a part of our family in no time.  He was trepidatious for a while taking behavioural queues from Hefe.   It took him a whole year to figure out how to drink water out of the jacuzzi.   Over time he settled in and his true personality came out.  

Over time we also gave him the full name of Sol Einstein Wogglesworth.  He goes by many names including:  Sol E. (or Solly), Woggs, Woggy, Woggers and Mr. Wogglesworth to name a few.

Hefe’s name is what it is – like Cher – but he’s got many nicknames including “The Hef”.

We did Solly’s DNA as well and he’s a mostly poodle.  Some 50% poodle, 25% Chihuahua, 12.5% bad ass Staffordshire Bull Terrier and another 12.5% of misc. mixed breed.  Sometimes people think he’s fat but it’s the bad ass bull terrier in him that gives him a big ribcage and meaty hind quarter. 

Again, like all rescue dogs you don’t get a history or a birthdate.  Near as we know Solly was likely 3-4 years old when he was rescued which makes him 8-9 today.  He’s had some thyroid and back problems which medication has really helped.  When we first got him he wasn’t much into running and couldn’t really jump at all.   Thanks to the meds and an excellent diet he runs and plays like a much younger dog and has regular plays with Hefe.  Hefe is much faster so Solly has been forced to think more about how he’s gonna catch him and be stealthy.

Solly’s Chihuahua side has come out over time and he’s become a big talker when he gets impatient and will let you know when he’s looking for food or wants you to hurry up and get on with the walk.  His love of food hasn’t changed.  We call him “Foodini” because he makes food disappear.  Its really his only trick.  He’s also rubbed off on Hefe and they conspire together to get snack time or dinner time happening.  As a pair we often refer to them as “Dos Moochachos”.

Hefe and Solly are Dos Perros Choyero (two Baja native dogs) and the best of friends.  They enjoy getting out around Los Cabos with their folks.  They have their own Facebook pages and post their adventures from time to time.

Check them out on Facebook:  @eljefedelcabo and @sollywog

Jefe & Solly in PEI Canada

Always together Hefe and Solly are well travelled having been to Canada and several US airports many times now.  This photo was taken at a cabin in Prince Edward Island, Canada in September 2021.

Now for the things we didn’t expect about having a dog in Cabo!

Cabo Is Super Dog Friendly

We were very much surprised how dog friendly Cabo is! Almost any restaurant will let you have your dog in their outdoor patio. Now Hefe and Solly are smaller beasts so this may not always be the case but if your dog can chill, hangout and be relatively quiet then you’ll be fine even if they’re a big dog. We take Hefe and Solly everywhere. Hefe and Solly are well known in places in Cabo like the Tiki Bar, Panache, Solomon’s Landing and the District.  The list of dog friendly restaurants and bars is much longer than you might think and we have a big list included on one of our blog pages – Cabo’s Dog Friendly Restaurants and Bars.

Cabo Beaches Are Dog Friendly

We have found a number of very nice beaches that are dog friendly. Only the ones with the “no dogs” sign are the unfriendly ones: Palmilla, Santa Maria, Chileno to name some. The list of dog friendly beaches is longer than you might think and we have included the list one of our blog pages – Cabo’s Dog Friendly Beaches.

Cabo Vets Are Friendly And Inexpensive

Wow! We have been so happily surprised by the health care for Hefe and Solly. Vets in Cabo are very reasonably priced. So much so that folks should be considering medical tourism for their dogs. We love the team at the Cabo Pet Hospital and they love Hefe and Solly.

Cabo Dog Groomers Are Excellent And Inexpensive

We have been also happily surprised by the grooming for our boys. Groomers in Cabo are very reasonably priced. It’s easy for Hefe and Solly to stay stylin’ and profilin’ (as Ric Flair would say). Hefe and Solly have had great dog-scaping experiences at Le Wa Wa Dog Grooming.

Having dogs in Cabo is awesome and so much fun. Beach days are more fun, eating out is more fun, going just about anywhere with our dogs is more fun in Cabo.


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