Dog Days

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.