Sit. Siiit.? No, Sit! Siiiiiiiit. No, Down. Bad Dog! I said Sit! SIT! Down! God Damnit, SIT! Ouch, stop, STOP!! Now Sit. Good Girl. No, NO. Stay. Down! SIT. Sit the fuck down dog! Sit! Siiiiiit? OK..Stay!!! No, Down. Sit. SIT. Dowwwwn? Dowwnnnn. Down Damnit! STAY! Staayyy?! NO. NO!! Down! Down!! HEY..GET OVER HERE! COME! No. OK Down! Good Dog. HEY!!! NO!! God Damnit Dog, NO! COME! Good Girl..NO. NO, OUT OF THERE!! GET OVER HERE! SIT!! Sit the FUCK down Dog!! Good Girl. NO..BAD! Good, Bad! Now Sit!!! NO. Down Bitch! SIT, No, Good, No, Down, BAD, Come, STAY, NO!..That’s a Good Girl, Good Gir..God Damnit, I said STAY! No, Yes, Bad, COME, UP, DOWN, SIT?!
It was the Monday morning after The Texans had collapsed to Andrew Luck and The Colts. I had gone to bed counting money. The early news made me want to puke.
The show had to go on though. I walked 20 minutes uphill to the highway. I rode a Collectivo for another 15 minutes, before embarking on the final 10 minute walk.
I noticed the hole in the yard had been dug deeper than I remembered it being. New to the crime scene was the futon having been shredded like cabbage. Where to begin.
It really is a complicated story. Too weird to explain the situation I put myself in. In fact, it’s not to be believed. It involves a young dog, an old lady, and of course me.
The old black haired dog slowly made its way to where i was sitting. His eyes had a twist of glaze. Despite my complete captivation with the canine, my first thought was that I hoped he would walk on by, scratch at the hot dirt under the shade tree, and nestle down into a cold hole. Basically my way of telling myself that I didn’t want to pet the old beast.
I really figured it didn’t want to be pet either. Not because dogs don’t love being pet, rather this was a real old dog probably looking for peace and quiet. Where is it more safe and quiet for a canine than the inside of an unearthed hole that has just been personally dug? A small racetrack of fleas and such were swarming around his white muzzle.
When Blackie got to me, it stopped and looked right through me. In turn, I was able to see my calling within the glaze. I put one index finger directly under his eardrum, and made slow motion, circular movements. He froze and smiled. When i stopped, it went downward dog on itself, before stretching out both hind legs independently.
It didn’t want any more or it would have made it known. In my best baritone, I told it that I got why it decided to stop at my foot. During our talk, some dog action erupted nearby. The old black dog naturally opened its mouth to bark. Little came out. Again, it looked right at me. He seemed relieved that natural instinct wasn’t able to get the better of him.
There was a light tap on my heavy duty wooden door. I knew who it was. My fingers were woven, hoping to God that she would say the right thing. I was purposely hiding away, buying some time, doing the proper thing. Earlier in the morning lineup, I had been given the blessing to blow a fuse if I needed to. It was brought to my attention that I was already way up in the plus column by not having blown one the night before when all indicator lights said it was time to Get Nuts.
I remembered her from two years prior. Her voice actually. It’s Marge Simpson gone extra bad. You just want to jam a sock in there. I couldn’t stand her chirp two years ago, and nothing had changed in the pitch to make me feel any differently this go around. Her voice just rings and rings and rings, and it doesn’t matter what she says, because the ringing just kills the content. And the echo of the ring within the confines of the cement hotel is almost too much to even handle.
I opened the door. For the final time, I told her I was very sorry about last night, and that it was just a perfect sort of storm. I followed that up by saying that I am glad nothing happened, and that I will really keep a closer eye on the little guy. She chimed in with a passive aggressive follow-up threat to her threat from the night before. She wanted to make sure that I had made other arrangements for the Mako Shark. “We can’t stay here unless He goes,” she cackled.
As she was pointing at The Little Big Man, I was pointing at The Rod Iron Gate. And take your sissy fried husband & Gerber baby with you. Now Git.
Pedro is a Prince. I don’t know how else to say it. I first caught wind of him maybe two months back when I was with my buddy Rocky. He approached us with his tail between his legs. He also walked the final 10 feet backwards. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I had Rocky on tight leash. Pedro gave Rocky one choice only. Smell my peaceful ass. Rocky did, as Pedro just stood there frozen. They played as rough as I would let it get. Rocky’s combinations are fit for a black bear. Pedro was frail, small, and a bit lost.
