Riding home from school yesterday, I looked up as the taxi slowed. A dog, paralyzed from the hips down, was slowly pulling its body across the road by its front legs. This is a very hard city in which to be a dog. Many are without owners, and they look miserable in ways that North American dogs rarely do. It is a visible reminder that Davao City, despite its bright new malls and rapid development, despite its pursuit of Western consumer culture, still has many needs that are higher priorities than the spaying and euthanizing of strays.
The two guards of our apartment complex also have a dog. He was a little puppy in January, and the many cats used to boss him around. Now he’s bigger, but still cute and friendly. He seems to have a pretty good life. But then, he would: he has owners who are employed by the rich landlord.
(Note the guard’s gleaming shoes leaning against the wall. He was wearing his tsinelas, flipflops, at the time.)
I’m about to start reading Richard Adams’ The Plague Dogs with Ezekiel. I enjoyed it greatly when I was about his age or a little older. It will be a little more vivid this time around, thanks to some of the dogs I’ve seen around the city lately.
On another topic: When I got home and exited the taxi, I saw a small boy a about twenty feet up in a coconut tree, so I had to take a picture.
In the USA, some officious busybody would have enacted a law prohibiting boys from climbing coconut trees. Clearly unsafe. OSHA and all that.