Ramblings From The Ranch – January 2024

Welcome to the Puppy Casita!

When Jack Talerico moved to Ajijic, he wanted a dog. His husband, Justo Ramirez, was still in California selling their former home and Jack needed some company. He contacted Syd Sullins at The Ranch and the rest is history.

Now when you visit Jack and Justo’s home, you might hear one of them say, “And this is the puppy casita.” The pair turned a storage building into a foster dog area. They installed a concrete floor with a drain and put chain-link fencing in the front. The area surrounding this “casita” was formerly gravel, but they felt that was not suitable for their foster dogs. Now it’s a lovely fenced, landscaped play yard.

At first, Jack considered himself a “foster fail,” when, as a Ranch volunteer, he always found an excuse why his foster dog couldn’t be adopted. Yep, now the dog is a permanent resident. Jack and Justo currently have three rescue dogs, two from The Ranch.

“We love dogs and we feel obligated to help. We have the space and the time to devote to the puppies,” Justo said.

Over the past five years, the couple has fostered more than 100 puppies. When tiny puppies (with or without their mama) are abandoned, they can’t safely live at The Ranch since they haven’t had vaccines and they need dedicated attention. Justo and Jack have taken three to four litters of puppies per year into their special “puppy casita.”

“It’s mostly fun,” Jack said. “Puppies have a natural attraction to humans, even from the very young age of three or four weeks. I really enjoy watching their little personalities develop.” 

Unfortunately, sometimes a litter is infected with distemper or parvo and the couple has seen their share of pups succumb to these diseases. But they’ve saved many more than they’ve lost, including a greyhound mama and her litter. At first it seemed all of them would be lost, but with daily shots and care, the mom and five of her seven pups survived.

“It takes a lot of people’s efforts to rescue a dog and send it up North,” Justo said. “We are glad we can be a part of it. I’ve even gone to Oregon to visit a former foster pup. I love seeing the dogs we have rescued.” Justo, a realtor, has also donated a portion of his commissions to The Ranch.

“When people come to visit, they comment on our lovely garden,” Jack said. “But our garden is more than flowers, it’s also social responsibility.”

Recently, Justo and Jack graciously opened their property to the “Behind the Walls” home tour and invited some Ranch dogs to be present to meet potential adopters. One of the dogs was a gorgeous Malinois mix Wylma. She and her sisters had been fostered in the puppy casita and she was thrilled to be back for a visit.

Jack and Justo encourage everyone to foster. Can you help The Ranch by fostering? We always have a need, whether it’s for a litter of tiny puppies, a scared senior dog, or a pup recovering from a surgery. You can be a part of the team that takes an abandoned dog and turns them into a loved companion.

We also need dog walking volunteers, flight angels, and donations!  You can find out more on our Facebook page or at www.theranchchapala.com. Or email us at adoptaranchdog@outlook.com.


For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Christina Bennett
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