Living in Ollanta (or really, anywhere) for six months, I have acclimated to the altitude and way of life. This means I have almost no trouble walking up a shallow hill, I am not as punctual, and my stomach can handle twice the amount of food I would normally eat in a day in the US. The first item I reference isn’t too bad. The second and third items, however… I’m definitely not proud of. Another thing that is now a part of my daily routine is running into (and petting) street dogs. I thought since they have become friends of mine, I should introduce them.
- This is Bobby, the depressed problem child of a dog who likes to hide in the corner booths at local restaurants, chase cars and a dog that looks more and more like a fleabag everyday. Bobby is a candidate for some sort of extreme psychological intervention. If there was a dog that needed to take frequent doses of Cymbalta or Zoloft, it’s this one. Poor guy has even gotten so sad that he is biting tourists. Thankfully, I’m not someone Bobby takes his anger out on. Rather, I’m the person who he curls up next to and cries. Bobby has had a few volunteer owners who have come and gone, and who have managed to tolerate his tendency to be clingy. He has also been known to sneak into the SVH office from time to time …
- Jack is at the right with volunteer Natasha Lee. Jack is the Switzerland of dogs in Ollanta. He is neutral, runs (rather, prances around) to his own beat and is by far the most beautiful dog in the town. Whenever I’m walking around town and I see this black and white fluff ball, I yell “Jack” and then see him start to run toward me (in a good way…usually, dogs running at you in this town is a trigger to skedaddle in the other direction). Recently though, Jack has fallen ill and takes mostly to laying in the window at a local restaurant. We are all hoping that he will recover and return to his usual jovial self.
- Meet Pepe. And me, I suppose. Pepe is seemingly chic and collected, but that couldn’t be more inaccurate. Pepe can eat like a horse, looks like a little torpedo and has been fixed (a rare thing for an Ollanta dog unless it has a gringo owner). Despite her feisty temper and lack of self control when it comes to desserts, Pepe is an energetic dog that will sit by your side (but only as long as food is present).
- “Ralphie, don’t shoot your eye out!” is all I think of when I see this slightly elongated, dusty dog (literally…I pet this dog and a cloud of dust puffs off of his back). My lovely friend Amy has (emotionally) adopted this little fella and is convinced that taking him back to the US is possible. I wouldn’t put it past her for sneaking Ralph into a suitcase.
- Scraps is his (or maybe her…too much fur to tell) name, walking around looking cute is its game. I used to have a stuffed animal named Scraps that I carried around everywhere. I wouldn’t dedicate an ounce of thought to carrying this fleabag around, but gawking is usually safe. He/she was sitting under my table during lunch today when I snapped this shot.
Written by SVH Project Coordinator Julia Curry