Pure Mexican, can’t you tell? She hung around me, panting, pawing the sand in front of my feet, friendly enough. Or maybe she wasn’t Mexican. Maybe she was American. Really, you can’t tell, can you? But that’s not what this story is about.
She wore a collar and a tag. A law abiding beast except her owner was nowhere in sight. Nobody leashes their dogs in Todos Santos, Mexico. Free range creatures, like horses at the side of the road. Up ahead, her brother trotted behind another beach walker. He had to be Mexican. His balls dangled between his legs like Christmas decorations someone forgot to put away.
Todos Santos specializes in ballsy dogs. They’re everywhere. Funny to see them swinging, ballast shifting with each stride. Caught me by surprise, same as getting whistled at as I walked into town one morning. Fifty-nine year old women don’t get hooted at much in Canada. I’d have been outraged in Canada, being a feminist and all. Stuck my nose in the air and ignored the fools. Different rules in Todos Santos. Noticing is good.
I’ve been nearly run over at home, though. Fuckers never saw me. Kept right on driving. I hurled my best foul language at them. Shook my fist. Stamped my feet. Pretty sure they didn’t hear me, either. But this Mexican dog? She stared me down. Flattered me with attention-getting high-beams.
Maybe she visited the beach every day as I did. She people-watched. I whale watched.
Oh, look. There. To the right, way off in the distance near the horizon line – a small spout. Yes, it’s a whale!
I wouldn’t have noticed if it hadn’t been for this Mexican dog.