26. Leader of the pack
Trip Start Jul 13, 2012
29Trip End Jul 20, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I opened the gate as much as the chain would let me, but it was not enough for Kira to get her head through, though she tried. There was no way to signal the house, set as it was far back from the gate behind the concession stand. I didn’t know what to do. She’d probably be fine, but ... she could get hit by a car, or attacked by another dog. If that happened, wouldn’t it be my fault for not protecting her?
Dusk was just settling, and it was still hot. I walked to the beach to cool my feet in the water and Kira followed. She trotted around the beach sniffing the garbage, chasing the pigeons, pooping, always circling back to me.
When we returned to camp, Venus appeared. So both of them were locked out. My burden had grown even heavier. I couldn’t very well wait around for Fernando to show up, so I returned to my hotel, Kira and Venus at my heels. I felt honored to have been accepted as a member of their pack. And safer, too, especially walking past Scary Guy’s house. That’s why I didn’t try to chase them away. Also, I knew what it was like to feel unwanted and I couldn’t do that to them.
My plan was to ask the hotel owner to call Fernando’s house and let them know the dogs were out. Then I could walk them back and they’d be let in. It didn’t work like that. Somehow between my bad Spanish and inventive pantomimes, I made my request clear, and she made the call, but no one was home. She told me that Kira could be let into the hotel for a little while, but not Venus. My dear Venus, the one I loved most. As the hotel gate closed, she sat down right in front of it, looking at me with her sad eyes. I knelt down to scratch her through the wrought iron bars.
The owner’s daughter brought dog food out for Kira and I took some to Venus, who ate as if she were starving. Kira was not allowed in my room: she was crawling with fleas and had at least one tick. Bored, she wandered the walkways, up and down the stairs. I saw her drink out of the pool. Meanwhile, I packed my gear--this was my last night in Tecolutla--brushed my teeth, and washed the crotch of my pants, At around ten I went downstairs to check on the dogs, but they were both gone.
While the people here had confused the hell out of me, apparently alternating between accepting me and rejecting me, the dogs’ affection was constant. It took me a long time to go to sleep that night, worrying about their safety.