|Frances and Eleanor visiting the|
Baja Dogs La Paz site.
“Who do these dogs belong to?”“Where do they live?”
Our answers didn’t satisfy Frances.Eleanor quickly and matter-of-factly repeated our answers, embellishing in a bid to demonstrate her worldliness. “Frances, these dogs don’t have a home, they live on the street—and you don’t touch them because they might have a disease or bite you, or they might think you’re gonna give them food—that’s teasing.”
Frances was not settled:“Who feeds them?”
“What do they eat?”“Who pets them?”
She got it right away, but she wasn’t content with the reality. She told us she wanted to help all of the dogs without a home, to take them back to the boat and feed them and love them. We explained why this wasn’t feasible. Eleanor made sure it was clear, “Frances, you can’t do that. We don’t have room on the boat for a bunch of dogs.”The explanation didn’t satisfy Frances. “I want to help the dogs,” she begged. Windy and I nodded, expecting this desire to fade, to be replaced by the next urgent thing on her five-year-old mind.
|Zada from Eyoni visiting|
on trip #2. All the girls
took turns holding puppies.
It is a wonder all of the
respective boats are
still dog free.
But her interest and concern persisted. It was the first thing she thought about in the morning and the last thing she asked about at night. Helping the dogs became an obsession that eclipsed her usual interests and diversions.I was impressed by her dedication and tenacity. I finally suggested she help the people who were already helping the dogs, an organization called Baja Dogs La Paz. Frances liked the idea. Windy suggested she visit the Baja Dogs La Paz location to learn more about what they were doing for the dogs and to learn how she could help. Frances, Windy, and Eleanor took a trip out to El Centenario—on the outskirts of La Paz—to visit and learn.
After seeing this shelter, Frances’s desire to help grew. She suggested that she organize a bake sale, to raise money for Baja Dogs La Paz. It didn’t take any encouragement from us for her to take this idea and run with it. She spent her time thinking of what she could make to sell, how much she should charge, how big her sign should be. She thought about all of the facets and became our 5-year-old project manager. She asked Windy to teach her to make dog biscuits and brownies to sell. She enrolled Eleanor and her friends on Wondertime and Eyoni to help. She set a date to sell baked goods at Club Cruceros in Marina de La Paz.On Saturday, February 18, Frances and Eleanor (8) from Del Viento, Zada (6) from Eyoni, and Leah (6) and Holly (3) from Wondertime got up early and with their parents’ help, hauled their goods and signs up to the marina parking lot to accept donations. They called their effort, Pesos for Pets.
The dozens of brownies, dog biscuits, pumpkin muffins, and doughnuts were snatched up quickly by hungry sailors and passersby. The girls promoted their effort with Baja Dogs La Paz fliers and answered questions from curious adults. They watched excitedly as the coins and bills in their donation jar multiplied.In just a couple hours, their goods were gone and they’d raised over 1,500 pesos. Frances was overjoyed. A couple days later, she and her friends piled into a pick-up and headed out to Baja Dogs La Paz and presented the funds they’d raised.
She wants to do it all again soon, to raise more money.--MR
|Frances posing on the day of the bake sale she spearheaded. Her Pesos|
for Pets sign is the green one. Zada contributed the Doughnuts for
|Eleanor, Zada, Frances, and Leah pose with Dhorea and Mario, the folks who run|
Baja Dogs La Paz. Here Zada and Frances clutch the 1,500
pesos the girls raised and are about to present.
|Frances also celebrated her sixth birthday|
this month. Fortunately, the cake I made her
tasted better than it appeared.
|Zada and Frances share a birthday (Zada a year older). Here aboard|
Eyoni, Zada graciously shared her celebration with Frances.
|Happy Birthday my kind-hearted little|
organizer. You're a neat little person.