The dogs along the way to and from the editor’s errands

boys in the hood
Los Muchachos del Barrio – El Bajito boys, one of whom lives with a guy who once assaulted me. These are more peaceful times in the neighborhood. This and the rest of the photos and captions on this page by Eric Jackson.

Just because they owe you no special duty of loyalty doesn’t mean that you can’t be their friends

James Thurber, in his classic illustrated antiwar story The Last Flower, tells of a time when humanity got so despicable that all the dogs left. Things got better and they came back.

El Bajito has too many dogs. The editor’s household has too many dogs. Some things need to be done, but short of breaking an ancient alliance of species that was there before people took shelter in caves.

The Brown Dog
The Brown Dog — this guy often dines at the editor’s house, but he’s so feral that he’s prone to marking the door sills as his turf. There are nice things about him to balance such faults.


The highlander
The Highlander — strictly speaking, he’s not an El Bajito dog. He lives just across the street from the steep entrance to El Bajito, but knows all the gang from down in the hollow and will sometimes cross the street to check out the editor of other El Bajito people in the little caseta where we wait for the buses.


canine bondage
Of canine bondage – there are gradations ranging from kind protection to awful cruelty. Usually in Anton people who leave their dogs to wander outside the home while they work or shop don’t chain them up. But what if it’s only for a few minutes, it’s next to the Pan-American Highway and this dog hasn’t learned not to chase motorcycles, cars and trucks? Whatever it is, this dog was chained to a bench at a bus piquera in Anton and seemed to be pretty calm about it.


en garde
On guard — waiting where the Anton to Juan Diaz bus comes in.


¡Fido Feroz! The name Fido derives from Latin for “the loyal one.” This puppy puts on a good act. He’s not really mean, but he stands ready to perform his ancestral fiduciary duty to anybody with who he bonds.


The Gimpy Dog. This female often dines at the editor’s house, but even if there is heavy rain outside will sleep elsewhere. A while back, when she first went into heat and attracted a crowd of males, the way that she walked and ran – kind of like a car whose wheels are out of alignment – indicated that she has hip displasia. Not necessarily a death sentence, but a genetic condition not to be passed onto another generation. So with some help from Animal Rescue of Anton, the editor reached out and got her spayed.

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