Friday, October 4, 2013

A day in the life of a partner of a dog besotted person.

"Oh no, I think he's not well," cried Saint Cushion. We had just passed a dog that was lying on the pavement in the late morning sun. He was sticking out quite a bit onto the walking path but everyone was careful to avoid him.

My first reaction was to ignore the man. (Someone has to be the bad cop in this story). 

To help you understand the situation better, this was the 3rd dog-related stop we'd made since stepping out from our casa half an hour ago. 

The 1st was 100 metres from our front gate when he realised he'd forgotten his bag of kibble. "My friends will be upset," he grumbled, when I told him we couldn't turn back because we were running late. He meant Kanocky, Hambre and Timido (pictures in the last post, who are now so fat, they spat out the asado bones he gave them yesterday). "And I need some food for the dogs in the city," he continued grumbling. I had to be stern. "NO! You can get a bag in the city." 

The 2nd time was when we got off the bus in Salta city, almost on top of 2 dogs huddled against a building wall. One of them had a gash on his leg. (I didn't see this myself.) "We have to get him to a vet!" Saint Cushion immediately declared, oblivious of the crowd of people around him trying to board the bus. "¿Veterinario, veterinario?" He asked everyone. "HOW are you going to get him to the vet?" I wanted to know. "He's not a small dog." I thought it was a very sensible question. As it turned out, no one knew if there was a vet nearby. So reluctantly, he moved away from the dog, muttering under his breath about how the dog's friend was so good to protect him.

This 3rd dog, on the busy pavement in front of Plaza 9 de Julio, he was not going to move away from.

There was a tiny puddle of moisture on the dry pavement, just under the dog's muzzle. He was an even bigger dog. His belly was distended, somewhat misshapen. His fur was dusty and matted. His legs were twitching.

"He's definitely sick. We have to do something." Saint Cushion was adamant. 

I wasn't sure how he jumped to this conclusion. "He could just be sleeping and dreaming," I thought I'd mention. "Like Georgia? Having a nightmare?"

No. The man was convinced the dog was very sick.

By this time, he had attracted a few passersby. "El perro está enfermo," he told them. (The dog is sick - amazing how much his español improves in a crisis.) The passersby shook their heads in commiseration. They said stuff that neither of us understood. They came closer to have a look at the poor sick dog. "¿Veterinario, cerca de aquí?" (Vet close by?) But once again, no one knew.

Being the cool (and, dare I say, rational) one, I suggested he ask the policeman in his booth at the street corner. He bounded over, relieved I'm sure to at last be doing something useful. He came back armed with the knowledge that there might be a vet down the road and round the corner and he could go get him. (There was no way we could have carried that dog.)

Then Saint Cushion bent down to look at the dog, perhaps to whisper some comforting words to him in español. Right at that moment, the dog took a deep breath, let it out, shuddered. Then. Nothing. 

Saint Cushion was beside himself. 


"Calm down! How do you know he's dead? He could just be sleeping."

"HE'S DEAD!!!"

More passersby stopped to see what the turista was doing to their street dog. 

"¡MUERTO!" The turista told them.

Finally, after more than 10 minutes of this melodrama that was going nowhere, one man decided to give the dead dog's paw a nudge with his foot. 

The poor dog. He opened his eyes for the merest moment, then went right back to sleep and wouldn't open them again even when Saint Cushion gave his paw another few nudges. (I guess the man just wanted to be sure.)

I'm never letting you forget this, Cushion! Ever! Hence, this post. 

Of course, I had to be the one to tell the policeman in his booth, "Perro no enfermo, señor. Siesta sólo."  (Dog not sick, sir. Only siesta.)

*With apologies for the Spanish or lack of*


What Remains Now said...

Well...I can't fault the Cushion in the telling of this tale, but I do know it is hard being married to a "good guy." How's Georgia doing?

Dexter said...

Oh dear, I would have done the same thing. I suppose when a doggie lives in a busy area he can learn to sleep almost anywhere. Glad the worst suffering was a bit of embarrassment.

Mango Momma

georgia little pea said...

LORI - Georgia's doing well, according to Mr O. Unfortunately, it isn't his custom to take lots of piccies or Facebook them, he's old school! We got one picture of her looking a bit lonely but he assures us she has lots of friends now that it's school hols. Thanks for asking :)

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Oooh, honestly and truly and really, I can hardly cope with the plight of these poor street doggies. :(

Ms Pea has friends! How wonderful...bless Mr O!

And you are both back on your feet..both feeling well and fit again?!

GizmoGeodog said...

