Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Of memes, Moppit and dog-on-dog mayhem

In case you don’t know, this is not Moppit.

This is Moppit:

What do these two dogs have in common?

The one at the top guards a parking lot on Calle San Juan in Colonia San Antonio. (The photo was taken this morning by my wife, Rose Alcantara, while walking Moppit.)

Moppit and the guard dog sometimes antagonize each other.

The guard dog — I do not know its name or gender — does a good job, too. Of guarding the car lot. You would have to be insane to scale the wall and jump into the yard with this dog on watch.

I’m sure that come morning, we’d all be wondering what some guy had been thinking. But we’d never know. Would we? I mean, what was left would not have a tongue or vocal chords, or much else to speak — or speak of.

At least, that is always how I imagined it as we’d walk by the yard. Which we did often over nearly two years, as we lived only two blocks away.

Moppit caught on pretty quickly that the guard dog was on one side of a fence and she was on the other.

There are lots of “indoor” and rooftop dogs like that. They go berserk when free-range dogs like Moppit walk by.

The ones on the roof look like they are about to leap to their deaths, just to get a little closer to the throat of a dog on the sidewalk below.

Some indoor dogs fling themselves at the garage door over and over once they pick up the scent of a free ranger. Mostly they just bark like mad.

On some streets, it can feel like a haunted-house ride. Four and five houses close together will have angry dogs, sometimes three or four, behind garage doors, windows, and on balconies. They all sound different and vary in their ferocity.

The balcony of one house has two grubby little white-haired toy mongrels, that pump up and down on their forepaws, as if on pistons, while spewing a firehose of yelps.

A metal-fabrication shop has a German Shepherd that puts its forepaws on top of a gate and pumps its hindquarters up into the air. He barks madly but never climbs over the fence. Something that it seems would be easy to do.

A car repair shop has a large black dog that rushes the fence then spins in circles while barking madly at its own ass. Go figure.

Personally, I think they are all jealous.There is a whiff of desperation in their bark. You’d be, too, if you were stuck inside a garage all the time.

I’m sorry. That was rude. A lot of us are stuck inside all the time, theses days. Aren’t we?

No offense meant.

So, Moppit picked up on the separation pretty quickly. She has her favorite confinement dogs and will race to their door and wait for them to start barking.

She will bark back, whipping them into a frenzy. When she’s had her jollies, Moppit will then pee as close to the barking dogs as possible. Leaving them with something to whiff for the rest of the day.

Job done, Moppit struts away with a cocky saunter.

I don’t think she is being mean. Moppit is giving the indoor dogs a break in their otherwise boring, dim-lit existence. Something to bark about.

Well, sometimes she can be mean. When the fabrication shop is closed up, the German Shepherd will hurtle its body at the door with a fierceness that evokes winces in me. I mean, that has got to hurt.

Moppit knows this. She runs up to the door and barks. After three or for slams from inside, she will pee and saunter away. I swear she has a grin on her face.

With the dog in the photo at the top, Moppit is usually satisfied to bolt past as quickly as possible. The dog will track her along the fence, bark and poke its head out several spots, as in the picture.

Until a couple of weeks ago.

Moppit, Rose and I were out for a neighborhood walk and headed down our old street, San Juan.

The gate of the parking lot was wide open. And there was nobody around.


In two bounds, the guard dog was out the gate and across the street, with its jaws on the back of Moppit’s neck.

Fortunately I had Moppit on the leash and was able to grab the guard dog’s collar and yank it back. Rose snatched up Moppit into her arms and the dog made a leap for them.

I pulled it back and started stroking its neck. The dog didn’t struggle. It didn’t lash out at me. It just stood there as I held on and stroked.

Rose’s screams (justifiable terror) brought out the lot owner who slowly walked over, took the dog by the collar, said something to it — not me or Rose — and walked it back into the compound.


Here’s the thing. The dog is fierce looking and certainly fierce sounding, but I really think it just wanted to play.

I mean, it could easily snapped Moppit’s back in two before I had my hand on the collar. Moppit’s back was soaked with dog slime.

We got little more than an adrenaline rush out of the whole thing.

Moppit hasn’t stopped taunting indoor dogs and indoor dogs haven’t stopped going insane when free-range dogs walk by.

That is life in San Miguel de Allende.

Oh, we did get this meme out of it. A co-production of the guard dog, photographer Rose Alcantara, and writer/producer Bob Hawkins.

So, that was fun.


5 thoughts on “Of memes, Moppit and dog-on-dog mayhem

  1. Cynthia Blanton says:

    Is Moppit a miniature schnauzer? We have an 11 year old miniature schnauzer and hate the thought of some of the guard dogs in our neighborhood getting out and attacking her. We carry a sharp walking stick with us to fend off attacks, So far, no problems.


    • We think some mix of schnauzer and terrier. She was found running wild on Ambergris Caye in Belize. We are told her hair ran in dreadlocks to the ground, thus (one story goes) she was named Moppit. (A less pleasant story says the name came from the constant need for a mop by her first owner, a dear sweet English lady.) There is a terrier — Glen Mal Terrier of which she is a spitting image and she has some show dog traits that are a mystery — her head comes up and she trots when put on a leash, for example.


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