Weeks later Pedro ended up on a concrete stoop close by my hotel. I noticed a coffee cup filled with water up against the stoop. Huh. Pedro was out cold. Couldn’t make him open his eyes for anything. I pulled a small tick out of his right ear, and he slept right through it. This type of behavior went on for days. He would party all night and into the morning, and sleep on the stoop all day. I mean out cold. He would just be so exhausted from spreading the canine gospel. The chosen one led by example.
A mile down the beach, I stopped a Swedish couple one afternoon and told them that just in case they were wondering and/or felt sad for this special dog that had been following them around for the past three hours, that they didn’t need to feel that way. His name is Pedro I said, and he’s in good hands. Last week I saw him approach a pack of four neighborhood dogs. He sat down inside his cornered circle and closed his eyes. The others did what they could, but the new kid checked out squeaky cool.
Dennis @ the stoop is becoming attached to Pedro. It’s too cute. They make a pretty good team. Yesterday, Dennis pulled out some official canine document to show me. I didn’t know what it was until I saw Pedro’s picture in the upper right corner. Height, Weight, Age, Color et al.. Apparently Pedro took his very first trip to the Doc for a complete checkup. The Vet had Pedro at seven months. He came back all clean and shiny. All his street buds were waiting for his return so they could smell his ass.
He then went MIA three straight days and nights showing off his first ever collar. Dennis was sad. He finally returned one morning. His collar was gone. He had some minor scratches and a few puncture wounds. I wondered if this was going to be the moment that Pedro threw in the towel on being a street dog. I wondered if he was finally ready to sleep on a couch, eat boring dog food, and play by the rules set forth by one human being. I know Dennis is hoping for that. Unconditional love goes both ways you know.
I had no choice but to build a barricade for Rocky. He watched me piecemeal it together. I used sharp metal objects. Re-Bar. I used cactus. I used sideways ladders, glass, chains, rope, bamboo, and precariously balanced heavy furniture. I wondered what he was thinking. It was my very first time attempting to quarantine this breed of animal. I have built numerous barricades for dogs in the past. I’m a bit of a specialist. If you build a barricade for a lap dog, they will jump straight up in the air, over and over until they get a whiff of what is on the other side. If the ground provides, they may try to dig under the trap. They may also try to scratch the barricade down, risking their little teeny lives in the process. Pretty easy doings. Labs and retrievers will whine, bark, and do a little pacing during their initial time behind bars. There is no question that they will try to prop their front legs up and over the barricade and stand as erect as is possible. If part of the barricade gets loose and/or moves, it is likely to spook them into remission. Leave them with their Bippie(s) and you have no worries. Australian Shepherds will sit in the opposite corner as it is being built, and understand exactly what is going on. With one eye open, they will also pay close attention to how it is being constructed. If they determine ahead of time that their length of time behind the barricade is set to be longer than they care to tolerate, they are likely to wait until the Alpha is away and pick apart the barrier like a game of Jenga.
Rocky, the 40 lb Staffordshire Bull Terrier took an entirely different approach. I left the little fucker alone for one measly hour. When I got back to the hotel, not only was Rocky MIA, I couldn’t even find half of the items used to make up his booby trap. We’re gonna need a bigger
This post is important. It’s a bit of a case study. The study of canines. It’s not in depth, and it’s not proven or patented. It’s just a study, and barely studied at that. It’s opinion based for sure. It’s a study that can easily grip the heart. I’ve been walking right among these creatures for a solid month now. Our four-legged furry friends sure do know how to bare all. Let me tell you.
I don’t get a chance to take many pictures of dogs in Puerto Escondido. I have found the best times for snapping dog pics are early morning dawn, and evenings around dusk. Unfortunately, I’m typically without camera at both those times. Of course between 11a and 5p, my best guess is that canines are hidden away napping in the shade somewhere, much like I am.
Regardless, mornings and evenings are when dog action is at its height, and I have got to tell you, camera or no camera, it’s infectious. It’s canine chess at its finest. You can feel the tactics. Tactics of survival, allegiance, and love. It’s downright amazing. It’s certainly not a game of make pretend.
Dogs in Puerto Escondido are ultimately very submissive. They aren’t savage in any way, shape or form. They shouldn’t be feared whatsoever. Ever. Not to be mistaken for showing them your fear.(if you’re fearful) Their bloodlines have been kicked and have had rocks thrown at them for canine centuries probably. In general, it’s in their blood to run for cover. Another reason it can make picture taking of them an impossibility.
Dogs can be everywhere you turn down here. To make matters super simple, I have put them into four basic categories:
1. Dog(s) that are confined to a property, either tethered, or free, but restricted by property fence, wall, barbed wire, rooftop, et al.
