Why We are Still at the Blue Corner
Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
235Trip End Ongoing
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I don't really like dogs that much. They just sit there looking at you. Waiting. If you dare look back they think they belong to you. When we moved into our cabina at the Blue Corner we found a mother and six puppies living under our floor boards. Two days later people complained about the whimpering. Next thing you know the front of our porch was taken apart by the Blue Corner wrecking crew and the puppies were taken away.
That night, Elenka sat on our porch – Elenka's not a big fan of dogs either – in tears, worried about the puppies. Two days later, momma showed up carrying one of her young by the scruff of the neck. She was trying to put the puppy back under our cabina, but the space was boarded up; no room at the Inn
Plan B was to keep them in our bathroom – what the hell are a million or so extra fleas – but that wouldn't work either; momma refused to enter our cabina. In a last ditch effort to save the puppies, we found a small opening under our new porch and deposited them underneath.
That night, as I slept, Mother Elenka – earlier in the day Elenka had become Mother Elenka – and pretty much everyone else at the Blue Corner were kept awake until three in the morning by the whimpering puppies. Momma had been testing the waters. Now all six were again living under our cabina. In the morning we avoided the other guests. Then we heard distant hammering. Mother Elenka was afraid that a nine-station gallows was being erected for us and the seven dogs.
The following morning as I was making notes about the canine dilemma, I looked over at Mother Elenka. She seemed aglow, staring oddly towards the sky. Moments later, two sets of Blue Corner guests – both new arrivals – came by offering smiles and wanting to touch and hold our puppies. Then more people came by, Swedes, Germans, Brits, even the French, all with smiles. It was as though a new friendlier European community was emerging from the Blue Corner. Sadly, there were no Portuguese, Spaniards, Italians, or Greeks. Perhaps, as the week goes on. Then the hammering stopped. There'd be no gallows. It was like a miracle.
Then damned if another problem didn't crop up. Momma wasn't feeding the pups. One of the guests, an animal care worker from France, said that momma had dried up. What to do...surely at three weeks old the puppies weren't old enough to eat solid food. I had an idea. I took a handful of the dry dog food we'd bought in Benaulim town for momma and soaked it in water. The puppies started gobbling it down. Then I gave them some Basmati rice. They ate most of that too.
Last night, before bed, I went down to the Blue Corner bar for a bottle of water. The man who runs the place, the man who almost never talks or smiles, came to me and said that the puppies are getting much bigger and healthier. Before I was able to leave with my water he thanked me five times. I counted each and every one of them.
This morning as I sat on our porch in silence, staring out at the sea I heard the words, “I know what you're thinking. We're not getting a dog when we go home.” It was Elenka. The Mother was gone. I'd been wondering what it would be like trying to bring a stray Indian dog through Canada Customs. Both of us would wind up in detention.“I don't even like dogs,” I said.