…so I’m putting up some photos instead. Stories to come soon!
…so I’m putting up some photos instead. Stories to come soon!
In the spirit of the wildly popular Humans of New York, commonly known as HONY, I’ve assembled a similar mix for the millions of dogs who want to inspire others or make it big in Hollywood: Dogs of Peru (Etc.), commonly known nowhere as DOPE. Where better to start than right where I lived as of earlier this year: Peru? For all of the hundreds of dog-on-the-street interviews I did, I asked each dog a question–though they had the option to make a statement of their choosing. The puppy above didn’t feel comfortable commenting in English, but the others were all trilingual. Here’s what they had to say.
Kathryn: “What’s your opinion on the presidential candidates? Do you think there will be any last-minute twist due to someone’s skeletons in the closet–or perhaps there will be a change once the vice president running mates are announced?”
Dog: “I gotta take a dump.”
Kathryn: “Wow, you’re cute! I pretty much never say this, but your eyes are…like…kinda dreamy.”
Dog: “Is that a question? Because I’m pretty sure it’s not professional to flirt with your interviewee.”
Kathryn: “I’m sorry, but I’ve gotta rehash this: If Trump is elected as the Republican representative, does Bernie or Hilary have a better chance?”
Dog: “Yawn. My vote doesn’t even matter, let alone my opinion. Time to whiz again.”
Kathryn: “In this self-obsessed era, it seems that people have forgotten many virtues: Generosity, considering differing viewpoints, pausing before saying potentially harmful words, avoiding stereotyping…how can we get to a better place?
Dog: “Is my breath okay? For the interview. I want it to be good for when the interview lady gets here.”
Kathryn: “Look at you, you adorable little nugget!”
Dog: “In dog years I’m way older than you, sweetie. Cut the baby talk.”
Kathryn: “Geesh, someone was born on the wrong side of bed this morning.”
Kathryn: “What’s your world philosophy?”
Dog: “Why does everyone think we’re obsessed with all things poop?”
Kathryn: “Wait, is that your world philosophy or were you ju–”
Dog: “Ummmm do you have one of those plastic bags to pick up…my…?”
Kathryn: “Pick up what?”
Dog: “I just…the spot looked nice to mark, and so I…OH COME ON, DON’T MAKE ME SAY IT!”
Kathryn: “You’re very needy. You’re supposed to be smart, but you can’t even control your own eating and exercise habits. Cats can. What do you have to say for your species?”
Dog: “I feel that slurping while licking my body makes for attractive sound effects.”
Kathryn: “Should paternity leave be equal to the time off that mothers get? And shouldn’t we keep fighting for longer leave for mothers in the first place?”
Dog: “Look, it seems obvious tha–CUY!”
Kathryn: “Do you think that beliefs in topics such as religion and politics aren’t inherently bad? That, for example, they only become dangerous once people or groups try to force their agendas on others?”
Dog: “Observing the Sabbath with joy is all I am doing.”
Kathryn: “I was told you wanted to make a statement?”
Dog: “It was 1941, and my brother and I were just enjoying a lazy Sunday. We–“
Kathryn: “Sorry, but aren’t y–“
Dog: “–were doing the dishes when the door just caved in and smoke, yelling, and sirens filled the house. I couldn’t…I couldn’t see anything. I barked but ran in circles–I didn’t even know where I was. It could have been minutes or an hour… (pauses, takes a lick) When silence set upon us, I peeked out and found him across the room. My brother. He was still alive. His eyes welled up when he saw me, but I couldn’t tell if he was crying or just needed to take a dump in the yard. I’m sorry, I (sobs), I’m done. No more questions.“
Kathryn: “You just peed three times in the last mile, dude!”
Dog: “Instead of worrying about petty things, did it ever strike you to consider the fragility of the nuclear deal with Iran that everyone seems to have forgotten due to these clowns running for president? Don’t even get me started on what Putin has up his sleeve–that country has been stockpiling uranium for decades, and we don’t even know all the details. Then people concentrate so much on North Korea that they ignore the warning signs of Syria and the Assad regime. Meanwhile, we can’t logically deal with gun control on our own turf, so do we have the track record to poke our noses in other countries’ business? Don’t get me started, son.”
Kathryn: “Wanna play fetch?”
I’m traveling without much internet until early March, so fortunately for you, the somewhat loyal reader, you won’t have to suffer through any posts for several more weeks! Until then, here’s where I’m hiking during my last week in Peru.
I am in South America!
To celebrate my first full week of being in Peru (I’m petsitting in an awesome area called Urubamba, about 75 minutes from Machu Picchu), I decided to put together some travel stories with the most predictable outcomes ever. These are all completely real, and all brought to you by this lovely country where they speak a language I do not. Well heck, it sure beats Blizzard Jonas, eh?
Travel Story #1
I was making a sandwich to take on my hike this morning. Because I’m in Peru, nothing is standard. Most notably, the [unrefrigerated and unwrapped when purchased–already a sign of things to come] cheese is blocks of eggshell-colored stuff that has very little taste or texture until grilled or fried. The huge block I bought yesterday was touched far too much by the vendor, then placed directly in a bag. It should come as no surprise, then, when I started cutting slicing into my pan and noticed a hair. Slightly disgusted but not all that shocked, I took it off and decided to go with my other block of cheese in the meantime. I took edible attempt #2 out of the fridge and started slicing.
