No collars, no owners, no rules, they dodge cars, fight it out in the streets, they are almost wild animals. Except they live amongst humans, live off us, and still look to us for care. Some have been owned and given up, others born to the life on the streets, by some nipple sagging, dirty bitch.
I call stray dogs, "dirty dogs," because they are rarely ever clean, rarely ever without some sign of battle, and never have name tags. Most of them scratch in desperation from, being infested with fleas and ticks. Ears, hang ripped open, noses and legs have open wounds. Most are in tough shape.
Some dirty dogs, pass you by in the streets, like you aren't even there. Some poor souls, look like they want to come up to you and be loved, but don't dare come closer, because they have been beaten. Their tail tucked between their shaking legs. Some dogs, just don't know how to act to affection from humans, the other day a dirty dog was wagging his tail and showing his teeth at the same time.
No matter their outlook, you will find me at least, greeting them as I would my own dog, when I walk down the street, or sit waiting for a meal. It's comes in a voice, that you would expect more from a 5 year old, then a 6'5 grown man. "Hey, dirty dog," "oh, you are a dirty dog."
Don't worry, unlike women, dogs don't have insecurities, don't care much about their looks. Even if they knew I was calling them "dirty dog," I'm sure they wouldn't care much. They have more things to worry about, than being dirty.
But when I do find a really cute dirty dog, that looks nice and shows signs of needing some love. I never hesitate to provide, a nice neck massage, nose pat, tummy touch, butt rub, or a combination of them. It doesn't matter how dirty they are, it's nice to see the dirty dogs just melt when you give them some love. That hard outer shell, dissolves, until they are acting just as sweet as the black lab you have at home.
Most never want to leave your side, claiming you as their owner. Following you where ever you go. I had one dirty dog in Italy, stay with me for three days, slept outside my tent, and even managed to crawl inside one night with out me knowing.
A dirty dog, in San Ignacio Belize, was there waiting for us outside our hotel, every morning, with a wagging tail. The dirty bitch, was one of the fatter dirty dogs, I have seen. I was told later, the locals called her, tourist dog, because she latches onto a tourist who usually feeds her.
Dirty or not, they still have the cutest smiles on their face and are as happy as can be getting some tender loving car. If only for a few seconds. While, every travel book will tell you not to pet stray dogs, I don't listen much to travel advice. If I did, I wouldn't leave my house. I'm a dog lover through and through. You won't find me calling out or rubbing dirty cats. Unless I was lucky enough to pet a dirty lion, leopard, or Jaguar.