Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Word About Strays

La Serena, Chile.

I was warned about the stray dogs in La Serena. People had mentioned them, mostly with a tone of disbelief. Even the locals seemed to talk about them like they were a nuisance at best, and a menace at worst.

They certainly seemed wrong to me.

Maybe it's just me, but they seemed more like part of the scenery, rather than a problem. They simple wondered about, sniffing for food, and generally looking rather decrepit. Defeated might be a better term for it; they looked more like dogs which had been beaten for the majority of their life and, as a result, always looked at people with a guilty look in their eyes.

Not to say I didn't see any bad behaviour from the dogs, only amongst themselves. I did see a few dogs fighting, but not in a fashion that seemed overly violent. The fight looked more like an alpha dog reasserting his position in the hierarchy. The larger dogs did seem to travel in packs, the smaller ones on their own. Of these smaller dogs, they still would be considered a medium sized dog, were they a pet. I would venture a guess that most smaller breeds had either been run off, killed or were exceptionally good at hiding.

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