Imagine tropical warmth and verdant jungles. Imagine colourful wildlife and hiking trails to waterfalls. Imagine the green expanses of Costa Rica’s rolling hills – and now imagine those hills covered in 900 buoyant, blissed-out dogs.
Territorio De Zaguates (which means Land of the Strays) is a Costa Rican park where dogs rule. It’s a privately funded, volunteer-run, no-kill shelter which takes care of 900 stray dogs that roam free on the expansive grounds instead of being cooped up in cages.
The shelter is open to the public so visitors can go and spend time with the dogs – walking them, throwing sticks for them, or just laying on the ground beneath and between them, in a state of irreproachable ecstasy.
There are indoor facilities like beds, feeding zones and washing stations, plus regular visits from vets.
Each dog at the park is up for adoption, but this can be a difficult task in a country that values pure breeds. To battle this, the shelter gives each of the mixed breed dogs a unique name: there’s a Fire-Tailed Border Cocker, a Chubby-Tailed German Dobernauzer and an Alaskan Collie Fluffyterrier. And yes, there are puppies too.
So, it’s probably time to book that trip to Costa Rica you’ve always considered, right?