Monday, May 27, 2013

Gone to the dogs

   One of the best and worst things about life in Copan Ruinas is all the dogs that roam the streets.
   What's bad is that many of them are sick and starving, and at endless risk of being the next victims of the municipally organized purges that are organized every once in a while to "control" the stray-dog situation.
   What's good is that a dog lover can gain a whole lot of new friends just by putting out bowls of dog food and water on a regular basis. I love the many dogs that pass by our house every morning now for a snack and some affection. It's not easy to make human friends in a foreign land, but the dogs are always happy to see a new soft touch in town.
   Thought my dog-crazy friends might enjoy a pictorial post featuring the 10 dogs that regularly visit our house. I'm pretty sure all of them have owners, and I've included the names of those we know. The others probably have names, too, but for the most part I've adopted my spouse's habit of just calling them by whatever descriptive phrase brings that dog to mind. Hope you like my pack.

Coquetta. That's her real name. She lives about half a block away from us, and is at our house so often that we tend to think of her as "our" dog. That said, Paul got mad at me this morning when he got up earlier than me and discovered her sleeping on the couch. She's not supposed to stay over, but I'd gotten up in the night and let her in rather than leave her in the rain. Come on, Paul.

Egel. That's his real name, too. He lives in the same house as Coquetta and is her best buddy. She usually arrives with Egel early in the morning - he can't squeeze through the patio gate but he waits patiently outside the front door for us to bring him some food. He is a completely lovely dog, and virtually all the women I know who have met him have been completely smitten.

Luna. This poor dog was scalded with boiling water at some point when a restaurant owner up the street was throwing out a potful of water (hopefully without the intent of hitting Luna). That's why she's got those black, hairless strips - they're the scar tissue. She is so skittery as a result that no one can get anywhere near her. We just put out her food and let her be.

Ossito, which is Spanish for "teddy bear." He's one of four pups Coquetta had earlier this year, and lives in the same house (5 dogs in total). We've just started to see him coming around with the other dogs for the morning feed. I don't know if that's a good development, but damn, he's cute.

And here's...Ossito. Yup, two teddy bears. This fellow lives on the other side of us and is in fact quite a pampered pet, but he still comes by to look for any bits of dog food the other dogs missed. He also appreciates the bowl of water, as even people who love their dogs here appear to forget the basics fairly often.

We call this one Shepherd Dog. She's got a name but I can never remember it. She lives in the same house with Coquetta, Egel, etc., but we don't see her too often. She'll let you pet her but isn't particularly interested in people. She looks like she's had a lot of puppies in her day. You don't want to think about the life expectancy of a Copan puppy.

Black Stink Dog and her daughter Crazy Pup. Black Stink got her name because she'd recently had a litter of puppies and was bone-thin when we first met her, and stunk ferociously. Crazy Pup, who just might be the progeny of Egel, is a sweet but excitable dog who would happily knock the dog-food bag out of your hand and eat every scrap if given the option.

Brindl Dog - another female who has clearly had way too many litters. Interesting fact: There is NO veterinarian in Copan Ruinas, or in any community closer than 3 hours away. Nobody does spaying or neutering. Brindl Dog is too big to fit through those little arches at the bottom of the gate, so she just shows up and waits to be noticed. In the dog hierarchy, she can only be fed if Egel and Black Stink are nowhere in sight, because otherwise they'll chase her off. She's sweet-natured but timid. So many of the dogs are used to being hit that they cringe when you reach out to pat them. Very sad.

Sausage Dog. She's round and fat from her happy days spent  outside the fried-chicken store over on the next block. I'm sure she must get loads of good food. So she doesn't really need to be lured by me over to our house for some dog food, but she's very nice to pet and has the loveliest grin, which sucks me in every time when I walk past the chicken place on my way home.


Unknown said...

Love your dog biographies, most interesting insights into the lives of canines in Copan. Quite a mixy up of breeds. Is there ever a spay/neuter vet coming through?

Unknown said...

Thanks for your reporting from Honduras Jodi.

Gail A said...

I love your dog stories. When I was in Havana last year, it was all I could to stop myself from packing up a number of dogs to bring them home. Wish I could have done that, but of course, impossible as there are laws about that. Instead, every meal I had was shared as best as I could with all the street dogs I would pass by. The mangy ones that looked so forlorn would wag their tail simply by having me talk to them. Dog bless them all!

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

The dogs you get to be friends with when you away from home are a gift. Thanks for your kindness and giftedness.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kindness Jody and Paul. Great stories, Jody. It's hard not to feel for them, even from a distance. Deb