Our mission is to provide a home to animals that have been adandoned or abused, to show them what it is to live in a home where they are loved.

Green Wolf and One Hand

Green Wolf Costa Rica joined forces with One hand on a project to help us build dog houses in a mind blowing experience for all of us leaving us with 17 exhausted dogs and 4 completed dog houses, not to mention contentment and smiles on our faces.

To be honest I had no idea what to expect. I was told there would be a group of people who'd like to come and help and I was asked what I needed help with. I listed a million things. I was told there was going to be an inspection and as it came closer to the inspection it was clear what my immediate need was - I needed dog houses and a fence.

I wasn't there for the inspection, I was out turning the wheels to make some money for this crazy project, but I was told by Lucas and Flor that 3 girls came, they were there for less than an hour and it was all over. One by one I started getting messages from the members of Green Wolf. Ellian, the founder; Sebastian, the architecture student and Tatiana who was trying to pull it all together.

Jordan was the first to arrive. Luis was busy going through all of the messages that Sebastian and I had been exchanging the night before. I was out counting pallets, measuring sheets of zinc and checking off items on the list, Sebastian was drawing up blueprints. And then they descended upon us, what seemed like hundreds of people, kids, bags of dog food, a wad of cash was shoved into my hand for even more dog food.

Ellian called the official pow-wow and I should have expected that I was going to be asked to say something but I figured I was just going to be doing my normal routine. I was wearing my she-hulk t-shirt, garden shorts and hadn't even bothered to put on shoes. Now I am here in front of a bunch of people asked to say something. I can talk, I talk a lot. Even in Spanish. If people weren't so polite I'd be told to shut up at least 10 times a day. I can do this. So, I do!

Ellian splits the group between constructors and dog walkers and sends me off to do the dog walking. All dogs on leads and we are suddenly 17 very excited dogs and close to 30 people, including kids, walking down the street. Millie is with a little kid and she is behaving like a wild dog and has to be given to an adult. The only one that didn't come was Paz. Paz needed some time to figure out what was going on. Clara didn't bite or attack anyone and none of the dogs got into any fights with their main street rivals.

The dog walk was relatively short, it was already around 9:30/10am and it was hot, the dogs calmed down quickly and came to rest under a coffee tree. We all headed back and the dog walkers positioned themselves in the cool of the balcony helping to fill dog water bowls and give all the mutts hugs and lots of attention.

Refreshments! The guys working on the kennels were already in full swing and their water bottles had already run dry, I mixed up 10 litres of juice which the dog walkers helped carry down to the constructors and that evaporated. Carolina was my life saver and went off and bought another 12 litres of iced tea and we were back in business.

The construction of the kennels was almost done and we suddenly had volunteers to wash dogs. The only dog that got washed was Fred, he felt betrayed, but clean! Clara was next, she wagged her tail but within 3 seconds she smelled a rat and tried to bite. Clara went back to being alone with Lucas and the fun went on.

Then they started on the fence. The idea was to cut the 6 metre long poles into 2 metre sections and plant them every metre. Digging holes, mixing cement, pulling out nails, unscrewing bolts and in no time we had 20 poles setting in cement.

There were so many people, I was mind blown by the sheer quantity, I was impressed with the effectiveness with which they worked, I was honoured that they went out of their way to make the kennels the way I wanted them, taking advantage of the kill and actually mounting a kennel on the hill like a treehouse. I didn't catch very many names, I wish I had the time to do that and to extend my gratitude to them. Ellian asked me at some stage - How do you feel? He must have known that this was probably very overwhelming, so many people with such good positive attitudes sacrificing their Sunday to help me out. And as I stood there, probably frozen, not sure what to do or where to go and look, I heard one of the volunteers say - This is my favourite volunteer event so far.

Sure, these people are helping me. That's what it looks like on the surface. But in fact they are working WITH me to deal with a social problem that we have in Costa Rica, the issue of abandoned and abused animals. With their help I can continue to help the animals in my care, with their help I can extend the facilities and open my doors to even more animals, with their help and the help of many others who have made small contributions I am able to find good homes or provide a home for the animals who cannot find a home.

They have promised to be back, they say they have plans to paint the houses and they have pledged their assistance in the future.

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