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  • Writer's pictureAaron Bartlett

Race to Living on Dog Land! Keep building!

Whoa, hey everybody! Time sure has been flying by. As I've been less and less actively writing emails and posting on social media, I’m in the dirt and sawdust more and more building with my hands in the day. I must say, it's a pleasant switch-up from the very active online work I've had to do to launch Perros Libres plan to the world. Now, it's become physical. We are starting to sleep on the land (camping), work on the land daily, and most importantly, teach the dogs to sleep there. Our contract has not yet begun, however we are preparing and acclimating the animals to be here for the real move.

Me and Athena sitting in front of our roofed patio on the Dog Land.

We are preparing to move onto the Dog Land.

There is no specifically correct order for what we have to do to accomplish our goal next. Really, there never has been. Life is an improvisation. This creation of our organization, the rescuing of our first street dogs, to the roughly 30 we have today, and lastly building of the Sanctuary, has been a largely improvised experience. I came into this idea with just home dog experience to raising large amounts of pack animals, which domesticated U.S. dogs I had growing up couldn’t hold a candle to. I had no team, a solo journeyman, to learn everything I know now on the go, on the job, and in Guatemala no less. However we’re here, and we’re alive, and we’ve got more healthy dogs than we’ve ever had.

Most of our new puppies all cuddling up together around an afternoon nap time. Too many to name.


Our first priority is our Pack.

When you have 30 dogs at home, and are simultaneously running a non-profit organization, even if you have other tasks that beg to be done, you have to make sure your babies are okay. Their food, their walks, their needs, and their health have always come first at Perros Libres. They always will. However some of the street dogs in greater Tzununa suffer still. If we are short handed, we can’t get out to get to all the street dogs not on our Sanctuary that we want to feed. You’ve got to prioritize, and there are always many that need help. We are living in a world here, where normal animal care is not the norm. That’s why you see all these so called street dogs. They actually have owners, who just do not know, nor take the time or energy, to give them the love and attention they need to be healthy and thrive. Outside of our Sanctuary, all the street dogs are still not thriving.

However, that's why we are here! We've got a plan!

Me happily bringing in the delivered dinner for the day. Notice how attentive they are!


The Big Plan: Move Onto The Dog Sanctuary!

Before and afters of spaces we've built on:

Left/Before: Entry to Dog Land. Right/After: Dog Patio with furniture built!


Furniture built, all hand-made and painted by me & volunteers :)

Left: Furniture built unpainted or varnished. / Right: Painted furniture with Nordic designs.


Eco-bathroom in progress!

From Banana trees to an outdoor eco-toilet! (Not done yet~)

Still gotta dig a hole and create the space for the "waste", but structurally sound!


New door for easy access!

Left: Empty Space where fence used to be. / Right: Guatemala style bamboo door!


We're curing dogs of cancer! TVT, to be specific.

Here's a happy story for ya'll. We were given a dog named Lago by a wonderful girl named Sarah Porscheta who I had never met before, but has a very beautiful and active Instagram account. Check her out! She rescued Lago, took him to the vet, and found out he had TVT, which is a venereal disease contracted sexually. She asked us to take care of him, and get him his treatments, while she was flying out of the country. She immediately funded his month-long treatment, and paid for a foster so we could keep him sequestered from our animals so they did not also contract TVT. 6 weeks later, as of just a few days ago, Lago is cancer-free!

Simple injections of chemotherapy once a week for 4 weeks and he is verifiably cancer-free! We are so happy for Lago, and this is definitely a great success story for us. Lago now lives with his foster family who liked him so much, they took him in. However, if a foreign family wanted him, they would happily give him up I'm sure: it was a job for them, but now he doesn't want to leave their house! Things just worked out this way, and we're glad for it. Here's some pictures of Lago below. (I wish I had more pictures of him!)

Lago not looking so happy at the vet 😂! But this was his final treatment of chemo.


Do the dogs ever end??

There are now 2 other dogs besides Lago who need serious medical attention in our care. One of them we posted the other day, nicknamed "Negrita" (pictured below), who was found on the streets of San Marcos with a HUGE tumor in her feminine area. We have taken responsibility of her, but she is currently under long-term vet care until we can find her a foster nearby.

We also need to raise money for her chemotherapy, but we got her to the vet and verified what needs to be done. We don't have an exact estimation of cost, but Lago's total expenses for all things included (except food) was about $350 US total on our expenses. $250 covered the treatment, and $100 covered his foster care for 6 weeks. We did however receive all funding for this from our donators team specifically for Lago, but Negrita does not have such well-endowed friends. We are her helpers now, and hopefully we can raise whatever funds are needed for her treatment. This is hard to do when we are trying to build and care for our other 30 dogs! However, we have always been able to meet every fundraising goal for dogs since we've began. We are paying daily for her care, and want to get this treatment started! Let's help Negrita too!

For easy access, here is the link to our PayPal account if you are able to help us and Negrita at this time. Please leave a note "For Negrita" in donate section so we can tally this specifically for her chemotherapy.


End of our update for today!

It has been a long time and there are so many things to fill you guys in on. Much is moving in Dog Land. However, the sun is setting, and I hope this email/blog post finds you guys well. We are still trucking along! Give us a follow on Instagram if you haven't yet, and please share with your friends! We still have a LOT of work to do, and need your guys help to get it done!

Lastly, I plan to be updating via email a bit more frequently lately. I've been a bit slacking in this department, but grounded in the real-life work. However I wish to share with you all how much is getting done and accelerate this building we are ready to do. Have a great evening, and libertad por los perros!

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1 Comment

Geri Danton-Goetzinger
Geri Danton-Goetzinger
Apr 18, 2022

Thank you for the wonderful update. Great work you are doing Aaron. Things are really coming together “Your Dream” is happening. Bless you for all your doing to the Dogs.

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