Dogs in Guatemala – A nomad´s best friend

I am a dog person, there is no doubt about it. Since I was a little kid I´ve had dogs and growing up I learned so much from them. They are part of my life and I can´t imagine a world where this mates are not around. I´ve experienced people robbing the rottweiler I grew up with, my high school years I spent them with two beautiful shcnauzers which I witnessed their growth over the years and also lived through the loss of the eldest a few months ago.

Guatemala is perfect for me. So far I´ve seen more than 500 dogs in these 35 days on this country and every time I see one I say hello, give them a big session of petting and receive – most of the times – a lick or a hug in return and sometimes a follower for the day! Most of my travel partners are dogs, I even had one that tried to hitchhike with me but traveling with a dog can be too expensive for a low budget nomad like me so I had to say goodbye.

Every time I have needed help or assistance it was usually a dog that came to my aid. Some of my posts even have evidence of how it happened. I don´t post about everything that happens to me because I just want to keep the interesting stuff online, that way you are used to good content, or at least not mediocre, from this fellow Steemian.

I remember this time I climbed a Volcano and got lost on my way up. Just when I thought my fate was sealed and I wouldn´t reach the summit on time to set up camp and start a fire and not die of freezing at 13,000 feet altitude, this dog, which I named cat, came out of nowhere and told me to follow him. He leaded the way all the trail up and he stayed with me for a long time on the campsite, when I woke up the next day he was gone, his job there was done. Here he is showing me the route.

This other time not so long ago I got hitched on the road by this fellow. Look at how chill he is on the back of the pick-up truck.

But in reality, what is a paradise for me it might be hell for other people that do not enjoy the company of this four-legged buddies as much as I do. Not so long ago I saw a guy in a motorbike run over a dog on purpose and the sound when it happened was unbearable. I carried the dog which could walk and was still crying, took her to the sidewalk, gave her some water and checked for broken bones – very carfeully holding her head away from me to avoid bites if it turned out something was broken and she felt the pain of my grasp – and turned out it was just a scary situation, no broken bones or anything. That night she slept outside my room right on the lake. On the morning after, she was walking just fine. And I still smelled like wet dog and sweat. Damn, I had to take a shower that morning and it wasn´t on schedule – Seriously, I don´t shower everyday, I´ll write a post about it some day -.

Whadaya has there? Is it  a treat fuh me? I is good boy!

This other time in Antigua I saw this tatto shop owner kick a dog right on the ribs, just because the animal was eating some garbage right outside his shop. This big guy kicking a dog on my presence? No, it wasn´t going to happen, I got into a heated discussion with him about his behaviour – imagine two spanish speakers, both kind of big for latino standards (but him being bigger) shouting at each other in the middle of a touristic spot – but then his mates came out of the shop – tattoo shops always have two or three tough guys hanging out there, always – so I had to retaliate, but my point was made and I bet he has never kicked a dog again.

These brodogs are like: Stahp Fallowing me human.

For me is paradise being surrounded by so many dogsbut the truth is dogs are a problem in Guatemala – or any other Central American country for that matter -, there is no control whatsoever on the dogs population and breeding rates. They carry diseases and rabies can be dangerous as hell so I understand where that hatred comes from. Besides you can never trust a stray dog or street dog, you never know how it is going to react on any scenario, you always have to be careful. I don´t know if I´ve been lucky to meet the right ones or they can sense my friendlyness.

Do ya need toilet paper? ´cause i has some!

But one thing I do have clear on my mind, we share this world with them and as the superior species, we should take care and love them, sometimes all a dog needs to make his day is water, a pat in the head and a who´s a good boy with our nicest voice. No matter who is the person, they just need love, here is the best example:

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