Having seen how the dogs in Dahab live alongside the human population, without being ‘pets’ as we think of pets, made me think of our trip to Chile, and the many dogs we encountered there.
We travelled around a bit, and everywhere we went we saw dogs – lying on the pavement, next to the road, in the dust, on a rock, beneath a bench etc. Some of them wore collars, quite a few of them, especially in Santiago, wore a scarf or jacket, or some item of clothing. Yet most (nearly all) of these dogs, like in Dahab, lived alongside, not with, the people. We only saw a few pets.
As you can see from the photos, the attitude towards dogs is pretty relaxed. We never encountered a dog being mistreated, although some of them bore scars or limped badly – the result, we think, of fights and traffic-accidents.
I think it’s interesting to see how dogs form relationships with people, even if these relationships are casual. Most dogs we saw seemed solitary animals. Some moved in groups (barely ‘packs’), but the make-up of the groups seemed random and impermanent.
We encountered a striking exception to this in Valparaiso (on the coast), of which more later.
Today I’ve enclosed some photos we took in Santiago. Later I’ll post some more, taken in the Atacama desert and Valparaiso.
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