Los Perros of Bacalar

18 Jan

The dogs of Bacalar have been on my list of blog topics for awhile. They lounge in the streets barely aware of speeding taxis and zipping motos. When walking or riding our bikes, it is useful to carry a stick or pocket of stones. Bacalareños and expats alike either own dogs, are afraid of them or both, for good reason.


In the defense of the perros is our friend Rojo. He takes collections of dog food, arranges sterilization clinics and maintains the bellies of a small herd of street dogs. With the support of many gringos he has taken the fight to the município and raised awareness. His facebook page, Perros Olvidados de Bacalar, the forgotten dogs of Bacalar, was created to provide a central message board.

Rojo the dog rescuer.

Rojo the dog whisperer.

While riding this week I was bum rushed by two dogs that hang out blocks from our house. I got scared, hit the brakes and went down. I got up bruised but determined to do something about this particular duo as I have seen them in action before.

They certainly think they live here and someone is feeding them.

They certainly think they live here and someone is feeding them.

I canvassed the neighborhood but was told that the dogs have no owner. No one wants to take responsibility for this pair, for good reason. A friend paid $11,000 pesos this week, about $750us when a passing man called the police threatening to sue, claiming our friend’s weimaraner Lucy had bitten him (names have been changed to protect the presumed innocent). As anywhere, the case for settling “out of court” was made and a deal was struck.

The take away came from the old man who came by on his tricycle while I was knocking on doors. I see him frequently in the hood and noticed that the corner dogs mostly ignore him. My curiosity was peaked and I struck up a conversation. I told him that the dogs had attacked me and I was looking for their owner. He casually glanced at my leg looking for evidence of the crime. Finding none, he proceeded to gesture about the mythical dogs who live “over there” and attack and kill people. Seemingly there are always people, “over there” who have it worse, like the starving children in Africa, invoked by my parents to pressure me to eat my peas and carrots.

The lesson and our new mantra is, if you’re not dead, you have nothing to complain about. Try it this week; it sort of has a nice ring to it don’t you think?



12 Responses to “Los Perros of Bacalar”

  1. emilievardaman January 18, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    Dogs and Mexico.
    I have the same problems in Bahia de Kino, though most of the dogs don’t much care to chase or bother, thankfully. But there are so many street dogs. It’s awful. I do contribute to a spay and neuter clinic, but they simply can’t do all the dogs.
    Some of that dog attitude has spilled across the border to where I live (two blocks from Mexico – an easy spillover). I no longer walk my dog because of the roaming street dogs here. People “own” them but they don’t confine them nor take much responsibility for them. A few that roam around seem fairly viscous, and I don’t want to take chances.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. taichidorian January 18, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    Seems that any time spent in Mexico generates a story or two about the dogs. Are there roof top dogs in Bacalar?


    • afish25 January 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

      I know, Mexican dogs are a running theme. I remember packs roaming the streets in the 70s where I lived. It is better. There is always the case for bigger problems than dogs but I refuse to give up.


  3. LJones January 18, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    Thanks for calling attention to the population of street dogs, the dangers, AND Rojo: the dog whisperer. And I would say “Rojo” with a heart of gold. I’ve never known anyone like him. I love your post and photo of Rojo. I’ll be down in March and would like to hear more about the situation. In the meantime, I contribute to Rojo’s dog food:) Love to you both, L


    • afish25 January 18, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

      Thanks L. The man is amazing and spread very thin. He does know people and is the point of contact for the problem. Very helpful.


  4. brucekelley January 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Interesting post, as usual, Alex and it makes me appreciate the dog behavior in Old Town, Puerto Vallarta as there are virtually no strays and owners are, for the most part, pretty responsible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • afish25 January 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      Yes Bruce we are a backward little town. The city is beginning g to see this as a health and quality of life problem. My hope is that as people bring it to their attention, they will see that it will drive away tourists. Follow the money.


  5. Karen January 18, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    Your meme joins up nicely to our mantra for living in Mexico. “Everything is ok (good) in Mexico.” So it all takes time here because it is all good.


    • afish25 January 18, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

      Thanks Karen, life is one big attitude adjustment.


  6. Ms Tisdale January 21, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

    Hola Dos Tortas – I am a fan of your blog (and visited Bacalar for the first time in October). Do you know if there is a way for me to donate to Perros Olvidados de Bacalar from the U.S.?


    • afish25 January 21, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

      How wonderful! I will make inquiries and let you know.


  7. Lois Leahy January 24, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    Hey Alex and Lisa,
    Roberta, Mary, and I were very aware of the dogs on our trip to Yucatan in January 2014, and I wrote about them in my “Mexican Diaries”. They take cars with a grain of salt, and almost caused us a car wreak by sauntering a’cross a “highway”. They all end up reverting to the same look, because Feral Dogs return to the lanky, mid-sized genetic stature of a wild dog, before all the breeding took place. We all were both surprised and dismayed about their ability to survive and the terrible physical condition many were in. (Our Father was a Veterinarian) However, we never felt threatened by them, just sorry for them. Clearly, Mexico has not made feral dogs a priority, since Human condition in Mexico is just one notch above them. Love your blog, don’t quit! XO Lois (Roberta’s seesta)


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