I snapped this photo recently as I was driving back to mi casa. The photo to me is humorous and fun, but it does point out a recent change in lifestyle in San Miguel.
Yup, life is changing in town. I never thought I would live here to see this. Mostly the Mexicans just let their dogs out to roam the streets, collarless, and then the dogs are smart enough to come home when they are
However, the expats go crazy over this scene and think the dogs are homeless, (which probably a few are) and pick up the dogs. They groom them, get their shots and then try to find homes for them. Usually successfully. There is even a group here that find homes for pets in the USA and pay people to take the animals to the border to go on to homes somewhere where someone is waiting for the animal.
In addition there is a SPA, like the SPCA in the USA. There is also a group that goes out in the campo to sterilize animals. They also have what they call a blitz here in town. Lots of people volunteer and are involved.
The perception of pets is different in Mexico. If you think back to the 50's or 60's in the USA, that is the perception here. They are NOT a child. Often they are work dogs helping in herding or watching the sheep or goats. Or they are roof dogs to prevent burglars or whoever from even possibly contemplating entering a house. But, that is changing.
When I was growing up, it was not unheard of for dogs and cats to live outside. Dogs usually had dog houses. I don't remember our cat having an outside house. Hmmm, I wonder how that worked.
Nowadays, the amount of money spent in the USA on pets is staggering. That trend has not infiltrated Mexico as yet. Most people are too busy trying to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.
I did see recently that Petco is opening in the city of Leon which is about 1 1/2 hours from here. A large city of over a million people. Here in San Miguel we have many competent vets. Usually if people want a special food or item for their pet (I'm talking expats), they go to the vet to buy those items. Yes, the grocery stores Mega and Soriana have pet food, but I'm talking the specialty stuff.
It is interesting to observe this difference in attitude. I remember back in the 70's and 80's that it was
very, very unusual to ever see a cat or dog in my travels in Mexico. People just could not afford to feed them in most cases. Now with the increase in income and the emerging middle class, there are way more domesticated animals to be seen.
Being petless at present for me has been interesting. It is the first time in over 25 years that I have not had a dog or cat. And, prior to that, I only had a few years inbetween having the kids having all kinds of pets which, I of course, helped to take care of.
I don't think my being petless will last. Next spring might be time for a new pet. A dog. Easier to travel with as I miss having a copilot like my dog Flash who died eleven years ago.