Giaco who IS our dog (or Jacko, as Jim prefers since Giaco/Jacko looks like anything BUT Giacometti's dog at this point -- Marco Antonio our vet suggested Botero, a Colombian artist muy popular here whose painting is filled with rotundity)....Anyway, Giaco/Jacko came down with a respiratory infection and is on antibiotics (amoxicillin*) for ten days and has been ordered not to run with us for the duration. SO as he's felt better and perkier, he's looked sadder and sadder as we've left the house each morning without him. A few mornings ago, we were out on our run, Jim well ahead with Cosi and I with Rita and Happy, when I thought I saw Giaco/Jacko standing with Jim, wagging his tail with great enthusiasm. So as I got closer, I yelled, "Hey, is that Jacko?" Lo and behold, it wasn't! It was a slightly smaller, definitely unneutered version of him. With a better hair job, and I think a head which looked like it just might have a sprinkling of Golden Retriever genes. What a shock! Giaco/Jacko type dogs are not at all common around here, to say the least. We asked a few people on the road if they knew whose it might be, and they didn't. I stamped my foot and pouted and tried to convince Jim we ought to bring the dog home, at least until we could find the owner, but not so hard because I really didn't want five dogs.
We got home, and I called Marco Antonio to see if he'd heard of anyone who was missing such a dog. He hadn't. As we were speaking, a ruckus erupted on the other side of the gate. Of course, there was the dog with some kids who had brought him thinking he was ours. Jim said we simply couldn't take him in but we'd try to find the owners. So one of the teenagers took him to his family's house. They want the dog. I will help feed him.
This family is one of the larger families, and poorer ones. They live in a wood house with dirt floors. There are four or five kids, all polite, nice, friendly, well cared for. The father sells birds for a living. (Birds here are very popular: canaries. People hang them outside on the front of houses in wooden cages, sometimes five or ten of them. In the mornings and evenings you can see people lifting the cages off their hooks with long poles in order to check on the birds and feed them.) The day they took Not our Dog in, they tied him outside on a good length of yellow rope and he lay seemingly content watching the kids fly their small-diamond shaped kites in the breeze. They've come for more food and report he is doing well. I hope so. The children are so happy with him that we really haven't made much effort to find his owners. Maybe they abandoned him. He didn't have a collar. Maybe they were mean and strict. Maybe they left him alone all day. Now he is the center of attention.