I live on Santa Rosalia with three other dogs who really live there and let me hang with them. Their owner, her name’s Jan, when she has Rafa bathe Munchie, Beanie and Rufus, she gets him to wash me down too. That’s so I can come in the house and, you know, not leave a pile of pale Mexican dust on her tile floors. I tell you, this coat is a magnet for dust, the same color as dust, so it’s like this dust, you know, when I roll around in the dirt road out front of the casa with Munchie an’ Beanie, it’s like this dust is an army in camouflage camping all over me. It’s like my coat becomes their possession for a while. It’s like I’m occupied. I can’t see ‘em – all those little dirt soldiers. Nobody else can see them either unless somebody pats me, then Poof! there’s this small cloud of parachuting dirt guys who’ve been transported from me to hang on the air for a second then disappear. Or when I stretch out inside on Jan’s tile floor, you know, after I circle around for a while. Jan says when me and Munchie and Rufus do that, oh and Beanie, too, she says we’re trampling down the tall grass for a bed even if the grass is just in our memories. She’s weird. But she’s pretty nice, too. My tail goes really down, like right between my legs when Jan says, “Tahiti! Look at the pile of dust from where you were sleeping!” I tell you, it’s hard to look Jan in the eye when I disappoint her like that.
I’m not so crazy about the soap and the hose, but it’s worth it, you know, when Rafa washes me clean like he does the others. And even when the place where there isn’t really any grass but just those silty pieces of dirt from the road on the tiles, that place where I’ve been dreaming of cottontail rabbits and jacks – even then, Jan, she’s a kind senora, she gives me a snack from a round tin with a picture of Old Roy on the front.
I tell you, for an orphaned Mexican street dog, this Santa Rosalia address is not a bad place to hang. Good friends, good people. Yeah. I’m thinking I may give up padding along dusty road shoulders for good. I’m thinking I already have.