Bosi The Mex Dog
We all know what to expect when travelling though developing countries: cheap beers, cheap feeds and mutant domestic animals. Along our quest from LA to Central America in our majestic vessel, we encountered many perros (dogs) that could’ve been mistaken for leather bags of bones covered in mange, scraping their hind legs along the sidewalks with prolapsed wizard sleeves. Long days spent in the van travelling to our next destination would see us play “spot the Mex dog” to kill time, which involved picking out the creatures that looked the most molested.
“OI – check out that MEX DOG!”
With the freedom of having the van, we scoured the Pacific coast of southern Mexico for waves. One afternoon, after exploring a dirt road on a farmer’s property, we came across the “spot the Mex dog” goldmine. When a couple of vultures flew away from the carcasses of three puppies, we knew shit was about to get rough. Two of the puppies’ heads had either been beaten in by the owner who had then dumped them, or they had been abandoned and the vultures had got to them first. We were completely rattled and appalled with what was in front of our eyes, when next minute, one of the puppies moved. It wasn’t dead, but just snuggling its head up against one of its dead siblings. It was a scrawny thing, half the size of its brothers, whimpering with fear. With the vultures lurking in the skies above, the only humane thing to do was to scoop up this flea-riddled pup from the road and out of harm’s way. The stinky perro was so distraught and completely weathered.
We finally got to the surf, where there were no waves – just a family of Mexicans looking at us like they had just seen white devils. We had a tough decision to make on what to do with this pup. It would be hard travelling with and caring for a third-world dog: feeding it, getting hotels, going to discotecas, having it in the car while we went for a surf etc. But we couldn’t just leave it there – it would die, and by the looks of things, its siblings weren’t having a fun time with the vultures.
When we found out it was a girl puppy, she immediately stole the heart of all the guys. The decision was final: she would become one of the boys and join our quest.
We had an inside joke at the time with the word Bosi, which we practically named everyone and everything, so it felt right to call her that.
Watching her eat her first meal was quite the entertainment: she ate a can of tuna in 10 seconds and her belly became wider than she was long. And the tuna came out the same consistency that it went in.
Things couldn’t have been better: for the next week or so, we bathed Bosi, fed Bosi – I even let her sleep in my bed and share her worms with me, and I didn’t even get mad when she stole and ate Rookie’s cream tart then shat it all over our Lonely Planet book (fuckin’ Rookie). She was such a fast learner – she knew how to sit and shake hands within a week.
When we got to the Mexican-Guatemalan border, the dream of our travelling gypsy family dog came crashing down. Rookie lost his exit visa to leave Mexico, so we had to go back though Mexican customs to go to the bank and get another visa for him.
In a crazy twist of the fate, the customs officer thought Bosi was a Guatemalan dog, and that we were coming from Guatemala. My Spanish wasn’t shit – I could have ordered a taco and a cerveza off the cunt, but there was no way I was telling him that Bosi was actually a Mexican resident. After 30 minutes of trying to get through to the man with a machine gun that we didn’t have papers for the mutt, he let us keep her. We worried about what the Guatemalan customs would be like – we hadn’t even left Mexico and Bosi had almost been thrown into quarantine. Since when the fuck does Mexico care the slightest about quarantine?
For the next two hours, we waited at the bank for the visa and didn’t let Bosi have a wink of sleep. The plan was to make her so tired that when we crossed the border, we could hide her in our esky under the bed in the van. We approached the Guatemalan border with hearts racing. Bosi was in position, fast asleep. We didn’t know if what we were doing was illegal or not and whether Mr Machine Gun Guy would get angry again.
We had our new visas to enter Guatemala – all we needed to do now was to get the van registered and searched.
The officers could smell we were up to no good, and Bosi woke up and started to chirp in the esky.
“Tienes mascota!” (You have a pet!) the officer said. We just played the dumb gringo and dropped the classic phrase, “No entiendo,” (I don’t understand), so he left and came back with a guy who could speak English. We knew there was no fucking around. This was it: we had come so far and grown so attached to little Bosi. We knew that we weren’t going to get her through – she was going to have to tackle life on her own once again in No Man’s Land between Mex and Guatemala.
Out of nowhere, Rookie just said, “Why don’t you walk through customs – you have your visa already and I’ll just feed her under that gap in the fence.” So I walked through customs. No one even looked twice, and I made my way through the town to where Rookie and Bosi were. He stuffed the pooch through the gap and I strode off with what could have been a kilo of coke and no one would have known better, and just like that, Bosi’s dream lived on.
