When Jacqueline Vaca gets up at 4:30 a.m. at her home near La Primavera forest outside Guadalajara, it is not only to prepare herself for her first dog walk of the day at 7:30 near the city center.
The Carmel, California, native, who has lived in Guadalajara 32 years, also uses the early morning hours to take care of the 11 pugs she keeps, including seven that are her own and four that are up for adoption.
Before Vaca heads out her door to catch the 6:30 bus, she may also package some of the dehydrated dog treats she makes and sells. They are composed of chicken and beef parts and even of charales from the Lerma River basin.
But in recent years, the dog walking and dog treat businesses have perhaps been overshadowed by a more consuming enthusiasm in Vaca’s life—pugs. She and her team of volunteers, especially Macarena Mendoza, rescue pugs, including picking them up, getting them veterinary care and paying for it. They also have a lost-pug-finding service and they make and give away pug IDs, since so many of the small dogs get lost.