3rd Annual Sacred Heart Dog Show – San Ignacio, Belize

Independence - Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize

We have a couple of dogs here at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize (6 if anyone is counting). One of our first posts covered one of our all time favorites, Lassie. This time it’s Independence, our 5 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.  She was born on September 21, 2011, which is also Belize’s Independence Day, making her name selection easier than our sheep.

3rd Annual Scared Heart Dog Show - San Ignacio, Belize

This past Sunday we took her to San Ignacio for the 3rd annual Sacred Heart Dog Show, to see what our little girl had in her. Independence got the call over our other puppy, because she seemed to want it more when we tried them on the leash. 4 month old Bo Bo (short for Bodacious Bojangles) is going to be a Paul Bunyan sized German Shepherd and will certainly get his chance to shine in the future…

Puppies playing at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize - Christy Brinnehl

Sunday, though, it was all Independence. She had only been on a leash 2 times before, once to go to the vet to get her shots, and one 10 minute training session the day before. Plus, she had never even left the Jungle Lodge so everything was surely an overload for our little puppy. In San Ignacio she walked alongside speeding trucks to get to the competition. At our farm she chases chickens and only leaves the couch to bite Bo Bo.

Indy gets another bite in on fat Bo Bo

Francisco from PACZ Tours signing in while we entered Independence.

We entered her In the hound category, and due to lack of puppy participants, she was forced to compete with the older dogs. Fortunate for her, she was up against a couple of Dachshunds and a Beagle and towered over the competition the first time through. She took home first place in both the puppy category, and in the hound group, earning her a nice certificate, medal, and sizable trophy.

Hound Group Showing: Dachshund and Rhodesian Ridgeback

Judging Independence at the Sacred Heart Dog Show

Best hound dog in San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize

By winning the hound group she earned the rite to compete in best of show. Unfortunately for us, that meant waiting around all day, in the 90+ degree sun, for all the other dogs to compete.  Needless to say she was pooped. By the time her name was called for the final showing a couple of hours and 3 beers later (handlers need to celebrate too!), my treat coaxing wouldn’t even do the trick. She needed a nap!

Best in show judging for our Rhodesian Ridgeback Independence

Coincidentally, she was up against a huge Pit Bull male that was owned by Francisco our ATM Cave tour guide from the story we wrote recently. The big boy was clearly intimidating our little girl, even showing the crowd his pink thing!  She did not like that one bit, and refused to enter the ring next to him. We gave her the special treatment, like an unruly racehorse, and finally coaxed her into the ring last in line.

Best in show - 2nd place is not so bad for the first time out!

At last, she gave it her all, only to fall just short, second place overall to Francisco’s Pit Bull. It was an amazing effort for having only been on a leash twice. The judge told me she couldn’t give her the win because she wasn’t ready, but when she filled out she would be the champion of Belize! We will see what Bo Bo has to say about that…


Sunday Snapshots: Guest Photos from Lower Dover

Recently a friend and photographer, Christy Brinnehl, came to Lower Dover looking to escape the winter up north in Chicago. Here are some of the photos she took while hanging out on the farm at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize.

Sheep Farm at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge - Christy Brinnehl

Turkey Picture from Lower Dover Jungle Lodge - Christy Brinnehl

And she took these photos of Jungle Lodge.

Arriving at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize - Christy Brinnehl

Red Cabana and an Orange at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize - Christy Brinnehl

Rasta cabana at night - Christy Brinnehl - UFO?

And everyone loves dog photos.

Chaya and Independence at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge - Christy Brinnehl

Puppies playing at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in Belize - Christy Brinnehl

She got some good photos of the jungle on our nature hike through the 100 acres.

Jungle Hike at Lower Dover in Belize - Christy Brinnehl

Jungle Trail at Lower Dover in Belize - Christy Brinnehl

Jungle pictures from Belize nature hike - Christy Brinnehl

And managed to get some nice shots of the view from the unexcavated Mayan site on our property. This Maya temple is alongside the Belize River overlooking modern day Spanish Lookout.

View of Barton Ramie Maya Settlement from Lower Dover Plaza H - Christy Brinnehl

Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout aka Barton Ramie Mayan Site seen from Lower Dover

For more photos from Christy click here.


Dog Profile: Lassie


The dogs at Lower Dover will be the first to greet you, and they are an important part of the team here. They serve as a great doorbell, and are always excited to go on a jungle hike. A good jungle dog will help alert you to danger before it’s too late.

The matriarch of the pack at Lower Dover is Lassie, a 9 year old Rottweiler and German Shepard mix. Lassie was born at Pepperland in Unitedville, and to the best of our knowledge she is most likely a reincarnated Mayan warrior. We can think of no other explanation for her fearlessness and sheer joy of hunting, swimming, and playing all while being the most affectionate of all the dogs at Lower Dover.

Lassie cooling off on a hot day.

Lassie has never shown fear in her life, and Did you know Chuck Norris dedicated his autobiography to Lassie?

Lassie after a porcupine encounter.

Porcupines? They don’t come around here no more…
Armadillo? Dan’s probably roasting it right now.
Car Tires? I hope you have a spare Mr. Taxi driver.

Salud to the best dog Lower Dover has ever had Lassie #4.