Travels with Luna: Baja Edition
Memorial Day 2015
“I’m a one-dog-woman. I’ve always been a one-dog-woman and I always will be.”
Then, one day, I was no longer a one-dog-woman. I was a two-dog-woman, and I would always be a two-dog-woman…
The day I arrived in Todos Santos was the day I decided to park my RV, rent a house, and become a settled woman, if only for a few months. I found a cool house for rent. It was on top of a hill, the beach was less than one mile down a generally deserted road, and the upstairs deck had an amazing view of town and the Sierra de La Laguna beyond. The house was vacant and the night before I was to take possession I packed a couple bottles of beer and snuck onto the balcony to enjoy the evening. I had barely popped the cap of the first beer when a pack of puppies came trotting across the street, down my driveway, and up the stairs to greet me.
I took it as a good omen for the house and for the town. My mom took it as a sign that I was going to become a crazy dog lady.
The runt of the litter, and only black baby, I named Pequeña. Her two brown siblings I named Loquita and Brutus. My gardener took the fourth puppy and named him Scooby. They could not have been much older than eight weeks, but even at that age it was obvious that Pequeña was the mischievous one and not well liked by the current caretakers because of it. At an age when she should have been getting fatter and sassier, she was growing thin. She was very timid, and while she followed Luna around like a puppy-dog, she would not let me pick her up. Finally, I snuck up behind her and grabbed her. She immediately went limp in my arms, a trait shared by most Baja dogs. I took her into my house and fed her a bowl of Luna’s food while her siblings pined at the screen door. (No, I’m not that heartless. I did invite them in and give them snacks, after Pequeña had finished eating). This became our regular routine for the next couple weeks. Until the day they began tying the puppies to their fence, no shade, out of reach of each other and the water bowl.
I lost my patience that day. The following day was Memorial Day and I drove to Cabo San Lucas for my obligatory Costco run. While there, I picked up an extra bag of cheap dog food. When I got home, I threw the bag over my shoulder and walked over to my neighbor’s house. The three of them, mom, baby Allison in her lap, and dad, were sitting on the doorstep. I asked if they would trade Pequeña for a bag of food. “Sure. Would you also like the other bitch? We don’t want her, bitches make babies.”
My gaze drifted to mom and baby Allison. I’m sure the irony was lost on mom.
“No, I’m very sorry, but I can’t take the other female.”
I could not believable I was taking Pequeña. I was, after all, a one-dog-woman – who now had two dogs.
Loquita and Brutus continued to break free of their shackles and come visit, looking for their sister, food, and water. I continued to keep an eye on them, freeing them from their ropes when bound so tightly around their limbs that their circulation was threatened, adding water to their bowls, and supplementing their diet. It broke my heart to see them treated that way but I was at a loss about what to do. I had rescued the baby who was in imminent danger. I had to content myself with that.
As usual, mom was right. On that fateful day in Todos Santos, I had detached my gypsy wings and became a crazy dog lady.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I imagine you would like to hear about my travels, not about how they came to an end.