Sunday, April 09, 2006

Dog Days in Chacala

A strange thing happened this week. And the strangest thing is it happened right in front of me and I didn’t even realize what was happening.

For the last three months or so, a guy from California parked his motor home about eighty feet from where I am camping. He isn’t someone I spend any time with, but he did mention one time that he had bought dog food for the mommy dog that lives with the family where I am camping. It’s a nice black lab who is a very sweet mom to her puppies

Anyway, when this guy was getting ready to leave Chacala a couple of weeks ago, he was talking about taking Mommy Dog back to the States with him. At the time, I briefly thought “how nice”, and then tried to imagine him taking care of a dog. But I didn’t really give the idea much thought.

Then a few days later I saw him on the Chacala beach with some people, and he had the dog on a rope. I asked him what he was doing, with the rope, and he said he was having the dog spayed the next day, and was getting her a vet note so she could go into the US.

He had mentioned taking the dog to California with him a couple of times over the past few months, but I didn’t take it seriously. But I didn’t like seeing him standing there with the dog on a rope. At the time I thought, how sad if Mommy Dog would lose this lovely life she has here. No ropes or fences or whatever. Just roaming around with her dog buddies, sleeping on the sand, barking at strange dogs walking by the beach, sniffing dead fish on the beach, etc. Letting baby chicks run up and over her back. A dog’s life in Chacala seems pretty nice.

Anyway, I suggested he just get her spayed and leave her here in Chacala. He was appalled. He said something like “Do you think I would spend all that money and just leave her here?” I said I thought she had a pretty nice life in Chacala and I didn’t imagine in would be so nice living on a rope while he parked his motor home in friend’s driveways or whatever.

Anyway, that was the end of the conversation. A few days later the guy had left Chacala, and we (the dog’s Chacala family) were sitting around visiting, and someone asked where the dog was. I can’t remember her name right now. In fact, I didn’t know she had an official name. I had been calling her Mommy Dog for months.

Anyway, I realized then that they didn’t know this guy had taken the dog. Apparently he had taken her without talking to anyone in the family. They checked around and asked each other, and no one had any conversations with this guy about his taking the dog.

But what’s really strange is that it didn’t occur to me that he hadn’t asked permission or discussed his plans for their dog. Her just took her. It seems so strange that someone would do that. The dog was certainly not hanging around his motor home to any extent. She was around my camp and at family family house all the time. Oh well.

I thought the family’s reaction was interesting when they realized he had really taken the dog. The reaction seemed to be along the lines of “Well, what do you expect from gringos?” I think a lot of the stuff we do, or suggest Chacalaens should do, is seen around here has rude or crazy, or just plain strange.

And of course, maybe he thought he asked them for the dog and they didn’t understand what he was saying and just smiled and nodding. Not having any idea of what he was talking about.

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