Now, like any leased child, it wasn't all smiles. She occasionally failed to heel and crossed against the light. Taxis would honk and narrowly miss her. I would bury my head in my hands at her bad behavior until I remembered I was just “leasing.” The best part of leasing a stray is that when it misbehaves, you just throw up your hands, and look the other way.
I must admit I had some experience in the dog rental market. When I lived in Santiago as an exchange student, there was this dog that would follow me when I ran one of my favorite routes. It was close to 10 miles and over 1000 feet of elevation gain, but the mutt would follow me all the way up Cerro San Cristobol. I was so impressed I wanted to feed her a rico mote con huesillos, the official soft drink of tourist plazas in Santiago,
So, as I said, it started innocently enough, but soon got out of hand. As we were walking towards the beach in La Serena, we passed a pack of strays flojeando in the street. I don't know what we did, but we caught the eye of the ring leader, and soon we had inadvertantly leased our own little pack of hellions.
These were bad, bad, bad, bad dogs (but they made me feel so good.) They really wanted to eat themselves a car. The taxi drivers have no compunction against taking a canine life, so they would honk and swerve towards the dogs, but woe onto the driver who had the humanity to slow to avoid hitting them. Once slowed, the dogs would surround the car and attempt to bark it into submission. Erin even claims that she saw one deadpoint a fender of a car going over 20 mph and hang out for a few seconds. The dogs got within inches of the cars. I had to look away a few times when I thought I was going to witness a tragedy. Even though these were some misbehavin' dogs and we were just renting, I still have a soul.
A motorcyclist approached and quickly realized that he was boned. He slowed to almost walking pace, which fortunately bought him enough time for a taxi to race past and draw the fire. By this time, we had gotten to the beach, and we hoped the end of the line for the rental pack. No such luck. The dogs went and played “terrorize the seagulls,” which I had to admit looked fun, and finally “terrorize Erin,” (which also sort of looked fun, actually.) All the while they dogged us down the shore, and nearly back to the gate of the hostel.
Note to self: Do not lease dogs so cavalierly in the future.