Los Perros

As often as I would arrive at the outskirt of a town in the hours just after sunset, I'd pull into a Pemex to use their facility and work on a can of beans while I scope out a suitable spot for the night on the GPS or message a potential host. Just as often, I am followed by a stray dog. I'd share with them my beans and whatnot. One time I fed a mother dog and her pups. The security guard came over and shooed them away, nudging the pups with his boots. Then he shooed me away. He was rather gentle with his words and boots, and so I didn't mind it much.
There are many strays in Mexico, and there is no remedy in practice. In most parts of the US, strays are picked up, spayed or neutered, then put up for adoption. If they're unable to find a home, they're gassed. In Mexico, they are ignored and left to multiply into destitution and to fend for themselves. The majority of them are malnourished, sickly and so disadvantaged, neglected and abused since birth that they're too dumb to know how to hunt and are solely dependent on scraps. They never seem to go after the hapless fowl - they probably knew the humans wouldn't tolerate it. I don't know which is worse: having your sex organs mutilated and praying to some dog god that a human takes pity upon you, or live in a quasi state of freedom as you starve preying on the mercy of a fellow indignant human counterpart.
Even at the bottom of the bottom there is still a pecking order. The lone strays are at the very bottom. Followed by the roaming packs. Then there are the turf dogs, and split among them are the indoor dogs at the very top and the outdoor ones just below. The turf dogs would chase away the roamers, and the roaming ones would in turn chase away the loners. The two groups would chase after bicycles, especially the weird looking ones, in the darkness of night, but never beyond their range. They would only act aggressive but they lack any teeth - you could scare off a whole pack with just a wave of the arm. The lone strays never chase anything, and instead always tuck their tail and run. An exception to the order are the dogs loved by somebody but spend half their day running about freely. They appear to form no alliance with the other dogs and exhibit a blissful existence. There are also the curious cases of dogs that belong to no one or any exclusive pack, but don't always travel alone. They appear rather healthy and very cunning.
The dogs are quite timid during the day. Comes nightfall, they'd bark and howl ceaselessly, saved for the indoor ones. It is easy to feel for their plight during day hours, with thin skin over nothing but bones, and wanting to take them in. At night, however, all empathy is lost as their visible hell becomes an echoing nightmare.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img src alt height width>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.