Community dogs, stray dogs, farm dogs… our relationship with the species we domesticated are as diverse as our economic means and the geographical regions where we coexist. In Colombia, as in many other Latin American countries with limited resources, people do their best to provide food and shelter to dogs. A parking lot, car shop, or a bakery are all possible spaces to escape from the rain and get some kibble or chicken bones. But there is still a lot to do. Many stray, malnourished, and intact dogs keep showing up in the streets and they can not all depend on people’s good hearts.
Animal-conscious people are going beyond informality and rescues are spreading, of course with economical limitations and heavily relying on donations. On the bright side, rescues are in rural areas where land is cheaper and dogs learn basic socializing skills while they play and run without having to be limited to a kennel. That is a luxury that we rarely see in developed countries.
After growing up in Colombia for thirty years and three years as a volunteer at the Austin Animal Center, being Austin the biggest no-kill city in the US, to me it is clear that innovative ideas are always welcome when it comes to find solutions, no matter where you are or how far you are in the process.
These are some of those dog encounters in Colombia, where I always found a lesson of resilience and kindness. Because we often forget that the world does not revolve around us.