Cultural Learnings of Uruguay for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of America – Episode 1: Stray Dogs

Posted on October 13, 2008


Upon landing in Uruguay, there are several things you immediately notice. The palm trees, the ever-present ocean, the battered antique cars, people actually walking, and the stray dogs. The stray dogs are a new phenomenon for me, though from what I am told it is not unusual at all in this part of the world. The dogs are generally friendly and their main interest in people is to see if they may hand over some food. Come to think of it, really not all that different from pet dogs in the US. The dogs are not dangerous and keep to themselves; I guess having learned long ago that being hostile to humans is a quick ticket to the grave.

The dogs of course have no collars. They tend to be tan with curled tails and of a medium to large size. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between a pet and a stray because many pet dogs are also out wandering the streets, often without collars. This is especially the case once you get out of the city. It is interesting to be sitting outdoors at a café and have a stray dog come and sit next to you hoping for a scrap of food. Reminds me of home. I have been asking a number of strays if they would like to come home with me, but there are language issues as they only speak Spanish.

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