Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Larry, Curly, and Darryl

We needed to prepare for our new dogs. Robert set to work repairing a gap in the fence. He gathered up ocotillo sticks and began fastening them to the empty spot across the gate. He had to scour for scraps of wire or twine to tie them with. In our short time here we have become alert to the need to conserve everything. Even common materials can be hard to come by. We reconsider throwing anything of potential value away: plastic wrap, cardboard, glass jars, a rubber band. Yesterday I was walking and saw a rusty nail and nearly picked it up.

With the fence now mended we headed down the boulevard to Ed's for the dogs. We did not see seventeen dogs, but there was quite a few for the picking if we'd wanted small mutts, something like Dachshunds mixed with Chihuahuas. There was a litter of black Labrador-mix puppies, but we were wanting something more imposing. We followed Ed next door to see some larger strays his neighbors' were caring for: Curly, Larry and Darryl--Darryl because they'd tried calling him Moe, but he thought they were saying "No." Larry, well she's a female. We really just wanted Darryl for he is large and black with Rottweiler markings, but we went home with three dogs because they would not be separated, hardship had bonded them together.

We thought we'd sleep better knowing we had canine protection. The following morning we discovered the trio had escaped through the gate. They'd pushed the ocotillo aside and brushed right through. Just as well, I really did not want three Mexican tail-waggers. Today, we'd go look for a German Shepard. As I was toting the bucket of dog food back to our neighbor he was coming up the street, dogs in tow. I related that we should not have taken their dogs, he and his wife were too generous, the dogs were obviously bonded to them and let's not cause them any more stress. But he was determined that we should have them and offered numerous suggestions on how we would coax these animals into accepting their new home. So we have three goofy dogs. Hopefully, they will give the appearance of protection.

Robert went to work re-repairing the gate, looking for something better with which to bind the sticks. He discovered plastic twist-ties in the garage and they did the trick well, though the sight jars me--plastic against the organic and traditional Mexican materials. I am discovering this is the new Mexico--traditional craftsmanship being polluted with the introduction of modern material. Admittedly, plastic is a pretty handy material. The owner of our beautiful adobe house has a new American brother-in-law, an enterpriser building vinyl-sided houses on the beach in north Loreto. I find it a sad assault on the environment, but who can stop people from wanting modern even if it means sacrificing beauty and tradition?

I think the inconveniences here demand improvisation which is very rewarding to one's spirit. I see it already in Robert when he emerges from a task smiling with satisfaction. When he helped the Mexican motorists on the road to San Javier he wasn't the least bit annoyed. He was enjoying the challenge. When we went to the local "hardware" store to find an extention cord and were informed that they'd have to construct one with various parts Robert was amused. Of course, we are in that relaxed frame of mind having deserted our work at home in the states. But relaxed seems to be the norm here.

You have to stand in admiration for the ingenuity of the people living in this impoverished environment even if the results can be far from aesthetically pleasing. Making the most of what you have. It's good for you.

1 comment:

mom said...

Hi there,
just enjoying your adventure and wishing you Happy Thanksgiving!! I have just completed adding international calling to my cell, so I will be able to phone you.
Send more photos please...
love you