On foot again

I walked the few blocks to town today to take a bus to pick up our car from the mechanic, who spent the last couple days doing a couple hours’ work.

I saw this gnarly tree at the bus stop, then realized I had also never noticed the “expo” lot behind it, in the middle of town, where I have also never seen any activity. I’ll be watching it now for any signs of life.

Expo Rossi, Atlántida, Uruguay

It’s a pleasant treat, walking instead of riding a bike or driving, having time to see things I wouldn’t otherwise.

Of course, not having a muscular 30 kg leashed dog doing his best to dislocate my shoulder as I walk is also a pleasant treat.

dog with collar

As is avoiding the occasional interaction with loose dogs of irresponsible locals, which recently required preventing said dog access to certain parts of his anatomy for over a week.

I’ll spare you the details.

You’re welcome.



The wine prescription

I had to go the doctor to get a piece of paper documenting the dog bite on my leg, sustained when three loose dogs tried to attack Benji, who was on a leash. The paper adds weight to my denuncia filed at the local police station. The bite was superficial, and from my dog (again), but I didn’t share that detail. Not important. Those dogs should not be loose.

The doctor was concerned about my blood pressure, and took his time so that he could measure again. We talked about a few things, and he asked me if I smoked — no — or drank — yes — and he asked white wine? Curious question because yes, I do like white wine, and very few locals do. So he asked me what I thought of Uruguayan wines. Not much; I prefer one from Chile.

Oh, he said, have you tried this and this and this? All sold at Tienda Inglesa, and he even told me the prices. I asked him to write them down, and so he did.

wine prescription

On a prescription pad.



Strange animal spotted on dog walk

dog digging

OK, you figured it out: it’s not a strange type of animal, but Kiya the dog, with her obsession for digging holes (in the middle of the path, in this case) certainly qualifies as a somewhat strange animal.

She’s quite accomplished, though. This is phase 1 of digging. In a moment she will bag up for phase 2, kicking the sand she’s just dug clear of the hole.



Return of the swimming hole

I took this photo two days ago. We had been avoiding this route for several days because the water level had gotten so low that it only invited the dogs to get filthy. But my neighbor — who has a swimming pool — estimated earlier that we had gotten 1.5″ of rain in the early morning storm. Naturally Syd and I were curious to see how that translated in the doggy swimming hole.

dog swimming hole, Villa Argentina, Uruguay

Just wonderfully, it turns out! Plenty of room to splash around, lie down, or sit for a few seconds, looking goofy, before chasing each other around or digging holes (an activity frowned upon at home).

Now I can only wonder how deep will this get when we have continued rain? Stay tuned.



Digging it

As far as I can see, there’s no telling why a dog chooses to dig a hole. Kiya (pronounced KEEsha) decided on one particular spot in the trail, and has been working on it sporadically for months. Benji, who has only two speeds — ON and OFF — spotted Kiya taking a break yesterday and charged into the hole at full speed, half of him disappearing under the exposed root you can see.

dog hole, Uruguay
Alas, I didn’t catch his entrance.

While certainly enthusiastic, he lacks Kiya’s finesse. She first excavates, then backs up a bit to clear the hole. Benji’s approach is more bull-in-a-china-shop. Kiya doesn’t seem to mind. Or even notice, for that matter. When it’s time, she’ll start another hole somewhere else, equally for no apparent reason.

And Benji will be there to help.

3 kg free

English words on Portuguese packaging

Always amusing to spot English words that seem out of place.

dog food

And the irony: the dog food container was a freebie from Equilíbrio, the samecompany. It holds only 15 kg.

So what to do with the “free” 3 kg? Fortunately, we ended up with two of these containers.


Benji’s 4 seconds of fame

Tiranos TembladTV posted four days ago its first Summary of Uruguayan events in seven months. The narrator explains that during this period, more than a thousand videos have accumulated, too many to show all. And then — drum roll — starts the summary of events with a dog barking at a balloon (1:40).

Dog barking at a balloon, Uruguay

In case you’re new here (or to refresh your memory), here’s where that clip came from. The Summary is fun to watch all the way through. Even if you don’t understand the narration in Spanish, you’ll get the drift. There are a few bits in English.

So — if one dog year equals seven human years, Benji should have gotten 2.14285714285714 minutes (128.5714285714284 seconds) instead of 4 seconds. But the clip I posted originally was only 24 seconds long, and it was the “lead story” here, so good on ya, Benj. You’ve still got potential years of silliness ahead to claim your remaining 124.5714285714284 seconds of fame.

Dog-proofing the garden area

I’ve put this off far too long. With destructo-dog I absolutely have to have a fenced garden area. I’m not the most enthusiastic gardener, but I do have a bunch of seeds started, some of which (squash) will require substantial space.


Using what I had at the chacra, I cut posts to have 80 cm exposed. I had a roll of 120 cm fence wire already, so I figured I take off the top 40 cm and double it when I ran out of the roll.


It was pretty close — 2 meters shy! Had I not made a circular compost bin in the country earlier with the fencing, it would have worked out almost exactly right.

Where ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.

Benji, meanwhile, decided this was a nice place to hang out. No more. I trimmed the top 40 cm, leaving spikes, and built a gate. It’s not a pretty fence, and it’s not particularly well made, but it doesn’t have to be. It just has to keep out the dog and cat.

No excuse now.

A lively walk

As we approached the little zoo in Atlántida, a large songbird dive-bombed Benji in the road. Twice (he might well have caught it a third time). This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture.

A block later, Benji suddenly ran behind a car parked at the zoo, and a goose loudly launched itself into relative safety inside the short chainlink fence. This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture. (Why are the geese outside their pen?)

On the way back, Benji encountered a dog, but didn’t notice a second one, inside a trash container. This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture.

Dog just jumped from trash container
But honest, it really happened
So what did I get a picture of? Sticks.

dog throwing sticks on beach

Yes, those sticks from two weeks ago. The crooked one, our favorite, has gone up and down the beach a few times since then.