Here we are lying in the bed, it’s 6am. The air is heavy, despite having the window half open. New sounds are coming from the streets – the whistle of a man, honking of car horns and of course the barking, starting from one corner, creating a ripple effect of different responses as it makes it’s way down the street. I lie and listen, the deep ruff of a dog on guard to the little yapping from the chihuahua on the corner. Every movement seems to set them off and the barks become more and more stressful. I stand and watch from the window. Here in Mexico many dogs seem to be outside while their humans work. As I have experienced the idea of a dog is very different from the Nordic perception. But it is not only different in the way we place them in our homes, whether they are outside or inside, the numerous amount of free roaming dogs on the streets are sadly an everyday sight. They eat scraps from the ground and follow children with pleading eyes, begging for their food in their hands. The nap is taken on the pavements on the busy streets, and crossing the street might end up with a cut tail or the loss of a leg. They are truly survivors, and greet any human approach with surprising kindness. My heart aches when I see them, but to my surprise not many others pay attention.
On my first trip here we found 5 street dogs. We were walking along a busy street, crossing a little bridge, and there they were, lying very still in the grass. At first we didn’t notice them, but then one approached us, wagging his tail and leaning in for affection as we reached down to pet him. As we looked up we could slowly make out the shape of the others, and found that one, a black lab mix was in very bad shape. Another black lab was lying next to her, clearly on guard, showing his teeth, telling us not to approach any further, protecting his sick friend. My boyfriend told me that they were waiting for the restaurant to close, as some restaurants throw out the leftovers for the street dogs to eat.
However, we were not willing to just leave them there and started searching for help on the internet. We found a non-profit organization called Patrulla Verde (#PatrullaVerde), who’s mission is to inform, sensitize and help create ecological awareness for kids, young and adults. Not only do they provide ecological awareness, they also rescue animals, no matter the kind off the streets and work with shelters, making sure the animals are adopted out to good homes. They promised us to come get the dogs as fast as they could, and provide veterinary care for the one that seemed sick.
It was a small token to the many dogs that are still left on the streets, but I wanted to spread awareness and tell you, that next time you are on vacation and pass a dog that seems homeless, make it a mission of yours to do something for that dog! Talk to the locals, search the internet…Any action is better than none! And if that can start a ripple effect of care and knowledge, it is definitely a better scenario to wake up to than the stressful bark of street dogs.