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Who let the dogs out? Maybe gated communities ain’t the safest places in Mexico

22 May 2006

An internet friend, “one of those people who moved ” to a gated community where she and her husband — though gringos — are the poorest people in the complex, writes on the downside of life in “gringo gulch”:

Screw the revolution, drug cartels, police on the take, malaria, stomach bugs … the DOGS will get you!

On my street the people go armed with bear mace, bb guns, rocks blunt instruments. Don’t think we are afraid of being kidnapped or raped … just attacked by our friendly neighborhood pets.

If you are coming to Mexico I advice pepper spray (the larger the container the better — it is legal) rocks, canes, anything.My neighborhood is gated, 24/7 etc. but we are all armed to the teeth against the guard dogs let out to use the baño or just let out off leash. These dogs are well fed and trained.

A huge terrier attacked our dog when we were out for a alk. It came out of the blue, and went straight for our dog’s throat. I had the safety on the mace and my husband had to use his cane to fight the dog off. The caretaker found the house where the culprit was hiding, and a neighbor filed a report with the security guards.

My husband is hiding his black and blue wounds and his leg is really swollen. But we’re off to the vet — the dog needs antibiotics for his 4 puncture wounds — then to the doctor. The attack dog’s owner (of course) is out of the country, though his brother will pay the doctor/vet bills. Great. The dog is going to a ranch. Sure. This is his fourth attack.My attitude now is if I see a dog I don’t know, spray the bear mace and keep spraying. Then plead fear or just deny doing it.

Meanwhile, this bad dog report from a foreigner in a traditional Mexican village:

I was in the market square talking to my son on the phone at 10:30 pm. When I hung up and started back to my car, I was attacked by 6 or 8 dogs, who were seriously lunging and trying to bite me. I called them some real nasty names at the top of my lungs. I was angry, but fortunately, most of the local women couldn’t understand what I was saying. Finally, I managed to get my hands on a rock, and they evaporated instantly.

The next morning, my wife went down town to buy milk to make atole for her bachelor uncles. She came back rather excited, told me all the dogs were dead, that someone had poisoned them. I was horrified, because a lot of witnesses had seen me fighing those beasts. So, I expected to be blamed. Her cousin told me not to worry. They have a dog killer, the Mexican equivalent of our dog catchers. When the problem gets bad enough and street dogs are menacing people, the Municipal President writes a kill order, and the dog killer tosses around plenty of poisoned meat, and walks away. The next day, the street cleaners cart off the dead dogs.

I asked what happens if a good dog is out there. He said if people aren’t taking care of their dog, too bad.

I like dogs, and I’ve known some very nice street dogs. But, tossing rocks is always an option. Or using pepper spray and denying it. That works too.

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