Casa de Teca
Ojochal de Osa Pumtarnenas Costa Rida
October 27, 2012

Revised for Publishing, June 4, 2014

Family Favorites Series:  On Being Human


El Perro

El Perro

I am” El Perro”.  Or at least that’s what these people who live on the ridge above my village, Ojochal, call me.

I am a village perro, coming and going as I please, usually between our village  restaurant/bar and grocery store.

I am not alone.  There are many of us who are village dogs belonging to no one and in some weird sense, belonging to everyone. We get food where we can, when we can.  We sleep under porches, overhangs, vacant houses, even under bridges.

Most of us had families to take care of at one time.  I was one of these.  But I have little recollection of my “family.”  I feel they must have been kind and loved me, because I honor their practices.  I sit when told.  I sit and wait when I am to be fed.  I do not bark – for some reason humans have a real thing about barking.  And I never try to go into the casa.

In turn, I offered them love, gave them someone to play with and was extremely loyal.

But I can’t afford that anymore – the loyal part anyway.  I guess my family decided to move on, but not to take me along.  I stayed at the house until hunger drove me to look for food.  I have been on the move ever since.  Sometimes I think I see a car I recognise.  That’s what happened the day I ended up on the ridge.   I was following a car I thought I recognized.  I’ve never been up there before.  I have to admit it is quite beautiful.

Turns out I didn’t know the man who drove the car.  Soon, however, a lady and man came up the driveway.  The man I followed up to the house was shooing me off the nice porch.  So, I decided to lay a short distance from the people – close enough to be around; far enough so I could turn tail and run if I had to.

Soon, the man working on the porch, packed up, got in his car and started to leave..  I followed him down the hill.  But I couldn’t get the lady I had seen out of my mind, so I turned around and headed back up the hill.

She saw me and seemed immediately happy to see me, offering me some water and welcoming me to her casa.  The man simply said I smelled.  Nothing else, I smelled.

You know most of this story from that man’s point of view.  But, let me tell you the lady showed me kindness, even love, providing me with water, food and a place to sleep.  Slowly, I returned her affection with my love.

And so it went for several days – the man tolerating me (he even scratched me behind the ear once!  I loved that!).  But, I could feel the love from the lady.  One time, I got kinda carried away.  The beautiful lady came out on the porch, then stood in place, smiling at me.  I walked over to her and rose up to my full height gently placing my front paws on her shoulders.  I looked her right in the eye and we had –  a moment.  Later, I heard the lady telling the man,

“Honey, I can’t describe the experience i just had with perro.  He jumped up and placed his front paws on my shoulders, then looked into my eyes with such a soulful expression.  I know he was expressing his love.”

But I’m a village dog now.  I get nervous when I think I’m about to make a commitment.   I don’t want to deal with getting left behind again.  Before too many days had passed,  I started wandering back down the ridge to visit my human and animal friends in town.  As the days passed I began to spend more time back in the village with those I know best.  In fact, I think it has been some time since i’ve been back up the ridge.  You know, we dogs live pretty much in the present, so, I don’t know;  maybe I’ll go up the ridge again; maybe not.  I do remember it as a great experience.

Bye for now.

El Perro

Ojochal Village de Osa Puntarenas

Que La Paz Prevalezca en la Tierra! May Peace Prevail on Earth!

Blog note:  We never saw Perro again (LMA)