Johanne & Tonto: A Love Story

Johanne & Tonto: A Love Story

It was only a year ago now that Johanne, of Eugene, Oregon, laid eyes on who was to become her new life companion, Tonto. Though she didn’t know it at the time, this scruffy street dog on her Costa Rican vacation was going to steal her heart and she’d end up going to great lengths to make sure he was able to come back home with her.

Tonto’s last day in Costa Rica.

It all started when Johanne spotted Tonto on a walk around the town of Dominical, he took a liking to her and began following her around everywhere she went. She fell in love with his stubborn personality and silly behavior, reminiscent of her girlfriend, Emilie, whom she was missing back home. She let Tonto follow her for the next week, they did everything together. Their friendship blossomed over the week she was in there, but she was already scheduled to leave for a distant town. She made up her mind that if she made it back to the town after, she would adopt him. She wanted to bring him home.

Photo by @leazaglinphotography

 Tonto and Johanne.

A week later Johanne made her way back to the town of Dominical. She searched high and low, asking the locals if they had seen this scruffy grey dog running around the streets, of course they had, they’d seen hundreds. If you’re not familiar with Costa Rica (or most Latin American countries) street dogs are normal, like part of the furniture in the living room of life. But Johanne didn’t give up, she wanted to find Tonto.

Photo by @leazaglinphotography

 Johanne, Tonto, and Emilie enjoying the sunshine.

On the last night of Johanne’s visit to Dominical, she went to a bar near her hotel to say goodbye to some friends she had made on her travels. There, sitting on a couch between a few of her friends, was Tonto. She was elated. Johanne couldn’t believe she had actually found this dog she had fallen in love with a week prior. She kept her promise to adopt him and spent the next few days getting all of the paperwork together to bring him home.

Photo by @leazaglinphotography

 Emilie, Johanne, and Tonto playing in the park.

After convincing her friends and family that this was the right thing to do, Johanne and Tonto bordered one of the four flights they needed to take to get back to Eugene. The first couple of days weren’t easy, a snowstorm and broken water pipes in her home forced them take the long drive up to Seattle to stay with friends while repairs were made. It’s no surprise that the weather was hard for Tonto at first. From the tropical climate of Costa Rica, to the cold and rainy winters of the Pacific Northwest was no easy transition, but big blankets and lots of cuddles helped Tonto acclimate.  

 Tonto and his kitty sister, Butters, having a lazy day inside.

Today, Johanne and Tonto have been together for 1 year. Not every day is easy, he’s still a street dog at heart, but everybody that meets Tonto immediately falls in love and he makes friends out of every stranger, dog and human. Like all love stories, theirs comes with ups and downs, but the joy of having each other makes every second worth it.

 Tonto, Johanne, and Butters on a winter walk.

We hope you all have a lovely Valentines day and that you’re able to spend it with the ones you love, whether it’s your favorite human or your #Buckleypet. Stay tuned for more love stories and other Buckley “tails” over the coming months! See you soon!