It also had a hair.
Travel Story #2
Oh, that wasn’t the end of Travel Story #1, you fool. I then made the sandwich and tried to put the cheese ordeal out of my mind by switching to a sweet snack—these delightful popped cereals sold in bags on the street. But this one was different: my neighbor had given me this new type in a nice, fresh, Ziploc bag. I’d eaten 3/4 of the bag in a day because it was so tasty and new. Out with the cheese, in with the crunchy Peruvian street cereal!
The piece of cereal I reached for had dental floss baked into it.
Travel Story #3
Aren’t sheep cool? There are two here at the house. They’re so big, soft, and cuddly.
One of the sheep head-butted a dog, smack-on (and I laughed my head off after running away like a scaredy cat when it started to fluff stampede after me). This was payback to dogs all around the world, perhaps, for earlier in the week when I came home to find the pooch I was watching had ripped through all my bags of precious homemade snacks from America. But then the cat should have had something done, too, because she gifted me a huge dead rat in the bedroom. Isn’t that why I left the city?
Travel Story #4
I was speaking to one of my landlords when I heard a thump and saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a bird! Not just any bird, but my favorite: a hummingbird! It was stomach-side-up and barely moving, and was about to be eaten by the cat for sure. I didn’t know what else to do but pick it up. It was beautiful, and emerald green, and very on the brink of life or death, if I can get way too dramatic. I held it in my hand and kind of petted it. Then, taking it into my kitchen, I got a big spoon and filled it with sugar water. Amazingly, the hummingbird started sipping with its cute little tongue! Within just a few minutes, it had definitely gotten stronger, and after some more feeding and petting, it flew off! What an awesome experience.
I’m a hero.
Travel Story #5
The internet worked here for 1 day. The next day there was an 8-hour power outage, followed by a there-will-never-again-be-internet outage. I was “stealing” the landlord’s in order to do work and waste time on Facebook. No one could figure out why the internet just disappeared, so two days ago, out of curiosity (and with permission), I decided to follow the cord that went from my house to the master modem. I followed it out of my room, onto the porch, through the yard, and into my neighbor’s living room. It ended just hanging in a corner, attached to nothing at all. I told the landlords this was most likely definitely are you nuts? the problem.
“No, that’s not the problem,” they said. “The owner of your house only uses wireless, so we unplugged the wire.” (Update: They got someone to come over, rip it out of that house, re-string it, and plug it into the modem in their house, and thus I now have internet.)
Travel Story #6
One of my neighbors here is an older Peruvian gentlemen who is obviously intelligent and speaks English perfectly. He is into the outdoors, having mysterious client meeting, and possibly voiceover work and/or torturing kittens. Seriously, he has a most booming voice.
Anyhow, the other night he stopped by my porch and said, “Kathryn, have you ever tried plant medicine?” Now I don’t know about you, but my mind went directly to Herbalife or a similar pyramid schemed. Seriously, I had to work this spring with a bunch of reps from that company, and the brainwashing was very, very noticeable. If you’re a member, just unfriend me now, I beg you. Anyhow, this dapper Peruvian went on to tell me that it’s actually a hallucinogenic drug from the Peruvian mountains—except he refused to use that simple descriptor and instead kept using words like “mind-altering” and “conscious-awakening” and “safe and regulated medicine.” It’s a drug, dude. “Google it and let’s talk tomorrow. I think it’s a sign from above that you’re awake! I’d be delighted if you joined me.” Anyhow, I looked it up. It involves a Peruvian cactus, a shaman, and all that goodness. The effects last 12-14 hours. If you know me, you know I’m just not into these sorts of things. I’d much rather stay home and do heroin. But it would be neat to document this Peruvian ceremony, no?
“Kathryn, let’s talk this morning—you’ve had a chance to read up on the plant medicine?” He asked eagerly the next day. I said I’d chat with him.
“Is it true the effects last 12-14 hours?” I asked him. “Oh, well, that depends on how much you drink. But this won’t be like that. I plan to be there only from 3pm until midnight, so you could bring your camera and a book or something.”
I mulled it over but decided that with 4 deadlines in the next few days, I just couldn’t afford 9 hours of watching people do…that. I thanked him anyway and he left at 2:47pm yesterday, on Saturday.
At the time of me publishing this, at 8:39pm on Sunday, January 24, 2016, he still has not returned home.
Travel Story #7
Today I went to the famous terraced salt pans called Selinas de Maras. I left early to avoid the hot afternoon sun, and wore pants, boots, a hat, a sunproof long-sleeve shirt, and lots of suncream on my face. I was really careful the whole day to re-apply, and felt that despite being quite hot, I wasn’t going to have sunburned arms, legs, or facial features. Here’s to being responsible and covering up!
My hands got very burned, and I now have my normal pale exterior and lobster claws.
Until next week’s installment, which will interest Humans of New York fans, stay warm!