Navidad is the community-given name of a large white and tan dog that was dumped on the streets of Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico on Christmas Day. He was known around our community for being lost, scared, untrusting to the point of being protective. The rumors of him being from an abusive home circulated as quickly as the information about him being dumped in the plaza and alone.
Many members of the community immediately became concerned once they saw this timid and shy little guy hiding in the park and crying out for his parents. We do not know who abandoned him ther (with no collar or tags), or why, but we do know he was just 3 years-old, was healthy, had already been neutered, and seemingly was from a responsible home.
Navidad, or "Navi" as he came to be called, started going through behavior cycles once he started receiving a lot of local attention. Navi would show that he really wanted to be pet and cared for, but could not bring himself to be touched. People would put out food, or try make contact with him, but he was just too traumatized. We were all excited to see Navi finally following around people or hearing the reports of him approaching large groups of tourists. Finally Navi was coming around.
Then he was gone.
Only 3 months or so into his new life in the streets of Viejo San Juan, Navidad was struck by a car. Again, he was so traumatized he could not be approached by any humans, but he was visibly in pain. He retreated into the spaces within the wall around El Morro, and hid for months. Once he was feeling better, Navi started to come out and play with groups of local dogs that would roam the streets during the day. He could be seen running around and playing, as happy as could be around other dogs, but even more untrusting around humans.
Almost incomprehensibly, Navidad eventually tried a third time to reach out to humans. One man who took a particular interest in him would walk with him to El Morro, and they would sit on the grass and share a snack of deli meat, cheese, or fruit. Not once did Navi let his human friend touch him, but they had a mutual understanding and a great new friendship. Also Navidad had pulled the heartstrings of the employees of the Bakllajar building, that was connected to the plaza Navi was living in. Security guards, maintenance workers, and almost everyone who entered and exited the building cared very much for Navidad, and hoped he would have a better life.
One Sunday Navidad approached a group of tourists. The parents decided it was a good idea for their children to play with Navi, and the children chased him, screaming and running around. Navidad was frightened, but still remained and tried to be social. With no supervision, the children continued to try to play with Navidad, and eventuallyt he snapped at one of the children. Although he did not physically touch the child, or any of the family members, and there was no bite, mark, or blood, the father went to the police saying that his family was brutally attacked, and demanded that Navidad was to be put down immediately. Obviously our community sprung into action with constant visits and calls to the local municipal shelter once he was caught. Navidad was released once he was vaccinated and it was revealed he had already been neutered.
Now we know that Navi is deaf in both ears (over 80%), and we realize how hard this journey has been for him. He is in a great foster, but two years have gone by, looking for that special home for a special needs pup. If you are interested in helping Navi get adopted, please contact Walkstar Dog Walking!