After ten months in the making, Nikko, the stray dog from Cartagena, Colombia, gets his dream come true. He went from homeless, unwanted and malnourished, to loved and spoiled, but on the road to his American dream, the once stray dog fought off, heartworm, Lyme disease and cancer.
On October 6, 2014, after 19 hours traveling and a few plane changes, Nikko arrived to Arizona with his new and forever mom Vanda Hale.
On Friday, Oct. 3, Hale embarked on her final trip to Colombia to pick up her beloved rescue dog. There, Nikko and his foster family, the Marrugos waited for the American tourist, who just ten months before, met the dog as a skinny stray, fell in love with him, and promised to bring him home.
“I’m in route to Cartagena, to bring home the little ragamuffin homeless street dog I met on vacation on 12/20/13,” announced Hale last Friday. “The adventure is finally becoming a reality.”
This time, the trip to the South American country was different. Hale knew Nikko was no longer sick and he would be coming home with her.
The American rescuer planned to meet Nikko’s foster family for dinner and then reunite with her dog. The two of them would spend two nights in a spa hotel where dogs are welcomed and would then travel back to the United States.
Hale and Nikko enjoyed their time in the historic city, walking the picturesque streets and getting reacquainted with one another. On Sunday night, everything was in place to travel to Arizona.
“We are at the airport in Cartagena, Colombia, and Nikko is in his kennel getting ready for this first flight,” Hale informed Life with Dogs and her close friends. “The flight has been delayed but we still have enough time for the first connection in Bogota to Dallas so far. Keeping my fingers crossed!”
Nineteen hours later Hale sent the message we were all waiting for.
“Little boy Nikko has arrived to lovely Arizona! It was stressful changing planes between delays and waiting for Nikko at the end of each flight so he could be re-checked in. He was so happy to arrive and be on his way to his forever home!”
Once in Arizona, the Colombian dog got ready to meet his fur-siblings, Teddy and Georgie-Girl, two Great Pyrenees dogs. He is now ready to start his knew life.
“Both Teddy & Georgie wanted to play with Nikko once we got home,” said Hale. “However their size may have been a little too much for Nikko as he went into defensive mode and came out with a mouthful of dog fur. The good news is Teddy and Georgie-Girl still wanted to play with him. I think in a couple of days they will be racing around the yard and not one wild animal will step foot into it.”
We’re so excited to learn that after ten months of struggles, Nikko, who is believed to be just three-years-old, has finally arrived at his forever loving home. We are sure that in no time he will be playing with his fur-siblings and the pain of his lonely past will just be a remote memory.
Welcome home Nikko!