Thursday, February 15, 2018

dead dog certain

No good deed goes unpunished.

I could use all sorts of clichés for today's cautionary tale. But that one will do.

After a hiatus for my trip to Peru and a subsequent bout of illness that kept me in bed for a few days, I have started my regular walking routine.

While clipping along through the centro area of Barra de Navidad, I saw a bit of Sophoclean tragedy working out its way on the sidewalk in front of a hotel.

I do not know how many times I have walked past the same scene. An older Mexican man sitting at the edge of the sidewalk with his back to a medium-sized dog tied to a post.

What was different today was the older northern woman bent over the dog fiddling with his collar. In the few steps it took me to draw even with this developing drama, I saw she had stealthily taken the collar off of the dog.

The dog owner (at least, I assume he was the owner) turned to look at the dog at just that moment. A look of horror crossed his face as he grabbed for the dog. The woman pushed the dog away.

Not surprisingly, the dog bolted. That was why he was tied up. But he did not choose wisely. He ran between two parked cars into the street where he met the bumper and front tire of a car driving far too fast. Fortunately, it was not a motorcycle or the woman would now have the blood of two lives on her hands.

I had stopped at that point. The woman was hysterically crying. I could not understand what she was saying. It sounded like: "I was just trying to help." And she said something about "Ontario." As she started walking away, the dog owner grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back.

I did understand what he was saying. He wanted ten thousand pesos from her for the dog. The woman cried.

He forced her to sit down and called someone on his telephone. She cried.

I do not know how this little morality play ended. And it really does not matter. Because the moral was apparent the woman laid hands on the collar.

We learned it in kindergarten. Keep your hands to yourself. It is something the likes of Harvey Weinstein failed to learn. As did this woman.

There is another moral, as well. It is one I have had to learn over and over in Mexico. But it is imbued with the wisdom of my neighbors. The dog owner must have said it four or five times to the sobbing woman. "It is none of your business."

Often times, it is true. It certainly was today.

And a dog had to die to prove the point. 

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