2. Street dogs that have a collar.
3. Street dogs that don’t.
4. Dogs that live at the dump.
These dogs are in the minority. They could easily be the one, two, or the three dog(s) that have free roam on a shady property, and although they look thin, they’re definitely fed, and more than likely pretty loved up. If it’s the latter(3 dogs), well then they have each other don’t they?. If it’s an only child, it gets all the love and all the food scraps, knowing it is costing the family less to feed it. These dogs sleep outside by choice, in beds holes of cold dirt that didn’t cost $39.95 at Petsmart. They may or may not be wearing collars. They might bark a lot or a little. Depends.
Not nearly as likely, but likely enough nonetheless, this type of dog could be tied up all day,(in some form of shade you’d hope) getting fed, but maybe not enough,.etc. No love = No life. The cruelty and negligence is most certainly out there, yet not nearly like it used to be down here in this Wild West of a Tropical Frontier. It’s simple math. Dog food costs money, and money down here there ain’t. Cute when they’re puppies. An unfortunate burden when they are dogs. Burden turns to neglect. Neglect puts them on the streets. If you’re gonna be on the streets, it’s best to get there at an early age.
If I were a dog, this is the group that I’d like to be in. Collar or rope or string around the neck means you are considerably more likely to get some kind of daily food and/or love from somewhere, PLUS you get to be free to involve yourself with whatever it is you want to in your neighborhood vicinity or beyond. You might even be plump and pampered.(1 in 20) These dogs, if they’re smart, and they are, will stay real close to the reliable food source, and make sure that it is known(immediately and over time) that it is OFF LIMITS to all creatures. These dogs get into a lot of trash. You might find all kinds of things in their stool. They are hopefully somewhere they feel comfortable within the overall pecking order of their kingdom. Comfortable in their own skin if you will. As they get older, they probably stay on premise or very close to it. In their prime, they are just dogs, FREE to BE, setting up their shop, playing tag, making friends, making enemies, looking for food and looking for love. Most of these dogs are battled and bruised both physically and emotionally. These dogs can have it real good down here so long as their necessities are being fairly met. These dogs keep to themselves, OR they run in big packs. Sort of depends on the overall home-life. Collared is Cool.
These dogs don’t have it so good. They don’t have it too bad either. My sample size study is what it is, and they are who they are. These dogs live on scraps. Many of them might get all they need. Most of them probably don’t. The dogs are littler than most others. Skinnier too. As they get older, if they make it to old, they try to align themselves with healthy dogs that do have collars, putting themselves in line or position to get fed by a human hand. Bleacher seats if you will. Many of these dogs have routes they go on. An easy target is the treehouse.
Papa Chango is religiously reliable for hearty scraps. Papa Chango told me early on to throw everything edible over the rail, but NEVER EVER let them see you do it. Let them think it’s falling out of the sky. Cooked or uncooked. Spoiled or not. Raw chicken skin. Rotten broccoli. It DONT matter. Toss it over. It will get eaten. If not by the dogs, the chickens. If not by the chickens, the ants.
There is one dog in particular. Pitch black, and pictured last in this post. This dog is slowly but surely adopting PC. Chango knows it tambien, and appears to be ok with it. This dog never barks. Never scratches. Never comes up the trap door. Never sits below the stairs. Never says a peep. This dog keeps its space and has a beautifully shy demeanor about it. This dog has no collar.
This very morning I saw it laying in the shade sort of across the street from the tree. It didn’t see me. I grabbed a semi-stale piece of baguette and tossed it high in the air so that it would land by the dog, and make a sound when it hit. Perfect toss. Blacky only needed to walk five feet to get it, so it did. The dog then looked up to the Gods for praise. Noted. The dog stood over the fist-sized piece of bread and looked around for about two minutes before softly sticking it in his mouth. It then slowly, almost cat like, slipped away into the bush to eat it. A far cry from BBQ chicken bones and/or its daily Eukenuba, but food nonetheless. It’ll be back come dinner. Fact.
Dogs that live at the dump are the bottom of the barrel. I’ve never seen the situation with my own eyes, I’m just taking PC at his word. PC says that if you really want to rescue a dog in Puerto, don’t pick one off the streets–those dogs are doing just fine. He says go to the dump. Those are the dogs that need to be saved. Bring a pound of cooked or uncooked hamburger meat, and have your pick of the litter. Bring that dog home with you and find out what real loyalty is. This dog, so long as it is alive on earth, will KILL for you.
Happy Friday. Good Sabbath. Love thy Dog.