Do you ever feel like there are guardian angels watching over you? Like they are invisibly floating above you, arranging parts of your life like a game of chess, pulling strings and making moves, to maneuver you into the right place at the exact right moment in time?
A recent series of mishaps and setbacks led up to the most epic, serendipitous moment of our Costa Rica experience. It began with our miniature dachshund Sophie becoming violently ill, projectile vomiting every hour until we took her to the vet. After checking her vitals and doing a blood test they still weren't sure what was wrong with her. The vet decided to hook her up to an IV, due to her severe dehydration, and keep her overnight for observation.
The next day the vet said she was feeling better and that we could pick her up that afternoon. We scheduled a departure time and in true "Tico time" fashion we were running behind schedule by over an hour. Finally we head to the car just as a worker shows up to work in our yard. He parked his motorcycle directly in front of our car, like the universe was deliberately shielding us from our intended departure, once again.
Finally we hit the road and as we are almost to the town of Uvita we notice a furry blob on the side of the road, as we speed by. My husband Andy decides to turn around to check on it, just incase it is an animal in need. We put on our hazard lights and pull up to an adorable, smiling sloth trying to slowly cross the busy Costanera Highway.
Many sloths die each year in Costa Rica when they are hit by vehicles. They are slow moving animals and if one tries to cross a busy road, the chances of it being hit are very high. 18-wheelers are barreling toward us in both directions, just as the sloth makes it from the side of the road, into the south-bound lane, directly into the line of traffic.
Andy stands there blocking him from moving further into the road, trying to nudge him in the opposite direction, as we signal to the truckers. One of the trucks slows down, honks his horn and gives us a double thumbs up. Everyone in Costa Rica supports the wildlife here, as it is a huge part of what makes this country so special.
Eventually we decide he needs to be carried away from the dangerous highway, just as he continues trying to cross the road and we see another truck barreling toward him. Andy makes an instant decision and delicately picks him up and carries him across the road.
It takes a real man to stop traffic to help a sloth safely cross a busy road. Here is a video I took of the heroic, touching sloth rescue:
Helping a sloth safely cross a busy road in Costa Rica
Spotting a section of trees off the highway, we decide he will be safest in that area. Andy picks him up again to make sure we leave him in the safest spot possible.
The friendly little guy shows us his appreciation with a happy wave and a smile. He brings tears to my eyes with his joyful spirit and genuine gratitude.
A heart-warming video of him smiling at us:
A sloth smiling at us from a tree after we saved his life on a busy highway in Costa Rica
If we had been even 60 seconds later, or earlier…I cringe to think of the results. It occurs to me in this moment that maybe Sophie took one for the sloth team and became violently ill to save an innocent sloth's life, and to give her parents the most epic, humbling, touching experience of their Costa Rican adventures so far.
Muchas gracias mi perro, dogia Sophia, who is now feeling much better. And thanks to my hero of a husband for being such a good, helping, compassionate person who always does the right thing. How many people can say they helped a sloth cross the road?
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.