Meet Manu and Napo, a Costa Rican dog-dad and his Finnish corgi son Napo!
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Manuel but I go by Manu. I am originally from Costa Rica but have been living in Finland for over 5 years now. Before Finland I also lived in China and the USA. Traveling and living abroad really fascinates me, more so the amazing people that you get to meet and become friends with.
I am a designer and sustainability specialist. Currently my work involves working with fungi as an alternative material to animal leather for the fashion industry.
Growing up I always had many dogs.... Cocker Spaniels, St. Bernards, Pugs, Poodles, etc. The love for dogs comes from my dad who taught us since an early age about the importance of caring for our furry best friends.
2. Tell us a bit about Napoleon, introduce us to your furry son!
Napo is my furry companion who came into my life in September 2020 in the middle of the pandemic.
He was born on July 19th, 2020 and I met him for the first time on September 18th. He is now a bit over 1 year and 3 months. The day I met him and hugged him was one of the best moments in my life. Just the thought of it gives me a teary eye (picture below).
The name Napoleon comes from the fact that corgis have very short legs but are stubborn and courageous. Just like Napoleon Bonaparte! Napo truly lives to his name, he fears nothing and no one and he is extremely stubborn!
One of Napo's thing to do is picking up sticks and walking around with them, swimming, and playing in the snow.
His favourite place to go is the dog park or to the forrest where he can run free. He loves to run around and smell everything he comes across.
3. Why did you choose a Corgi? What amuses you about the breed?
What's not to love about corgis? They are the cutest dogs out there! :)
I had been dreaming of a corgi since 2010 and that's actually also when the idea of the name came up. My first encounter with a corgi was through my brother who used to watch Cowboy Beebop and in the anime there was a very cute corgi.
4. How did Napo help you cope with the Covid-19 Pandemic and strict lockdowns?
I live by myself and during the pandemic I was feeling very lonely, especially during the strict lockdowns. He came in the perfect time when I needed a companion the most. He has brought so much joy to my life. Having him around has been of great emotional support.
5. What was the biggest change in your life of becoming a dog parent?
Responsibility. Being a dog dad requires a lot of commitment and responsibility. All decisions I make nowadays are made on what it is best for both.
6. What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dog dad? What have you learned from this experience?
Single parenting is tough, but never a burden. It requires a lot of work and dedication having to split my time between work, hobbies, personal projects, social life and his needs but having his company pays it all off.
7. What is the most rewarding part of being a dog dad?
Opening the door and having him receive me every time I come home or taking breaks when I do home office to cuddle and play with him.
8. Can you please share with us Napo's experience in the Helsinki PRIDE? 🌈
Napo loves people! He is a very social dog and at Pride he had lots of fun with people at the picnic.
His daddy is a happy and open minded gay man and just as I do, he accepts everyone, no matter their color or sexual preference.
9. Which saying best describes your life motto?
"If you never try, then you'll never know". I love that phrase because I'm a total "Yes" to life and always willing to try new things. Same can be said about Napo, he is as adventurous and happy as his daddy!
"If you never try, then you'll never know"
- Manuel & Napo 💞
10. Who takes care of Napo when you go on vacations? Do you also take him with you sometimes?
I am very lucky to have really good friends that are always willing to take care of Napo. They all love him as much as I do.
Napo is a very well behaving dog. He barely barks (uncommon for corgis), he never really destroyed anything in the house, and he is extremely friendly with people and other dogs. My friends always enjoy his happy energy when he is around!
But sometimes I worry and I think about what will happen if none of my friends are available someday. I will never leave Napo in a kennel!
It would be great if Pets Ahoi could offer its service here too! I would definitely use this service of course!
11. Many people bought or adopted pets during the pandemic. Unfortunately many are bringing or returning their pets back to the shelters. What is your opinion on this?
It is very sad. Having a dog requires a lot of responsibility and commitment. We should really get them when we are sure we can provide them with the FURREVER love and home they deserve.
12. Which is the best advice or tip you can give other dog owners?
Training with treats and good discipline can solve all bad manners!
We thank Manuel Arias for the interview.
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