Sunday, June 20, 2021

A Dog's Life

Most dogs in America do not have a “dog’s life”. If they came down to Mexico, they would go running back home with tails wagging. Dogs’ in Mexico mostly have to fend for themselves, and rarely get to have owners that tend lavishly to them. 

Amy and I see dogs wandering around, flea bitten and bedraggled, with wounds from fights or collisions. Our village has many. Many people live in little more than tin shacks. Unfortunately veterinary care is out of the question and the mongrels have multiple litters. 

The poor creatures tug at Amy’s heartstrings more than mine. “At least they are not being eaten like the dogs in China,” I told her. Then I added, “It might be better to be eaten.” 

We have property that is mostly fenced, but dogs’ have come in. I chase them out and have patched some entry points. One dog is acceptable—“Benito," who we learned belongs to a neighbor. He comes several times a day for treats, and has taken to barking at intruders. I have to say, I really like him, and Amy adores him. I joke and call him “Freddy the Freeloader," and Amy calls him “Loki”.

The thing about Benito is we cannot touch him. He will snarl and snap. As a companion he is good if I simply acknowledge him. He occasionally licks my hand and a couple times jumped up to hug me. But touching him is not allowed. Same with Amy, who is his major benefactor. No touching, though he will lick her hand. 

Little hungry mongrel

We have noticed animals sometimes are slapped or kicked, so maybe if that has happened, the dog will be defensive. The other day we went for our second covid vaccination. A young dog came to us and stayed by for a couple hours. It was raining lightly. A group of ladies was behind us and one swatted the dog with her umbrella, and kicked it once. It stayed with us until the end. We felt like taking it home but maybe it belonged to someone.

Recently one of the neighbors’ dogs came on the heels of Benito to our back door. He was thin, just little more than a puppy and looked at us so hopefully. Amy gave him some dog food. (She buys dog food now at the grocery store.) He ate it quickly and looked around for more. I warned her, “If you start, soon packs of dogs will arrive at our door.”

We have heard of a dog sanctuary in Oaxaca, started by Americans who doubtless felt sympathy and had the time and resources to make the humanitarian gesture.

We have Loki; or Benito, or Freddy the Freeloader . . . whatever his name.

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