The Hounds of Moorea

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As I am writing this (a day before you’ll read it), I am waiting in a restaurant (not feeling particularly well, I must confess…………) killing time waiting for our overnight flight back home. One of the highlights of my trip was the hundreds of dogs I saw, and I wanted to share a few thoughts about this marvelous critters.

fear not, for the dog is sleeping.

Because my brain is operating at about 30% capacity, I’ll be lazy and make these bullet points.

  • There are a zillion of them – There are literally twice as many dogs as people. They are all OVER the place. It made me feel truly at home.
  • They understand cars are dangerous. – Somehow, the dogs learn (without hard experience) that cars are dangerous and are to be avoided. The dogs walk diligently in the bike lane, or away from cars altogether. I didn’t see a single injured or killed dog during my week here.
  • The people are kind to them – To their credit, the Tahitians seem to treat the dogs well. They are treated well, fed treats, and sheltered in large quantities at home. And this is not a rich country. These people do it out of decency.
  • They’re all big mutts – On a hot island, you might expect a bunch of pee-wee sized dogs. Not so. They are all 40 to 90 pounds, on the whole, and they are very mixed breeds.
  • Most important, they seem so, so happy – I cannot articulate this well, but the joys seemed absolutely full of joy. I saw a pair of big dogs galumphing around the outside of a juice factory, and they seemed like the best friends in the whole world. I saw other dogs bounding out of the ocean toward their family, and the smiles on their faces were a delight. The dogs here seem wild but free, and it actually kind of makes me feel guilty that my dogs have never known that joy, since they’re basically pampered.

As a bonus, below is Bacon The Pig, who roams around town. The dogs all harass him, and it makes me sad, because he seems to want to make friends. All the same, he gets fed all kinds of good scraps, and as you can see, he’s one healthy sow.