Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock

“YOU can be trained to see things MY way”

Dogs!  Friends and alarm systems. Watchdogs and pals.  The smaller the dog, the tougher they act.  For more than thirty years we were dedicated cat people, not wanting the responsibility of caring for a dog.  Recently however, Sparky a cute terrier-low-rider-mutt decided we could possibly be trained as primary care-givers and moved in with us.  His crazy antics led me to review my photographs searching for amusing images of other local dogs.

Chilly weather clothes

My favourite photos are of the pooches dressed warmly for the cooler winter months, when the temperature drops from a day-time high of 30 C to 21 C.  Brrr!  (86 F down to 69.8 F).  Local short-haired dogs shiver in the cooler temperatures, and concerned owners gear them up for winter with warm sweaters and quilted coats.  We have acclimated and can easily wear jeans and sweaters when the temperature dips below the mid-twenties Celsius, so I get it.  I empathize with them.

Michael at Impresiones Magicas 

Additionally there are truly pampered pooches who dress for specific occasions; like Michael a gorgeous pit-bull who guards the Impresiones Magicas store in Cancun. 

He frequently is attired in a seasonally appropriate costume such as Santa Claus in December.  

He’s a lovable wriggly, waggly character during office hours, but a serious guard dog at night.  

Miss Tinkerbell

On the other end of the size scale is Tinkerbell, Doug and Suzanne’s little toy poodle; she would be after-dinner dental floss for a dog the size of Michael.  Tinkerbell has an array of outfits, bows, ribbons, and even a beautiful pink life-jacket for boating events.  She is well mannered and welcome in most restaurants, enjoying the view from her own chair.
We have also met Willie, who is adored by Ceil and Dick.  He is a perfect guest at the dinner table, handsome and polite.  

We call him Star-Dog (name is Peluche – teddy bear)

Along the malecon (seawall) on the east side of the island is a cute butterscotch-coloured mutt who sticks his head out through the star-shaped holes in a brick wall, woofing a hello to passersby.  If you mention Star-Dog, anyone who walks that route knows the dog, and has likely had a conversation with him.  He seems friendly, but I don’t invade his territory.  It’s his job to warn off intruders.  

Also amongst my photographs are several of what we refer to as “roof top alarm systems.”  It’s a pretty common sight; one, two, or more dogs peering over the edge of a roof, barking at anyone who enters their territory.  It is a touchy subject – dogs confined to roof tops.  Petty theft, robberies of electronics and cash, are as common place here as they are in any part of the world.  Noisy dogs are often used as an expedient solution.  Alarm systems are rare and expensive, most being monitored by private companies in Cancun and necessitating a long wait before an alarm is investigated.

These guys are well-cared for – roof-top alarm system

A few months ago the local police advised friends to “get a dog” when faced with the aftermath of a breakin. I must admit I still have challenges with the concept.  As my friend Harriet taught me years ago; this is not my country, I am a guest. Thankfully the Isla Animals organization is on the lookout for neglected animals, involving the authorities when faced with a tough situation. 

Handsome dude – brown, white and pale pink

And then there are the dogs who are enjoyed as companions, friends. Wandering around the various neighbourhoods with my camera, I noticed a house that was painted pink, white and chocolate brown, to match their beautiful pooch whose coat was a combination of brown, white, and pale pink splotches.  The owners grinned when I complimented their dog, and their house, nodding in agreement that he is a very handsome dude. 

Looks like a sleeping bear!  

Another favourite of mine is the monstrous black dog that lives on the road behind the middle school. He is so huge he resembles a bear. Snoozing in the sand he seldom bothers me when I drive past in the golf cart, looking for ideas for blog postings.  He will occasionally lift his head, and give me a half-hearted woof, before deciding that I am no threat to him or his house. When you are that big, you own the road.  

Soggy Doggy in 2009 

Many of our friends have adopted dogs or been adopted by dogs. Soggy Doggy is a fixture at the Soggy Peso bar, sleeping off his elder years under a hibiscus plant close to potential snacks from bar patrons.  He’s old, and wheezy, and scarred from many battles for the affections of females, but greatly loved by Sal and Mal.  Every time I see him I smile in remembrance of his brash “I can take ’em all” behaviour, not so much in evidence now with his advanced age and health issues.

Sombra – enjoying her golf cart ride

Curtis and Ashley at Villa la Bella, shared the story of their dog Bella on this blog, posted in October of 2013.  Tiff and Brad at Barlito’s have Clienta who I believe is around fourteen years old now.  Chuck and Marcy fell head over heels for Somba at least ten years ago.  Janet and David have adopted three from the island, Pretty, Tan, and tiny little dog also named Bella.  My good friend Diego, the illustrator of our joint venture children’s book, also has an elderly much loved pooch.  A number of these adoptees have been featured in this blog at various times.

Sparky is in love … hopelessly in love.

And Sparky, well just the other day he met a new girlfriend.  She’s a beautiful well-trained Boxer that walks with her human every morning on Playa Norte. She is about four times the size of Sparky, playfully wrestling with him and playing tag for a few minutes every day, before we head off on our separate routes. Sparky can dream all he wants, but nothing will come of that relationship.  They are both – what’s the current correct terminology? – altered.    

We still really enjoy cats, and soon Tommy will be famous with his first book. Sparky on the other hand will have to wait until book number two to share the spotlight with Thomas the Cat.  In the meantime he keeps us entertained with his antics.  We’re happy he chose us.

Lynda & Lawrie

PS:  Information from a blog reader: The “Star dog’s” name is Peluche (teddy bear). Love him and all of the Isla dogs!     Cool!


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