A Rio security guard and his rescue dog
For three months, an easygoing dog accompanied a guard on his shifts during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. “He chose me to give him a home," said Celio Bernardo about his new canine companion; and that’s exactly what Celio did.
On Celio’s first day at the Olympic Park’s public transport platform (BRT), he noticed a surprise guest; a friendly black dog!
In fact, this dog was so easygoing that Celio named him “Maneirinho” – Portuguese for “little cool boy."
“He’s a calm dog, very easy to deal with. A cool little dog," Celio explained.
Celio often brought Manerinho food and fresh water to help the dog feel more comfortable in the hot and perilous enviornment.
But one day, Maneirinho didn’t show up to meet Celio.
Rescue and veterinary treatment
That same day, one of Rio 2016’s rescue teams found Manerinho near the BRT platform, walking alongside a busy and dangerous highway.
The rescue was part of a strategy developed by the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in partnership with World Animal Protection to keep stray dogs and cats safe before, during and after the event.
Dozens of other animals were rescued near crowded Olympic areas – to be dewormed, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and then hopefully adopted.
“I work every other day, in shifts. So my colleague warned me that the team had been there [on the previous day] and that they took him to be cared for," recalled Celio.
Celio thought about how happy Maneirinho looked when they met at the BRT station every other morning. “I thought to myself: I didn’t choose him, he chose me. He chose me to give him a home."
A happy ending
Celio and Manerinho together at home
Celio called the rescue team as soon as possible and decided to adopt Manerinho. The dog was at one of Rio 2016’s partner veterinary clinics – where he was treated and properly spayed before heading to his new home.
Located in Nova Iguaçu, a nearby city, the guard’s house has a large backyard and is home to two other dogs: Cebolinha and Floquinho. Both rescued from the streets by Celio.
“Finding a shelter to all stray dogs is a hard thing to do, but if each person does a little, caring for at least one of them and preventing animals from getting lost or being abandoned on the streets or even having too many puppies, it helps," said the guard.
As soon as he arrived at Nova Iguaçu, Maneirinho made himself at home and comfortably sat by the front door. Celio smiled.
“Here he’ll have plenty of space to live just the way he likes to, calmly.”
How can you help the rescue dogs of Rio 2016?
Manerinho relaxes in his new home
Not all dogs and cats rescued during the Olympics and Paralympics are as lucky as Maneirinho.
You can change their lives. Contact our office in Brazil: firstname.lastname@example.org