Life with a Dog

Our dog Avionetta has been with us for a week now and it’s going well. Her story is HERE. She seems to think she belongs here and we are her family. She is generally quiet but if someone walks down our street, or even worse is in one of the yards next door, she barks her head off.  My neighbor Haydee was here last Wednesday and was introduced to the dog and all was calm. Yesterday our friend Eduardo stopped by, opened the gate and walked in as he usually does, and Avionetta barked her head off, raised her hackles, and showed her teeth! She didn’t calm down until she saw I greeted him as a friend. Today, Haydee came over, opened the gate and walked into the house and Avionetta didn’t make a peep. Apparently if you are introduced as a friend one time, she will remember you.

Avionetta still likes to sleep under the car until the rain comes, and then she sleeps in the corner of the terrace. She was very timid about going into the house for the first few days, but now if we are inside she will venture in and even lie down in the living room. A kind friend donated a dog bed for her but so far, she is very timid about approaching it. Maybe when she gets more used to seeing it that will go better.

I have a feeling she was a house dog at some point in her life. When there is activity in the kitchen she watches us very closely like she knows that is where food comes from. She is very polite, takes treats very gently from our hands, and seems to understand immediately that a towel on the floor is her place to lie down.  I know the guys at Feduro kept her well fed and appreciated her company, but the ones I asked said they had never touched her. They were surprised that she is so affectionate with us because she usually barks at everyone she doesn’t know and growls at people who come too close. She sure loves to be petted by us though, and will put her nose in our hands if she doesn’t think she had enough.

The main problem we have had is keeping her in the yard. She ran off one day and explored the neighborhood within a block or so, but came back in a little while when I called her. She wasn’t happy to see she was on the wrong side of the gate though and I closed it before she could go back out. Another time I had her on a leash and got too close to the gate as we were bringing the car back in, and she managed to slip her collar and run. Thankfully though I was by the gate and managed to catch her, but barely. I know she is used to running free and I think she would come back, but I’d rather not worry about her or the other neighborhood dogs. The neighbor dog that greeted her at the gate with much tail wagging, he got through the fence today and into our yard and it was quite the commotion! She did NOT want him in the yard. That bit of screen has been reinforced so hopefully there won’t be a repeat of that.

But, all in all it’s going very well and she is an excellent dog. Just be careful if you don’t know her though, and call me from outside the gate to come and introduce you and let you in! I don’t want any of my friends bruised and battered by a dog who takes her job very seriously.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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16 Responses to Life with a Dog

  1. Carole says:

    We have 4 dogs we rescued, they all have there own personalities. If someone comes near the house they bark, I think they are protecting us. Same goes when someone gets too close. NIce for company, always had a dog in the house.Two medium size and two smaller breed, the medium dog has a playmate as well as the small dog.


  2. chugwa says:

    Great blog Kris, I love animals more than people & they don’t stab you in the back, if they like you they are always your friend no matter what you do. I am looking forward to meeting Avionetta when we get back in August.


  3. She looks some like our rescue we got in December through the SPCA here in Arizona. Avionetta sounds like she took the job of protector at her last residence. That is wonderful that, once introduced, she remembers and won’t bark. Ours is still very fearful, even though she remembers them.


    • There seem to be two kinds of dogs here. People have little dogs, usually chihuahuas in the house, and bigger dogs outside. Those are for protection and though well cared for, they are treated more like livestock than companions. Avionetta could well have been the latter. I’m happy though that she has taken on this job for us and does it very well.


  4. Hi Kris — I’m amazed at the difference (improved health and vitality) that I see in these photos, compared with the ones you posted earlier! Avionetta is adjusting to her new life rapidly and happily, as far as I can tell. I have heard (and experienced) that each dog has a special “work” assignment that they take on when in the companionship of humans. Often, this “work” is the protector of the person and their home. Other times, they will provide comic relief, or emotional support — all kinds of “jobs” for dogs (and cats too.)
    I am not surprised that this new friend of yours has become your protector. Nor am I surprised that she only needs one introduction to one of your human friends in order to accept them as part of the benevolent circle.
    There is always an adjustment period when opening your heart and home to an animal companion. The individual personality traits and preferences have to be learned and accommodated on both sides. And she brings with her all the patterns of behavior she learned with her first situation — many that you do not have first-hand knowledge of but are learning as you go.
    I really appreciate that you took her in and are making sure she has a good and comfortable life from here on. She must have accrued some good karma to merit your adoption. Perhaps you had your own good karma to attract Avionetta into your lives as well.Thanks for sharing this love story with all of us. Blessings to you all, Alia


    • Really? I wonder if the last pictures were shortly after arrival and these are when she was very relaxed. She’s more settled and comfortable now. It has helped that we have known each other for well over a year. I think her jobs will be protection and affection. Right now she is under the car with a view of the street, and one ear went up because the neighbor dog barked. Before she was wagging her tail and running in circles because she was so happy that we finally got up 😀

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  5. Catherine Virgenock says:

    Hi Kris … what a smart dog, she is doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing. I am in Boquete rigjt now, and I am going to drive to David today. If you might have time to join me for lunch that would be great … I’ve been to a few stores etc and I can figure out the rest of the city myself. I did download WhatsApp and I have internet here in Boquete. I don’t have local phone service so I guess you would have to email me, I won’t be leaving for an hour or so. If not a good day or you don’t check blog then maybe next time, I’ve been changing plans depending on time and weather. Why don’t the days go by this fast when I am at work?


    • Oh shoot, I was off doing other things after checking my mail during breakfast. How long are you in Boquete? My husband’s band will be at the Boquete Brewery on Thursday the 22nd. They start at 7PM so if you are around, come by a bit before they get going so we can hear each other talk 😉


      • Catherine Virgenock says:

        Only until Sat but I have been having a bad phone problem all morning … Samsungs I think, it just.keeps locking up so I’m turning it OFF after wasting most of the day already. Keep sending the info blogs, so helpful to all of us. I wish I had more time here.


  6. Dogs are such crazy creatures. Our dog Riley is deathly afraid of EVERYONE but yet barks and protects us and his property. When people come over he barks but if you try to get close to pet him he’ll tuck his tail and pee everywhere! He’s such a silly boy.


  7. So nice to keep up with Avionetta’s story, Kris. She obviously takes pride in her job!


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