Being married to a Saint has got to be tough but I sure can't fault Cushion for having such a huge and generous heart...many years ago in the wilds of Mexico my ex and I were traveling with a cat (yes I know this sounds totally dumb, but he was a great cat) Anyway the cat got sick (I don't even remember what it was it all happened so long ago) but what I do remember was trying to find a small animal vet...No one we talked to knew of such a thing ...vets were for horses and cattle not cats and dogs...and we got quite a few very strange looks for even thinking of such a thing (Yes we eventually did find a great young vet and the cat survived to live a long and healthy life)

georgia little pea said...

ROSE, yes we're much better thank you. The man got his jab in the butt yesterday. We went to town today because we were getting cabin fever after bed rest for 4 days. Off to the salt flats tomorrow. I am SO excited but I hope I don't die. I don't handle altitude too well, from experience but I'm taking all precautions this time (apart from having a wheezy chest). It's now or never! We leave Salta on Sunday.

I wish Mr O would send more pics! We talked to him about it when we dropped Georgia off and he knows she has a blog that I want to update. The man is lovely but I don't think he's much into emailing and such. Anyway, not fair to expect him to do it if it's not his regular thing and we don't want to keep harassing him.

GIZ - I knew you were a wild one. Among the many things I might have forgotten to mention in my post in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay was the lack of small animal vets in the area. Our hosts described sending their fluffy little Madrid dog to the local farm animal niceties! How different things are here :)

H and Flo said...

Hola! Well paint me green and call me Olive you're off on your adventures again! I'm sorry for being a lazy bum and not keeping up to date. I'm glad to see that Cushion has been elevated to Sainthood. It's about time, really. Mary McKillop's got nothing on him. St Cushion of Balmain. You really are getting of the beaten track and it's fantastic seeing these places on the blog. Also loving the doggie updates - like the 'how to dry yourself' series - Flo does that but her mate Sammy's the worst - I have Sammy stripes all over my nicely painted (Oriental something or other shade) walls downstairs. Anyway, looking forward to the next instalment. Will try to be more diligent in my reading, if not my blogging! H xx

Barb said...

I've heard the expression "the sleep of the dead" and the street dog obviously exemplifies it! Poor Cushion - at least he's getting lots of practice communicating with the locals. You can't live there - he would be too stressed trying to take care of all the street dogs. Glad to hear you're feeling better. If you're going to altitude, don't forget to hydrate.


This almost brought a tear to my eye as Mr. Ben at 12+ years sleeps (literally) like the dead especially now as early (and cool) dark nights set in.

BUT the your sleeping perro's stink eye once nudged was classic.

georgia little pea said...

H - I've missed you! X

BARB - 2 big bottles, 2 small, ready and packed. Middle of the night. Too excited to sleep.

QUEEN - I was so lucky to get that shot. Camera was in my hand. The others were taken after he fell back asleep. Hugs to Mr B!

Tootsie said...


I think the solution is for The Cushion to volunteer for WORLD VETS! You could be with Georgia (HI GEORGIA, LOVE TOOTSIE) and Cushion go off and do good deeds. Very good deeds.

That's my / our two cents.

Safe travels and doggy encounters,
Renee & Tootsie

Unknown said...

Poor baby. We find that upsetting.
Best wishes Molly

3 doxies said...

Oh dear lawd has mercy how I has missed ya'll!
I have always wanted to know a saint and nows I does...and though I is laughin' deep down inside, it seriously be da thought of savin a dog dat counts. I can just hears zCushion screamin' nows "HE'S DEAD!!!!" He's a hoot.
I reckon I is terribly lucky to has a vet right dwn da road...especially since I seems to be there all da time...hehehehe.


Sherri / 2Rescues said...

Cushion has a heart of gold when it comes to dogs, doesn't he? Those kinds of people make the world a better place (so do the people who write about those kinds of people ;) Could it be that Cushion is getting a bit homesick for Georgia? My heart was sinking a bit for the 3rd dog, and then I scrolled down to the picture with the eyes open. LOL. Made my morning. Keep on having a great time on your trip. Glad you are feeling better.

Jean said...

I love Saint Cushion.

Anonymous said...

I would be just as bad. Seeing dogs like that would be so hard.

Taryn said...

Cushion's heart was in the right place, even if he was operating on compassion overload!

Unknown said...

I have sat I'm with Cushion the whole way on this one. I glad you are visiting there and not me, street dogs and my mental well being to not co-exist well together at all :(

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Honestly I don't think I could cope living anywhere that had a lot of street dogs. It would take me years to harden up enough to be able to consider them part of the landscape.

I wonder what The Cushion's chances would have been in getting a vet to agree to come and check out a street dog? He truly is a Saint though :) If there were more men like him the world would be a better place!

Poor you not being sent regular GLP updates but I guess it's more important that she's being well looked after by someone who doesn't sit at a computer all day!

