It seems fitting to follow the people of San Miguel with the Dogs of San Miguel. I don’t believe I have ever been in a more dog friendly place.
I was raised with dogs and have had a dog nearly my entire life. It has only been the last few years that I have not had one. I love them, love seeing them and love meeting them. So I was thrilled with what I found.
My expectation was that I would find strays wandering the streets. This is what we found in Ecuador and what I have seen when we visited Rosarito and Tiajuana. It seemed reasonable that we would find the same to be true here. This was not the case. Rather, there were lots dogs, mostly small but some large, but all well cared for and obviously belonging to someone.
I was surprised to see dogs wandering about restaurants and shops. But they were all clean and well mannered. Most simply sat by the feet of their owner. It was not unlike what one would expect from a service animal except that these were obviously pets. Some would come over to visit when I knelt down. Like I said, I love meeting them. 🙂
Photographing the dogs of San Miguel was quite fun but one had to be careful. When we saw a Chihuahua dressed in a Santa Suit, I dropped to my knee and started to make a few images. Then I noticed that the traffic had stopped. I looked up and saw the drivers were waiting for me to finish. I stood, waited for the cars to pass and then went at it again. Soon traffic was, again, stopped. I decided it was best to move along and be content with what I had. But, the pup was worth the effort. 🙂
Of course Susan had to say hello.
In another instance, we had spotted a grand old Dacshund and were working the shot when a young girl walked by, entered the doorway, and then returned to hold and pose her dog. She was obviously very proud of it.
Often the dogs appeared overhead, watching the street activity from a roof top.
Other times they appeared in windows, peering out through the bars as if prisoners watching the world pass by.
And sometimes they were in the doors, just watching, perhaps hoping someone would stop and say hello.
Though there were lots of dogs, many off leash, we never encountered any conflict. There was occassional interest in a passing pet but they all moved on.
There were a couple times that we came across a dog that seemed “defensive.” One seemed frightened by my camera pointing at him (I did not get the picture) and one didn’t care for our wandering in on the herd of cattle, sheep and goats it was watching. It was a working dog. We moved on and I got my picture from a distance (the dog still giving me the eye).
And some just slept like this pup, one of the few strays we encountered.
I’ll leave you with the thoughts of Will Rogers… “If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”