The Year of the Stray Dog!

My nose is buried in a glass of Carménère. I breathe in the wine, my surroundings. I’m on a street that is likely named El 25 de Mayo or El 9 de Julio. I’m about to say something about either hints of cherry or crushed pepper when a dog walks by me. It’s the eighty-seventh perro callejero that I’ve seen since I landed. So naturally, I ask:

-Is it the year of the dog?

Across the table from me is Santini Martin. He wears a white Carlos Gardel hat like a tourist and reads La Nación like a local. He sips a café cortado between grunts.


-You know, the Chinese calendar.

-China? This is Chile.

-Right, but…

-How’s the wine?

-Pepper, thyme, not off-settling tannic. Black berries.

-You read or smelled all that?

-Don’t offend me. Top me off.

Jet lag was setting in. My vision was going soft and the dogs were multiply like…

-I think they over soaked the skins. Too tannic for my taste.

-Speaking of oversoaked skins, you should consider sunscreen.

-Consider it considered. Now, what do you know about these dogs?

-They were all once puppies.

-Everyone loves puppies.

-And then they grew up.

-Became a motley crew.

-Now they roam the streets looking for a hot meal, some shade, a glass of vino tinto and a bath.

-Someone should take them in.

-No one could ever love these mutts.

-You’re a cold hearted man.

-I’m a realist.

-Where I come from they love ugly dogs. They eat health conscious meals, exercise regularly and spend their Sunday nights snuggled up watching HBO.

-A dog’s life.

-I think I’ll post flyers in Los Angeles advertising these mutts. Adopting feral dogs is very in. Very progressive. Like human rights used to be.

-That topic has gone a bit soft.

-Haven’t we all.

I swill and swig the last of my Carménère.

-Passion fruit?

-Stick to the dogs, kid.

And so I did.


Name: Pablo Neruda   Breed: Chilean Malamute   Age: 11   About: Trained duck hunter, adept chef, prone to fleas, likes fast women with loose morals. Loves to dance.

Name: Augusto Pinochet Ugarte   Breed: Breton Doberman Pinscher   Age: Deceased   About: Loves to laugh, talk fascism, violate human rights, line dance and impose curfews.

Name: Jeronimo   Breed: Cat/Chihuahua   Age: 32   About: Vegan, political junkie, hates her dad, loves Tom Brady and Newt Gingrich. Looking forward to becoming a born-again Christian. Her favorite holiday is Easter.

Name: Bernardo O’Higgins   Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel   Age: 64    About: The life of an illegitimate son can be a tough one. Poor health and lack of training hasn’t helped either, but I’ve got high hopes for this guy. He’s got a great attitude and doesn’t shed.

Name: Gabby Mistral    Breed: Poet/Boss   Age: 5.5   About: Haunted by betrayal, sorrow, death, and the perpetual stain that Hot Cheetos leaves on one’s fingers. What she lacks in outright happiness she makes up for with a loud wardrobe.

If you’re interested in adopting any of these perros callejeros/children please follow the instructions below:

  1. Western Union $15,500 USD to P.O. Box 1826 Hollywood, CA 90028 c/o Exchanging Pleasantries.
  2. Fly to Chile.
  3. Roam Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, and Santiago until you find the dog of your dreams.
  4. Cab to the airport.
  5. Bribe customs.
  6. Fly back to wherever you live.
  7. Bribe customs again.
  8. Bathe, spay and/or neuter your pet.
  9. Send a thank you note to the above address.

If you have any questions, please direct them to this guy…

Leave a comment

Filed under Information Pertinent To Gratification, Red Cups

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s