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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

From Cats to Dogs and Everything Between

The other night Mr. Husband and I saw a TV report about the dog that was rescued last week about a mile off the coast of Japan.  He had been floating atop some debris for weeks, and the reunion between him and his owner was so sweet to watch.  I'm not a dog person, but it really touched my heart.  "Dogs really ARE sweet, aren't they?"  I said to Mr. Husband.  He gave me a knowing look, a bit of warning flickering in his eyes, and said, "Well, you realize that when we're in Mexico we will have to get a dog, right?"  We are destined to become "dog on the roof" owners.

For those of you who have never visited Mexico,  the water tank is usually on top of the house, and there is access to the roof.  Many people have dogs who live on the roof and are a sort of alarm system for the family when strangers approach the home.

I am a cat person.  From what I have seen, cats are not revered in Mexico, generally speaking.  Mr. Husband's asthma acted up quite a bit with the last cat I had (a mane coon)  and I had to give him away.  I've always missed him.  Part of the reason why he triggered asthmatic symptoms is because his fur would get in the carpet, and the dander was difficult to remove. 

Well, guess what?  Another thing about Mexico is that most people have hard tile flooring versus carpeting.  I love carpet because I enjoy walking around in my stocking feet.  But a perk to the hard floor is that a cat's dander will not get stuck in it!  Besides, it really IS easier to keep clean.

Also, we will be able to let fresh air into the house all year round, which is good for the body and the mind.  YAY!  No more spending 8 months out of the year feeling like a shut-in.

As we have been discussing our move, I have started to realize that I do not know how to be an adult in Mexico.  I don't know how the bills work and where to go stand in line to pay them, I don't know how to make sure the garbage gets picked up, and I am wondering if we are going to have to use a laundry service or will we have a washer and dryer?  I remember a few times when I lived there before I washed my clothes on a washer board during the weeks when there was not a maid available to do it.  My triceps ached for 2 days afterward.  What if I washed clothes for the whole family that way!  Nah, I'll take it to a laundry service until we get a washer and dryer.

Also, how do you know who is ringing your doorbell when?   Again, for those of you unfamiliar with day-to-day Mexican life, people's doorbells ring at least 2 or 3 times per day.  It could be the Señora who sells tortillas, the Señor who pushes a cart full of garbanzos, or just a niño selling candy to raise money for a school event.  Door-to-door sales are alive and well in Mexico.  And you know what?  I LOVE IT.

I love the culture, the smells, the quirks, the mystery, the language, and a million other things about Mexico.  The differences between here and there are many, and there is good and bad in both places.  But I'm ready to embrace those differences once again.  Just writing this, I can almost smell the neighbor's frijoles wafting through our open window and hear the morning bells and whistles that signify whatever services or products are being offered in the neighborhood on this bright, sunny, Mexican morning.  Oh, and the dogs barking from the rooftops!


  1. I love the culture too. That was one of the biggest factors for me. I love the laid back life style and the fact that no matter how little people have they are still happy and appreciate everything they do have. It is very refreshing. I though my dogs would be on the roof too but luckily javiers parents have room in the backyard until we get our own place.

  2. :) Glad yours have a backyard to play in. I always like to imagine that the owners of the "roof dogs" take their dogs for walks. I realize the likelihood of that is small, but one can hope, right?

  3. Lorraine, definetly bring your vacuum with you because Mexico is a giant dust bowl. I don't like the tile floors because I don't like to mop. We have three cats and a dog and a backyard. They bring leaves and pieces of dead grass inside throughout the day. But I just accept it and get out the vacuum constantly. I feel bad for all the dogs that live on roof tops because most families have them to sirve as protection and not as pets. The same goes for cats, their purpose is to catch mice/rats and bugs. Quite often they're not feed and when they are, it's usually old tortillas. There are a lot of things that drive me crazy about Mexico, but I also realize that I can't change them.

  4. Thanks, Jackie, for the tip about the vacuum. If we do end up being a "rooftop dog" owner, I vow to treat the dog with the love it deserves! :) I've never noticed a pet store in Mexico. I wonder if I'd be able to buy a cat once we're there.

    You're right, there are things about Mexico that can be frustrating. I think that's why many expats seem to warn that it's not for everyone, right?

  5. Don't forget about the dogs drooling onto your forehead from the roof above, as you try to lay out in the sunny back yard. :)

  6. :) I forgot about that until you mentioned it! Such funny memories!