When I attended college, back in the 70s, our campus featured many of what we called “quad dogs”. We students never quite knew where they came from, or, when they disappeared, they went. Were they strays? Simply “wild” dogs? Escapees from the local animal shelter? No one knew or, really, seemed to care.
All we knew was they were harmless and happy and they lent a certain panache to the campus. Friendly faces all.
Likewise, here in Chapala.
If you’re not a fan of dogs, or at least simply tolerant of them, Chapala isn’t the place for you.
They’re everywhere. Roaming the streets and the mercado. The first time I went to one of the butchers at the mercado I must admit I was taken aback by the furry friends standing and milling about among the human patrons. They weren’t trying to steal any meat and they always seem to politely defer to humans. Yet there they were. And to this day I can count of seeing dogs at the carniceria.
Often we’ll see dogs sprawled out on the sidewalk or by the side of the street, lounging or catching a few zzz’s before strolling along down the street.
We’ve never encountered a dog fight; despite their numbers, los perros (“the dogs” in Spanish) play and romp together. In ones and twos or threes. We have yet to see a pack roaming around either.
Now add in all the domesticated dogs, the dogs leashed by humans or guarding houses or behind the walls of the streets. What totals out is a very dog-friendly environment.
In fact, the only times we’ve encountered noisy dogs are those guarding a territory. The dogs that roam the streets are remarkably quiet and docile.
In Chapala, it’s live and let live. Dogs and humans. We love it.