Monday, January 3, 2011

On dogs and children

I ate today at Latacunga's local market at a line of street vendors. Two empanadas, one tostadas, carne, pollo y roz feast for $1.70. A variety of disheveled dogs wander around the market searching for food. It's a common sight in the developing world. Packs of dogs in Sierra Leone would mill around at night, sometimes forcing you to chase them away when they became too aggressive. Sometimes simply begging for morsels to eat - their dirty, unkept look a stark contrast to their well-groomed counterparts back at home. Sometimes you see abandoned puppies wandering the streets or beaches alone, and devouring the scraps of fish and chicken you would toss their way. Before resting at your feet, their tiny bellies bulging from the unusually generous meal.

In Latacunga, one skinny black dog stood out. His hair clung together in the chilly downpour. His worn ears, hanging like rags, dripping with the cold water trickling down from the heavens. His broken leg dragging precariously behind him as if it was about to fall off and join the rest of trash strewn throughout the marketplace.

I cut off a piece a piece of meat and tossed it to him when he came close. He eagerly gobbled down the meat and the remaining bones from my plate.

It took me only a few moments to remember the children going hungry nearby. Wandering the market with a similar purpose.

No comments: