From Syd this afternoon:
Was not there today. The tent was there, looking worse for wear. Definitely had not had a human sleeping in it last night, but perhaps a dog. The chain was still there. The bowl was also gone.
So, I guess the adage to “leave the campsite cleaner than you found it” also hasn’t permeated the Uruguayan psyche, but this appears to be an encouraging development.
My routine now includes afternoon walks with my goofy dog and Syd and his five dogs in who-know-who-owns-it 170 hectares/500 acres of scrub in Villa Argentina north.
Yesterday, we heard barking in the middle of it. Where barking shouldn’t be. We changed our return path to pass by again, but heard no more barking.
Today, we heard the barking again, and bushwhacked to find a scared, barking dog, chained to a tree. But with a little plastic bag of dog food. But also with a large bowl, presumably for water, overturned.
With six dogs in tow, we made little progress in connecting. Syd returned to leave it water.
Being Easter week, probably best if it stays there: our favorite vet in the campo is fully booked with pets until Monday.
Previously, Syd discovered the remains of a dog similarly chained, and left to die (it could have chewed through a rope). But there’s evidence of some care here. But still a chain. I’m not racing to judgment.
We’ll do what we can.
The Spinky-Faced Oriental Sandhound and I have walked a few times now with Syd and his five dogs on his private 197-acre reserve. Well, OK, it’s not actually his private reserve, but hey. Nobody else seems to particularly own it.
At this rest stop, one — Jordie, the alpha male — had temporarily abandoned his haram, searching, no doubt, for rabbits.
Leaving five dogs, pictured. Turns out the Spinky-face has found a kindred soul (Kiya, foreground).
We returned from an afternoon in Punta del Este to find a new pile of sand (which, here, starts at a depth of 5 cm). I added the concrete top later to halt further work until proper permits were obtained.
The hole was surprisingly large, and the proud culprit was quick to demonstrate it. I thought he would start digging more. Instead, he disappeared underground before re-emerging.
The message seemed to be, See, human? This is how you get out of the heat.
And when you hunker down, no one can see you. Understand now, human?
Well, other than to let you guess whose iPad that is, and who normally sits there….
Gita (origin Dogita, “little dog”), on the right, finds it a challenge navigating the boardwalk to the beach with continual flank assaults from the enthusiastic puppy.
Settled down, they have friendly a tug-of-war with a stuffed bear. Which, ironically (or not), was a gift from a cleaning lady to the third, and smallest, dog Bandito, the Shit-Zoo (Syd will appreciate this spelling).
Pecking order? Notice the paws.
Suffice to say, I was thrilled every time he got distracted by his big sister for a moment or two and stopped trying to climb up my legs.
If you’ve ever tried to take a picture of a puppy, you’ll understand this photo viscerally.
No image manipulation involved. We seem to have settled on his name as “Benji,” which was the name of the beautiful but personality-challenged dog we rescued (with permission) from our troglodyte property-squatting neighbors.
Suggestion inspired by our Uruguayan-American friend Isabel, who recalled that I once said all dogs in Uruguay were named Benny, because when owners call them they say ¡vení! (come!), which seems to be a Rioplatense Spanish conjugation. (If you can clarify, please do!)
I’ve spotted cats around this one vacant house for some while. But never four at once, sitting in the open, watching me and my dog through an open fence.
Fortunately, for my dog, cats do not represent food value. However, if that one in front was 3-day-old, stale, maybe even moldy bread, she’d be in there in a heartbeat. Yes, that daft.
Closer to home, our neighbor emails me a picture of our cat, asleep. On their bed, in their house, upstairs.