Well that in itself is not really newsworthy – it happens. But this time, I’m kind of proud of it, because at least I tried.
Let me set the stage: here in Cusco stray dogs are everywhere. A handful have made their home in the little park in our complex. Most of the stray dogs are male, but a few are female – hembra as they say here in Peru. Most of the hembritas are not fixed, and when one of them is in heat, a whole pack of stray dogs gathers around the little park and they all bark and argue about who gets to be the next one to make chuculún with the horny bitch. This is kind of a nuisance, and a bit dangerous since there are so many kids around.
When I take Roxi and Manchita for a walk I can usually chase the whole pack of because Roxi is mean, and dogs on a leash with their owner seem to have a level of intimidation over stray dogs. So I typically wait for one of the stray dogs to give Roxi a look she doesn’t like and then she flies of in a mad rage and sends the whole pack running, at least temporarily.
The other night a group of stray dogs got in a big fight over one of the hembritas in the park. Since I didn’t have Roxi with me I figured to break up the fight by yelling at the stray Peruvian dogs in my meanest English, spiced up with an occasional Dutch “maakt u weg gij dommen hond”. I didn’t really accomplish anything since there were about a dozen of them, and only one of me. I would succeed in running one dog of, only to have another one sneak around back to the horny bitch.
Point being that Peru is not very good at organizational behavior, and needs better institutions. There is no real animal control here in Cusco – although there are public campaigns to fight rabies. I can make a fool out of myself, but I can’t feed and watch a dozen stray dogs. At least 2 of the dogs in our little park have bitten people that I know of (people sometimes do treat them badly), and occasionally they get in fights with one another.
So while all the locals were staring out their windows thinking “look at that crazy gringo”, I at least felt some satisfaction of knowing that I tried…
Roxy and Manchita were strays that decided to move in with us in NC. Roxy is some type of Jack Russell mix and Manchi looks like a blue Pitbull mix. Being that they are extremely attached to us, and they’re good dogs, we decided to move them to Peru with us. That was actually a pretty easy process: pay the vet in NC, the state of NC, the airlines, the Peruvian department of agriculture, and about $500 later we were happily moved to Peru. The best part of the trip for them was when they got to stay at the Sheraton Miami because our flight, which was supposed to leave at midnight, was delayed for 7+ hours. With time to spare, travel by air, ruff!!
Manchita got sick a month or so after moving to Cusco. Might have been the altitude (10,300 ft) or climate that she had to get used to. Either way, Patricia put this cute sweater on her for a while after that!
Update: see the comments for additional info on how to move dogs from the US to Peru.