Thursday, November 7, 2013

Oh, The Dogs You Meet: GB

Awhile back I decided I'd write a post every now and then featuring an especially awesome person I met while on the road. Well, I have met some pretty interesting people, but I also met this dog in Cusco who I feel the need to write about right now. 
In between my first farm and waiting to meet my friend Kaitlyn, I stayed with the boys from VA and a cousin of one of them, in a hostel we had all to ourselves with an excellent view of the city. We did a little exploring in the hills one day, hiking to a few free ruins and through the streets of Cusco. On our way out of the city, we met a pit-bull black lab mix who stayed with us. Now, there are all sorts of stray dogs in South America and in the world in general I suppose, and I've gotten quite used to just ignoring them--especially after being nipped at in Quito a few times. So when this dog joined us, apart from noticing that it didn't really look like a stray--it was too healthy-looking--I didn't give him much thought. He seemed to be leading us up a trail, and because we actually weren't that sure of where we were going, we followed him. About half way up we decided to name him GB--or rather, the boys did, and started treating him as our own. If he ran too far ahead or showed interest in friending other people, we just called him and he came back. He never barked or growled, just prowled around, happy to be roaming. He was hesitant to let us touch him, but otherwise obedient, and seemed to answer to his new name. 
Anyway, GB was with us all day as we explored an old Incan rock quarry and the ruins of a temple to the moon and a monkey temple. We tried to feed him some of our bread, but he wasn't interested. He did drink some of our water, but that was all. I kept assuming he'd just leave us at some point for a more exciting group of people, but he never did. We joked that he must be a dog shaman, showing us the ancient religious sites of the Incas. 
At the end of the day he walked us back to our hostel and tried to go inside with us. By then he'd let me pet him a couple times and we'd all decided he must belong to someone or at least he had in the past. It took us a long time to enter the hostel without him because he kept running in behind us. After we finally got inside without him, GB whined and barked for about an hour while we were up in our room. It was the saddest thing. I made the mistake of sticking my head out of the window to see if he was still there after he'd quieted down, and sure enough, he saw me and started jumping as high as he could  and whining at me (we were on the second floor). It broke my heart to see how much he wanted to be with us. The guys started discussing whether they could make it all the way to Patagonia with a dog and I tried to look up and see if there was anything resembling a shelter in Cusco. Nope. 
When we left for dinner, he was still there and happy to see us. He walked with us to a restaurant, where he again tried to follow us inside and again stayed at the door whining. Inside, we discussed different strategies to get rid of him without being heartless bastards, but we had to be heartless bastards, since the hostel owners were not so keen on our new friend. 
As soon as we left the restaurant, we jumped into a cab and lost GB, then got dropped off at our hostel, hearts heavy. I stayed in Cusco a few days more after that but never saw him again. 
I'm not even a dog person, but GB was a good soul. 

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