Thursday, October 27, 2011

The dogs of Guanajuato

guapo gato

Hello readers, I am back in the US and ready to share some travel stories with you.  As I wait for my suitcase to arrive home (what is a vacation without missing luggage?), I am sorting some of the photos Ross and I took.  Sorting, I see some themes emerging and for today, I want to talk about pet care.

This is one of only four cats seen during our stay.  Only 4..and why?  I can't say, but I hope it is because they are indoor cats.  I doubt this, though.  What I did see was dogs.  Many dogs.  Dogs with their people, dogs on their own, dogs with their buddies in a small pack, and dogs on leashes (rarely).  Now, I love dogs.  That much is obvious to those of you who have read this blog for any length of time.  So, my comments below arise not from a dislike of dogs, or a misunderstanding of the Mexican culture, but only from my love of dogs.

Why do people keep a dog as a pet in a busy city, and let it run loose?  The streets are cobblestone, narrow, and busy.  Taxis, buses, pedestrians, motorcycles, scooters, even burros...though I only saw droppings, no burros themselves.  You can fill in all the things that might go wrong with dogs on the loose.  I cycled through all of this really fast when I saw the dogs.  I realized that, contrary to mainstream US thought about Mexican dogs, these dogs were healthy.  They were fit, happy, social, and well behaved.  I only saw one dog argument, which lasted for far less time than my own dogs fight.  I did see one very skinny dog outside the city, but 99.9% of the dogs I saw were in great shape.  Take a look:

You can see that some Guanajuato dogs stay home, for they have jobs guarding, or just being cute.  Others stay on leashes, and look a little sad that they cannot run free like the others.  And some, like the fierce looking brindle dog, are out on their own, looking for food and fun.  Though I disagree with letting them run loose, it's clear they are happy dogs.

This morning I picked up my jack russell terriers, Bandit and Nick, from their doggie hotel and spa.  The bill was more than my own rent during my stay in Guanajuato.  They were so happy to see me, and could barely contain themselves.  Bandit was crying with happiness while Nick was bouncing off any surface.  As I type this, Nick is sleeping in the kitchen after a big bowl of chow, and Bandit is snoozing on her double cushions in the sun.  Both dogs love their people, and I hope our little pack makes up for any lack of freedom.

ps: and for something completely different, try midnight sun


  1. I once snuck a stray puppy over the border on a trip to Mexico. I found him wandering the streets in Rosarito. We got him shots and a bath and brought him back but he turned out to be like a feral nocturnal dog and a scavenger! I think he was part Coyote. Mexican dogs are generally pretty nice apart from that one.

  2. I'd love to be around a coyote/dog for a time to see what they are like. That's a great story Justine.


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