“No question, the life of the Mexican free dog—we prefer the term ‘free’ to ‘street’—has never been an easy one.”
One look at the goateed philosopher who growled these words revealed their truth. Max looks like a small mop that hasn’t seen water in a while. Where the fur ends and actual flesh or even bone begins could itself be a philosophical question. Max is the leader of a pack—a not particularly ferocious, self-selected group of three, sometimes four canines of uncertain and utterly unrelated blood lines.
They roam the streets of Santa Isabel Etla, a smallish town in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The pack’s foundational compact proclaims their geographic range as running from the Collectivo stand to the Municipal Market. However, like much of the Mexican Constitution and Greek claims to the name of Macedonia, the compact is more aspirational than real as business owners, waiters, and various other two leggeds are constantly challenging the pack’s right to patrol or even exist in their own land. [Read more…]