Cuenca is really exciting for a doggie like me. I had no idea that a place could be as noisy, have so many cars, so many dogs, and so many people... Mom says that this is nothing, but when you come from Asheville, NC where you may see a total of five cars during your walks, a bunch of squirrels and cats, and a handful of folks walking their dogs, Cuenca is a BIG city.
Yes, we live in the city now and I find it thrilling... so many different smells! I love to go by the rivers because people bring cows to eat grass there. I like to eat grass too, but I don't smell like a cow nor do I look like one. I wonder if one day I eat as much grass as those things do, if my poop would be as big as theirs! I better don't find out, mom won't like that.
The first time I saw a cow really up close was on the way here during one of mom's famous pee stops. I was walking a bit and all of the sudden we went around a corner and there was this huge beast. I had to bark to let dad know not to get any closer. Sometimes he is a bit blind, you know, so I had to help him. That big smelly thing just looked at me and said nothing. Turned around and went on eating grass. So, from then on I figured cows may be big and smelly, but they are harmless, so now I can get really close to them by the river and I don't have to bark. But, I still watch them closely; these things are really big and I still don't have any idea how fast they can run. I've asked mom to take a picture so I can share with you. She promised to do that in the next day or two.
We walk a lot here in Cuenca. We don't have a car so rain or shine we walk. We walk to town center almost every day to pick up dad from school. That's a 45 minute walk one way. When we get back I simply sleep for hours until I'm either hungry or ready for another walk. I have a great life, but I've come to understand that this is not the case for many other dogs here.
I'm fascinated by the life of dogs in Cuenca. There seem to be four types of dogs: those who live in the streets and are homeless, those who have homes, but are allowed to roam the streets all day, those who live in homes, but have the job of guarding the house, and those who, like me, are the rulers of the household.
|Here I am with a street dog doing the smelling dance.|
Of the many dogs that live in the streets very few look hungry. People feed them even if they are not their dogs. In general dogs seem to be a bit afraid of people, yet appear to get along among themselves just fine. Of course, there are always some exceptions. The day after we got here we went for a walk around the neighborhood and this one dog went after this other dog running with his mouth open and then bit him in the butt. Mom, observing all of this mess, expertly avoided the scene by turning on a street and we both ran like the chickens we are. Dad kept coming behind us saying not to worry; but I'm with mom, better safe than sorry! We've seen the dog that bit the other one around and he seems harmless. Who knows what really happened. He appears to like me but I prefer to keep my distance, at least for now. Mom calls him "the mean one" but she's already got a soft spot for that dog.
|Here is the same dog, you see he doesn't look hungry. I am so glad.|
I worry about mom as I know her well. I'm sure she'll soon start feeding these street dogs, although they don't appear to be hungry, and they'll start to hang around here. And then she'll fall in love with one or the other and soon enough we'll have a pack. Thank God for dad, he'll be able to keep things sane around here, and keep mom on a leash, so to speak.
I've learned to be very careful when walking the streets. You would think it's because of the cars, but it's not. Every other house around here has one ferocious dog or more who launch at me and my parents as we walk by. These guys are crazy and have no manners. It seems to me that the street dogs are much better off, at least they are not neurotic like the ones who have been given the task of guarding the house. Most of these dogs are not allowed in the house and their job is to bark at the sight of any person; and, of course, that goes for other dogs as well. This weekend mom and I were taken by surprise. It was pretty quiet since it was Sunday and we were just strolling through a neighborhood street when all of the sudden this one dog launched at this metal gate... BANG!!! Boy, that must have hurt! Mom and I jumped so high we almost landed on the middle of the street. We both looked at each other in disbelieve at the craziness of this dog. Now, I've learned that I must be vigilant of gates and I have learned to smell aggression of dogs. Some of these dogs are just putting on a show, but others really mean business... so my keen smell was quickly trained to determined which is which before approaching certain homes. Who would have known that walking the sidewalks on the side of the street would be much safer ... at least I can see the cars! These dogs need to get a life!
|These two dogs scared the lights out of me the other day. Mom was able to take a picture because they were going after another dog.|
The last group of dogs are just like me, they rule the household. I met one of them around the street. His name is Hugo and he is really cute. These dogs are usually pure bred and small. They smell good and are well behaved. Like me, they seem to understand how good they have it. I've noticed something different though. See, I do my business in my yard and mom or dad pick up after me. However, these dogs are allowed out every morning and afternoon without a leash, they go do their business in the park or any green area close by and then they go home. I am not sure what to think about that... Between the street dogs and these guys, walking on any grass around here is quite the challenge; we have to always watch out for the mines.
There are very few cats here. I miss cats. I really, really like cats. I had a friend cat baptized The Hungry One by my mom who came every morning and evening to get fed and to play with me; I really miss her.
There are no squirrels here either. I've never been much of a squirrel chaser knowing full well I could never catch those things; but they were fun to watch. I guess I have to be content with the street dogs and the cows.
Oh no! We just had to go out to buy bread for tomorrow around the corner and guess what? The "mean dog" saw mom and read the neon sign on her forehead "sucker" .... yes, she did it... she gave him half a loaf of her bread!!! You know what's gonna happen now. They'll be all lined up in the morning. Oh well, what are you gonna do?