This story has been narrated by Dan Boyce on his Facebook. With your permission we wanted to publish it on our facebook and our page.
Dan was with us at the Trek Rio Verde in December and he lived this experience that we thought was very beautiful.
Note: Only the title has been posted by me
¡Here it is.!
Easily one of the most wonderful stories from #AventuraDeColombia17 was that of Carlos the dog. A stray from the tiny Colombian village of San Francisco, he just started following us into the jungle for our three-day off-road trek.
It was inexplicable. We hadn’t fed or even touched him, but when Kelly, Caitlin, Diana and I climbed into the bed of a pickup to head up a rough dirt road to the start of the trek, he ran after us. For miles, we’d drive around a corner and then a few minutes later he would come loping back into view. We didn’t want a stray following us into the jungle. We yelled at him. We threw rocks at him. I even tried to throw him into a river, but slipped and ended up falling in myself.
He wouldn’t go away, and followed us our entire three-day trek through the mountains. We eventually named him Carlos (or Carlitos, or Charlie, he was kind of all of them). We started feeding him by the end of the first day. He was kind, patient and loving. He tried to protect us from other dogs and slept at our feet. He started worriedly barking when we separated too much on the trail. I carried him across a bamboo bridge he couldn’t manage.
We all, well maybe not Elder, became quite attached to him. But we were certain this story couldn’t have a happy ending. None of us could take him when the trip ended and I dreaded the moment we’d have to inevitably abandon him. We asked every villager we stayed with and most we passed along the way if they could take him. None would.
But, on the last day, as we were climbing our last mountain, we were passed by a team of young men running a makeshift stretcher up to the top. An old woman from the nearby valley was very sick (we guessed appendicitis) and needed to be taken to the high mountain pass where a vehicle could drive her to a hospital. One of those young men said he could adopt Carlos and bring him back to his home in the valley.
The gals cried tears of joy, I might have too but was ill myself with some kind of food poisoning (that’s a whole other story.)
The boy put a twine leash around the dog’s neck and as they were turning to leave, Carlos walked up and looked at me. I was reading way too much into it, but it felt like he knew it was goodbye. It might as well have been a mid-90s Disney movie.
We’re hoping Diana will see Carlos again someday, leading some future trek. We’re hoping she’ll see fewer of his ribs.