A Dog Story

BY: DAVID ZIVIC

When driving through Todos Santos, or other Mexican towns or Barrios, you could see some dogs that appeared to be living in the streets.

Most of these dogs appear to be healthy, well-fed and might even seem to have some good breeding, albeit a little mixed. Often they have no collar or name tags. These dogs are the leftover product of the prevailing culture. The dogs and their families are caught up in a sort of Time/Space Condordum thing. Traditional Mexican families and their dogs lived peacefully in the small Pueblos similar to Todos Santos. The routine was to let the dogs out into the town and hang out in the Pueblo, lay down in the sun, hang out by the taco stands for tidbits, and, of course, they had indiscriminate sex with other dogs. Often other dogs and even people watched. It was somewhat idyllic. What was not to like? 

Then, later in the evening, the dogs would return to their homes, get fed, and sleep while protecting their adobe and the humans therein.

Then along entered the glitz and glamourous of the big city. BTW, that would be Todos Santos!

Along then with, came the changes. Paving the streets was an eventuality, and, of course, there are spay and neuter free clinics. There is even a competent resident veterinarian. 

Sometimes a stray is abandoned in the town and/or needs a rescue. There is such of person. A benevolent local woman, Susan Fine, arranges to handle the health paperwork, then ships the little critters to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Then there is a veterinarian/kennel owner friend who adopts them out to lucky sponsors. And yes, now they sometimes get to play in the snow.

The Facebook scene is currently buzzing about the local merchants to leave out food and water in front of their storefronts. Then sidewalk cruisers can stop for a little food and beverage break. Especially for the essential hydrating supplement.

A somewhat sad side effect of all of this story is that sometimes new residents or travelers, all well-intentioned, feel compelled to do the right thing for these happy and well-fed "street dogs." Sometimes they "rescue" themselves or drop them off to a humane society in neighboring cities.

These dogs are either timid about new people, or very friendly. They have a long time ago learned how to cross the streets. Say hello if you want if you are stopping here in town, or please drive careful if you are just driving through.