The story of a man who left his home for his dogs

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Álvaro Quevedo Moreno is a 50 year old dog trainer living in coastal city of Barranquilla. After 30 years of training dogs, he knows how to lay down the rules and have the dogs follow them. However, there was one rule he couldn’t bare to follow himself, the one that allowed no more than one dog per apartment in the building where he lived. When one dog turned into five and the landlady got wind of it, he was given an ultimatum, either get rid of all but one or face a fine which he couldn’t pay. For Álvaro, it wasn’t even a choice. It would be like leaving his kids.

For the last 45 days, he and his dogs, Kira, Hotsu, Lía and Clay (the fifth, Sila, was hit by a car near the park) can be found in the Villa Tívoli park, just four blocks from ‘Chili’, the complex he used to share with his mother and his dogs. Every morning at 4AM, he awakes, cleans up the area where he sleeps and leaves to go to work. At noon, he returns to feed his ‘kids’, visits his mother where he eats and changes clothes and returns to the park by 3PM to be with his dogs.

For those who live near or frequent the park, Álvaro is seen as something of an oddity as he made a choice not many would make in a day and age when dogs when no longer wanted, are thrown out on the street. Perhaps his real job lies not only in training the dogs he works with but in teaching their owners how to really care for them.

El Tiempo (story paraphrased and translated)

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