Dogs here are like car alarms everywhere – have you ever noticed that no one pays attention to car alarms? Car alarms go off when buses or trucks go by, someone accidentally leans on the car, etc. – one gets a lot of false positives. So the dogs here may be obtained as guards or deterrents, but unless trained, they’ll bark indiscriminately so you won’t necessarily be warned of danger.
A European gave San Miguel its current name and de Allende was later appended to honor one of the heroes of the Mexican War for Independence. However, the indigenous peoples who were here prior to the Europeans called it Izquinapan (the place of dogs).
Early one Sunday morning I watched three dogs jauntily turn the corner from Los Chupiros onto Alba headed toward Calle Sta. Julia, apparently owner-less, or if they had owners, the dogs were on their way home after a night on the town.
The dogs in our compound didn’t bark as if they detected an intruder; instead, they howled as if to say “take me with you.”
Evaluating a Bark
There are different intensities of barking on Los Chupiros. Canine signaling occurs in descending intensity for the following situations:
- Dogs running freely
- Humans walking unleashed dogs
- Humans walking leashed dogs
- Humans not walking dogs
- Non-neighborhood cars
- Humans performing a service (gas, water, garbage)
- Cats that are on the hitlist
- Other cats (these seem to be not worthy of a bark)
- Girls who live at Casa Hogar (almost never receive a bark)