The dog was alone on a tropical island and in rough shape. She was starved, full of ticks, her ear was cut open, and vultures followed her around. It is unlikely that she would have survived much longer. Her health was terrible and the island she was on would disappear with the seasonal rise of the Amazon. It was hours by boat to the nearest human settlement, and there was little to feed them on the island.
She was rescued by an Irish tourist named David Foster who was on a tour that stopped on the island for lunch. When the dog ran to the people on the boat, they didn’t immediately recognize her as a dog because she was so emaciated. Her zealous approach suggests that she was very excited to see people, and perhaps realized that a godsend had come upon her.
Foster asked the captain and the other passengers for permission to bring the dog on board and named her Negrita. He then looked after her for two weeks until the boat reached a ward with a veterinarian to treat her. His plan was to take her to Ireland, but he knew he had to arrange a temporary home for her while he took care of all the paperwork associated with international dog relocations. He hoped it would only take a couple of weeks, but it took five months to clear her medically and deal with the red tape.
When Negrita finally got to Ireland she was so much healthier that Foster barely recognized her. He says without the prominent, torn part of her ear, he would hardly have believed it was the same dog he found in such pathetic shape months ago. Perhaps inspired by his experience rescuing a dog from around the world, Foster founded Play For Strays, an organization that provides toys and positive enrichment to animal rescue centers around the world. The scope of his friendliness to animals goes well beyond his loving rescue of a single dog.