Walking my dogs is more than a little challenging in San Miguel, it is downright dangerous if you are half crippled and have canines that do not understand the word ‘heel’.
Taking these two on a trip around town is called ‘insanity’ in the world of humans, but it is known as ‘pee on every bush, pole, and weed’ in doglet language, thus making this daily stroll a bicep stretching exercise.
Sergio, the larger of the two, wants to explore everything with no fear or reservation. If he encounters another dog he whines his desire to play. Radar, on the other hand, is fearful of new paths, skittish in noisy environments, and a royal barker when spying another 4-legged mutt.
I use the word mutt generally, because spotting a purebred dog in SMA is rare. This city is full of unneutered, neglected, and hungry canines that roam city streets and hide in vacant lots. It is the norm for many folks, both Mexicans and Ex-Pats, to own 2 or 3 dogs, mostly rescued from the streets or from the pet shelter.
On our wanderings around the neighborhood, it is commonplace for Radar, Sergio and me to run across leashed and unleashed dogs of all sizes and mixes. Some are mean, some are bold, but most are lonely and cowed, seeking food and shelter.
Perhaps seeing the plight of local dogs is like seeing a certain element in society; the unclaimed, unattended, uncared for, and overlooked people who live on the edges, glimpsed out of the corner of our eye, ignored, but desperately needing a touch of human kindness.
It is much easier to turn away, not focus on those souls searching for anything that will make their lives bearable.
I find it interesting that we see more ads on TV and in social media asking for help with homeless and abused animals than we do for homeless, abused and abandoned people.
Is it because we are more afraid of our own kind?
I have no answer to that question, so I’ll continue being dragged by my two pets that were once loose on the street, hoping other unclaimed animals will find a kind soul who will shelter them and teach them to heel.