Equator Gringos

October 1, 2007

Dog Rallies

Filed under: Ecuador, expat, South America — Tags: , , — lstollin @ 10:52 pm

One of the ways that Quito, Ecuador and Austin, Texas, USA are similar is that both have (until recently in Austin’s case) an airport smack in the middle of town. In Austin, when Joy and I were first together, this meant that when there was a “norther” (wind from the north) the planes took off right over our house. You had to stop talking and just wait — always difficult yet humbling for me. That changed when they moved the airport to the newly shut down local Air Force Base. Well, the real, secret reason we moved from Austin to Quito is that we strongly associate our idyllic early years together with that all-encompassing roar. We needed that back.

Success is ours! We not only have airplanes flying in and out regardless of the weather, but many more of them, this being a national capital. Moreover, we have an added benefit. Many people in Quito have dogs, as guardians and pets, and our neighborhood is no exception (our landlady has two, bless her heart). When the planes go over, the canine population perceives a grave challenge to their acoustic authority, and immediately call to order what Joy and I have come to call a “dog rally.” The canine agenda emphasizes vocalizations of the widest variety and longest duration, and shows a real egalitarian spirit encompassing dogs of every social class and living situation. I suspect, in fact, that street dogs serve a vital relay function across otherwise deserted stretches between terriers on terraces and yorkies in yards, serving as mongrel mortar in the canine cobblestone.

Just as revelers are loathe to go home when the bars close, dog rallies do not readily end after the plane has moved on. Perhaps neurons are cross-fired that evoke full moons in the collective unconscious — or maybe the plane is never truly out of earshot for these exceptional beasts.

happypairdogs.jpg guarddog.jpgstreetdog.jpggrafittidog.jpg


1 Comment »

  1. Hey guys. Sounds like you’re having a good time. I like the Dog Rally term. Our neighbors have three or four dogs and we have a dog rally every time someone goes outside. Reminds me of the Bumpus Hounds from the “Christmas Story” movie.
    Have a good weekend! Love, Susan

    Comment by Susan Stollings — October 5, 2007 @ 8:19 am

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