“They pay us with their happiness and wagging tails” , writes moneysavingbasics.
One evening five years ago, an unexpected customer dropped by Gerardo Ortiz’s restaurant, Ajilalo, in Peru. It was a stray dog, a look of hunger in her eyes.
Ortiz could have easily turned the dog away. But he didn’t.
That evening, Ortiz offered the dog a free meal, made just for her.
And thus began an adorable tradition that continues to this day.
Each evening, from then on, the hungry dog came and received a free meal from Ortiz’s restaurant.
But it didn’t take long for word of Ortiz’s kindness and generosity to spread among the community of local stray pups.
More dogs began to arrive with that first visitor— and Ortiz welcomed them all with a meal.
Nowadays, numerous stray dogs arrive to the doors of Ortiz’s restaurant each night. Many are regular “customers,” while others are first-timers — all hoping to fill their bellies thanks to Ortiz’s kindness.
Often, as Ortiz is working, he’ll look up and see a new dog’s face at the front — waiting politely to see if the rumor that free food can found there is true.
It always is.
“For me, they are the best customers,” Ortiz told The Dodo.
And his human customers hardly take that as a slight. Inspired by Ortiz, they often bring food for the visiting dogs as well.
“Thankfully, our clients have reacted well to the dogs,” Ortiz said. “They are affectionate toward them.”
Ultimately, Ortiz’s sweet routine of feeding all the stray dogs who visit does more than keep them from being hungry. It lets them know that their lives matter — a truth that Ortiz is happy to prove to them each and every day.
“They do not pay us with money, but they pay us with their happiness and wagging tails,” Ortiz said. “They are very grateful, and we enjoy giving more than receiving. Since I was a child, I have loved animals. My mother always taught us to help others, both people and animals. She’s my inspiration.”