As the days are getting hotter and the nights even longer please join us in welcoming our pet family of the month: The Valle’s! Alicia and Mike were born in beautiful Costa Rica. Mike moved to the United States when he was 11 years old and attended high school in Forrest County, MS, went to Mississippi State for one year, and then graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering at Ole Miss. He worked for the United Fruit Company distributing Chiquita bananas on a large fleet from Golfito, Costa Rica to New Orleans, Louisiana. Mike was also employed at Whirlpool in Oxford for many years. Alicia studied as a teacher in Costa Rica and met Mike while he was working for the United Fruit Company. The couple married in Costa Rica in 1966 and moved to Oxford in 1967 to attend The University of Mississippi, where Alicia learned the English language. They thought it would be the perfect place to raise a loving family.
The Valle’s have two sons named Michael and Jonathan, who were both born in Oxford. Michael lives in Mandeville, Louisiana and is a law enforcement agent who works for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Jonathan lives in Mobile, Alabama and has worked as an asbestos removal contractor. Alicia and Mike are also proud grandparents to four grandchildren! Mike has a passion for horses and had a farm in Costa Rica, while Alicia has always been a dog lover and very fond of smaller breeds. Her love for dogs sparked the couple to get two Havaneses of their very own, Chico and Samolina. The Havanese is a member of the Bichon family of dogs and is the national dog of Cuba. Honoring their Hispanic heritage, the couple thought that the pups would make a perfect addition to their family!
First, the couple got Samolina when she was eight weeks old. She flew from South Carolina and they picked her up at the Memphis airport. She has never met a stranger and befriended a big St. Bernard pup on the flight home. Chico was born in Pearl, Mississippi, and they picked him up from the Jackson airport when he was about six months old. Mike named Samolina after the very popular dish that we all love: SPAGHETTI! They chose the name Chico because it was a short, manly, Latin name. His full name is Chico boy blue, and we all agree that it suits him perfectly! Chico was born in February and is nine years old, and Sam is 10 years old and just celebrated her birthday in May. Chico is a mama’s boy all the way and follows Alicia everywhere she goes, and Sammy girl is Miss Independent! Samolina is full of energy and loves her walks around town, while Chico prefers to sleep and snuggle up with mom and dad.
Their proudest moment as pet parents was when they trained Sam to ring the bell on the back door when she needs to go outside to potty. After potty time, she zooms back in the house and lets everyone know how proud she is that she did her business like a big girl! The couple also has three outdoor cats and a possum that the pups are very fond of. They love to play chase with their kitty friends and “talk” to the squirrels outside. Sam and Chico love their bones but aren’t fond of other treats. Dinner at the Valle household is called “yum yum time” and the babies know exactly what that means! Chicken is their favorite meal and for dessert Sam LOVES a bowl of kibble! The Valle’s are very happy with our Spaw services and know that they are always taken care of and loved by everyone there! The couple compares Chico to Elvis Presley because he loves to “sing” at the Spaw and gets all of the other dogs woofing and howling with him! He is always wagging that tail and shaking those hips like the King of Rock and Roll!
Home is definitely where the heart is for Alicia and Mike. Oxford is where their two sons were born, and it was the happiest moment of their lives. They enjoy spending time with their pups and family and tending to their beautiful garden and flowers. The university town of Oxford keeps the couple feeling young, vibrant, and full of life! We are very happy that they are part of the Homeward Bound family!