I know there could be a debate of whether dogs, or any animal for that matter, actually go to heaven but for this article let’s pretend that if they live a good life they can. I think we are spoiled in the States where most dogs are really nice house dogs who may get aggressive sometimes but for the most part they are truly “a human’s best friend”. Here on the other hand there are several different types of dogs and I will briefly try to describe a few of them.
The first type is the street dog, and there are a lot of these. They don’t seem to have a home and the live off the scraps they find in the streets. They are never too skinny but their personal hygiene is horrible. As a matter of fact I would be hard pressed to even think about touching them. The nice thing about these dogs are that they really don’t want any problems. When they walk by you they look the other way, making sure not to make eye contact with you.
The second type is the cool house dog like we have in the States. They are nice and they love human contact. We have one at the Columban center house named Punchu, he is a Peruvian Hairless Dog, he is super nice and loves any attention he can get. The only problem with him is that he is literally the ugliest dog I have ever seen. This type of dog does not have hair, except for a little on his forehead and paws, and his skin is super hot and rough to the touch. Even though he is not nice to look at I have to admit I love the little guy! The Incas and people who live in the mountains use this type of dog in their beds in the winter to keep them warm because the dogs body temperature feels warmer than ours.
Another type is the guard dog, there are two categories of these:
1.) The dogs that sit on the roofs of houses and scare the heck out of you because they bark and you don’t see them until you look up. Then they go so crazy you wonder if they are going to jump off the roof and attack you. This one has the usual winter attire on because it is a chilling 60 degrees here, there winter here is unbearable :).
2.) The dogs that sit out front of people’s house and terrorize anyone who walks by. I find it hard not to use swear words when referring to them. Unlike the States these dogs are not chained up and they are free to do what ever they fell necessary to protect their owners interests. One of their favorite pass times is the chase people on motorcycles and/or bicycles and bite their legs. The worst part about that is that you really should go through the rabies vaccination after the bite to be on the safe side. With pedestrians they still like to rush you and scare you but they normally don’t do anything, especially if you lean do and pretend to pick up a rock to throw at them. They will run away then try a return rush and you have to do the rock thing again and it all passes.
So the reason I write about this is because I remember a couple of blogs ago I was babbling about how great it was to walk through the fields to arrive at the chapels. My attitude has changed. Since that entry I found out that there are field rats throughout those fields and they are always makings sounds like they are inches away from you…I have to pretend they are not there to make the walk bearable. After I drop Meri off I have to walk for about 40 minutes more through more fields and then some roads that don’t see a lot of traffic. There are a few stretches there where I have to pass some dogs and we literally do a stare down as I walk as close to the wall as I can and he stands as close to the other wall as he can and we both slowly move pass each other. Then at the last moment he gets crazy and makes a dash for me and I do the rock thing and he runs away. After a couple of months of this walk I know where all the trouble spots are but I still get nervous.
So I know this is getting a little long but this last part is worth it. The other night I was walking to the furthest area where we work, it is a 3 mile walk each way (you can click here to look at the map), and when I came around a bend I saw a pack of dogs, like 5 of them all different kinds, just to the right of the road. I thought to my self, “holy carp” (except in my mind I didn’t use the word crap I used another word that is far too hard to use in the blog) I am in big trouble. I thought, “I can either turn around and go back home or walk through the pack and be on be my merry way”. Since the dogs didn’t have much interest in me I decided to walk on; a couple of them walked by me like I wasn’t even there. Then the coolest thing happened. They grouped together and started to run through the field, which I think has sugar beets in it, like they were hunting (maybe for the field rats). But as they ran they looked like deer the way the would leap and bound. If I would have had a video camera it would have been the kind of thing you would have see in the National Geographic channel. I think I will never forget that experience.
So as I walked on thinking about what had happened, still on my nature high, I saw my arch-rival and we had our usual dance. As I went on the other 10 dogs I usually encounter were in their typical foul mood and by the time I go to the class with the first communion kids I too was in a bit of a foul mood myself. Of course the kids took care of my bad mood within 5 minutes with their curiosity about the first Communion class and of course me, probably the only foreigner they have ever met.
Back to the original question, “ Do all dogs go to Heaven?” I think not…especially the crazy ones that like to scare the heck out of me!!!