|Some portraits I painted of dogs that were rescued off the streets of Antigua|
(Charlie, Bruno, Einstein, Cleo, Aggie, Milagros, Maco, Jacco)
It was busy this morning on the Alameda Santa Lucía, as it always is on this street in Antigua Guatemala. The rough cobblestones slow down the speed of traffic but never the amount. This is where chicken busses take a turn towards the terminal; shoppers head to the market while motorcycles and tuc-tucs weave in and out of long lines of cars, on both sides of the treelined strip of cement that divides the lanes. The sidewalk wasn’t much better. I was hopscotching my way to the hardware store when out of the corner of my eye I saw something quite out of place. A dog lying in the middle of the street. Not quite in the middle, actually, more like next to the curb of the midsection. But ON the busy street. Very likely to get hit by a car, if he hadn’t been hit already, because his hind legs lay in a bit of an odd angle underneath his body. Damn!
I kept on walking, as if by ignoring the dog the problem would miraculously go away. But I couldn’t. After a few more meters I stopped and turned around. I managed to cross the street and made my way to the dog. He was dirty but friendly. He let me pet him and ate a few pieces of kibble. (Yes, I quite often carry kibble around in my purse.) I tried to lure him onto the curb, but the dog made no effort to get up. It looked he was paralysed indeed. So, I’d have to lift him up. That was a little scary because it was a big dog and although he seemed friendly, you never know ho he might react, especially if in pain. But the dog let me lift him up without a problem. I put him on the curb and got my phone out, thinking of a strategy. Whom to call, which vet to take him?
As my brain goes highwire thinking of how to save this dog’s life, the animal in question gets up (!!!) and casually crosses the street at the exact but rare moment when not a car is in sight. He then walked up to this kid in a wheelchair who apparently was laughing his butt off at my attempt to “save” his dog.
The kid mentioned for me to come over and when I made it through the stream of traffic, we chatted a bit. I had seen this kid before, he can’t walk (as opposed to his dog I tried to rescue, how ironic) and is often panhandling on this part of the Santa Lucia. He told me his dog just wanted to lie in the sun a bit. I told him the road was not the right place to let his dog do so. He then told me he had another dog too, but it died when it got hit by a car. I told him that’s why his dog shouldn’t be on the street.
then asked if I could spare some change for breakfast. I gave him enough for
breakfast for the two of them.
And that’s how I ended up rescuing a dog that didn’t need rescuing.