brazilian zeno 2 3

Sete Quedas, Rio Verde de Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do SulZeno (2005-2022) was born in the mountainous splendor of Brazil and, accordingly, was primed for adventure.

His first major roadtrip in the wilds of Brazil was along the country’s remote southern and western borders, during a 3 month journey at age 6.

Not only was he fearless, he helped me to be courageous.

His last adventure was with cancer.  He didn’t give up easily, and during his last half year stoically went out for shorter and shorter walks. I usually had to help him to his feet – and in Miami Beach carry him up and down the stairs – but once up and out and his balance re-gained, off he went.  It reminded me of the paltry walks which I doggedly did during my several month recovery from viral hepatitis picked up from India in my mid-20s.

Until the last day, Zeno complained very little, really not at all.  His vet in São Joao del Rei, when we clipped an ingrown toenail, commented it was the first time in a decade she heard him complain.  He nearly never barked: it wasn’t in his nature.  [please hover over images for captions]

About Ben

Ben Batchelder has traveled some of the world's most remote roads. Nothing in his background, from a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard to an MBA from Wharton, adequately prepared him for the experiences. Yet he persists, for through such journeys life unfolds. Having published four books that map the inner and exterior geographies of meaningful travel, he is a mountain man in Minas Gerais, Brazil who comes down to the sea at Miami Beach, Florida. His second travel yarn, To Belém & Back, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. For more, visit

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