Have fun at the salt flats ... whatever they are. Looking forward to a post about it/them :)

georgia little pea said...

TOOTSIE - sounds like a plan :)

DIANE, SUE - I've come to the conclusion that not all street dogs are unhappy. Really, I believe it. I've seen some ridiculously happy and fit ones here and in Uruguay and just wish I'd been able to videotape them. They seem so free, are affectionate, and know their boundaries. For all I know, they belong to people and are just wanderers. There is generally a good live and let live relationship between people and the dogs. It's interesting for me to watch that. Another way for dogs to live with us, and not necessarily bad.

As you can see SUE, I survived the flats! YAY! :)

2 Punk Dogs said...

So glad you're all well, aside from the shots. I would have thought that you were the dog crazy one, what with having a blog and all . :)

I'm pretty sure the Mr. wouldn't have thought to bring home a lizard, 4 cats & dogs on his own, I'm the bad influence here. Though he did just let me know that "Too Cute" on Animal Planet is showing German Shepherd, French Bulldog and mini Aussie puppies next, score!

georgia little pea said...

Good point, PUNKS. I used to be the certifiable one in the family. I was a dog crazy child and teenager. After high school, I still loved dogs but was no longer in danger of being committed by my parents. On the other hand, Cushion was not a dog person at all when I met him but, over the years, has become a dog version of the guy who ties himself to a tree in the face of an incoming chainsaw.

I hope that explains the situation! As for the blog, I'm the writer in the family. Luckily, I have a dog and a man who provides good fodder.

P.S. He wouldn't bring home a lizard though. I would. I like reptiles way more than him ;)

Anonymous said...

As Springsteen once said, "It's hard to be a saint in the city."

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

That is a great story! Glad the pooch was only durmiendo. When I was in Guatemala it seemed I always was on the verge of adopting some critter; fortunately I found a good no-kill rescue group there so I didn't end up taking them all home on the plane :)

OG said...

Great post! Love it! And if you happen to run into Mr. Boyfriend in Buenos Aires (he'll be there tomorrow) tell him we said hi!

Tootsie said...

Just thinking about you on your travels, and wanted to say HI and I hope all is going well! :) Renee & Tootsie

booahboo said...

Cushion is a saint. Saint Cushion :)
Not all street dogs are unhappy. We have a lot of street dogs here... and even though we want to take them all home, we can't. Shelters can't take them all in too. That's the reality. Animals and humans can co-exist. It just needs some tolerance and kindness.
When are yous comin back? Would Georgia be able to recognize you when you are back with all the dust on you?

Peggy Frezon said...

What a sweet caring hubby.
Thank you for this story I read it 3 times, it made me smile.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Hey Typist, I don't know if you'll see this or not BUT do I remember rightly that you once mentioned you wanted a copy of Footrot Flats volume 12? If you do I can get you one cheap as long as you get back to me by Sunday afternoon our time. I could always post it over to GLP ;)

georgia little pea said...

Bugger! Guess I'm a little late seeing this, SUE. Blame it on Galapagos and Machu Picchu, the general lack of dependable wifi and time ;)

Thanks for the offer though! It was very kind of you. I can't remember if it was 12 myself. Hope you're well, and Frankie and Beryl x

sonia a. mascaro said...

Hi dear friend,
I think that the comment I left here vanished...
How are you?
Sending many hugs and kisses to you.
Enviando muito abraços e beijos para você. :)

booahboo said...

Are you guys ever going to come back? Its been a very loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time since you went away. Come home quick! We miss Georgia :D

georgia little pea said...

Dear Sonia and Ann,

We're alive! Now in BA. Last we heard, Georgia is good too and starting to protect "her" new property ;)

Tired and looking forward to going home...another 10 days.

Big hugs coming your way x

Jean said...

Dear Georgia. I received a wonderful postcard from your folks last week. By my calculation, they should be home now. Did you survive doggy camp???? Please say you are okay and happy to be home with them.
Love, Eddie
(PS we have an addition to our family since you went to camp - her name is Shiloh.)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Merry Christmas! Best wishes for the New Year!
Sending hugs to lovely Georgia!

booahboo said...

Georgiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa where are youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu... Thanks for the very nice postcard!! Caught us by surprise! It was lovely!!
Happy New Year to all of you over there.. hope you all are too busy catching up with each other and you are making your hoomans pay for leaving u alone for sooooooooo long. Milk it girlie.. milk it :D Come back soon to blogging yeh... we wanna see pics and storiessssssssssssss..

Rose ~ from Oz said...

You're home! er I think you are!!
(I meant to say ages ago that your postcard arrived sweet lady)
You know you're going to have to do a post - don't you.....
Everyone is dying to know how you, Cush and Ms Pea are. You can't let your fans down - um no pressure of course. Take your time.