We pulled the whole esky trick on the El Salvador border, and it worked like a charm. Two more borders 2000 miles later, Bosi became an El Salvadorian perro.
The locals thought this mutt was a disciple of God, because it could sit and shake hands with them. Some mind-blowing stuff was definitely happening. Bosi became an icon. The locals couldn’t pronounce Bosi properly – it came out more like pussy. Everyone was yelling out “pussy” to us when we were with her. “Pussy Bonita, princessa pussy!”
Now we all know how puppies attract females. They’re a great tactical move for picking up. I’m not sure if it was the karma of saving a Mex dog or whether it was the hot Central American sun, but the señoritas were melting at the sight of her. She wing-dogged the boys for a couple of lay-next-tos. She assimilated fantastically into her new surroundings and became mates with the MS13 street dogs in El Tunco. She had four grown guys looking after her, but still one day we managed to leave her behind in a town tied up somewhere and had to drive back 20 minutes to retrieve her. Later, by luck, a vet that only comes to town once a year gave her vaccinations and checked her out for rabies. She got the all clear. Not so Mex dog now, are ya Bosi?
We sold the van and one by one all of the boys left to go home or travel on to other parts of the world, so I was left with the Bosi. She was growing bigger and stronger by the day. I was getting ready to venture south, and I knew it would be impossible to take her with me on the buses. I looked into sending her back to Aus, and it was up into the thousands, plus potentially she could have some funky disease and customs would just terminate her. I started the selection process around town see who would be able to care for a physical being. As I was saying, she was hot property.
The security guard was quite fond on the Bosi, so I let him take her home for a night. He brought her back the next morning and she was washed and fed. I was surprised by his actions, so he passed probation. He was an awful security guard. One night, my room got robbed – no wonder, because the he was always on his povo Nokia trolling Facebook or showing me photos of him in the 80s as a kid holding AK47s. So I got his addy, packed and gave Bosi a final cuddle and set sail for Nicaragua.
He kept in touch: he would send photos of her playing with his kids. She looked healthy and happy I was stoked with the outcome.
Six months later, I started to get a few sketchy emails from him asking for money because she was sick. It sounded like a typical stitch up: rob this gringo for all he’s got. I ignored the kook, but the emails kept coming and the photos stopped. I figured this was his plan all along – to kidnap her and hold her ransom. I always wanted to go back to El Salvador and go mental at this guy. A year later, I got the opportunity.
I was offered a job in Mexico teaching English, so I took it up. After I finished, I headed straight for Bosi and the security guard, who was going to cop a spraying. But he was nowhere to be found: he must have caught wind that I was on a mission to find him, and he was harder to locate than Osama. He had been fired from the hotel for stealing, and I’ll add just for the sake of it that he was touching little boys and girls to further my case of what a knob this guy was. I was searching for this guy for two weeks in total. No luck at all. I was so off it and had pretty much given up, so booked a ticket to leave.
On my last night in town, I walked past this little shit-box taco stand on my way back to the hotel, and there he was. I had caught the snake head. The dirty bastard knew he was in the wrong.
After tacos, he got his children to take us back to his house across town. Sure enough, there was Bosi. She was a prime spot-the-Mex-dog candidate. It looked like she had been hitting the crack pipe, ‘cause she was wigging out and skeletor as fuck. She didn’t really remember me and was super timid. I fed her my burrito. It went down like the tuna did the first day we found her. I wonder if a burrito came out? The reason she was so mangy, the kids were saying, was that she was a mother to a litter of seven pups. However, they had given them all away. I was so proud of Bosi – she had done what I guess dogs do there, and that is to recreate multicultural pedigrees. I embraced the short time I had with her and gave the kids some money specifically for Bosi to get her to the vet. I knew it would be useless, but it still made me feel better.
I almost wish I didn’t go back. It fucking sucked seeing her in that condition. Frustrated, I felt like I had failed and everything was pointless. Waiting in my hostel for a transfer to LAX for my flight back home, I received an email. It was from the security guard. He informed me that Bosi had passed away. A week after I arrived home, it was Rookie’s 21st birthday fiesta at Byron’s lighthouse (such a Bosi party). I caught up with the boys – Raf, Matt and Rook – and told them the news about Bosi. Over a few VBs, we chatted about her golden days travelling with us and how we gave her an opportunity to get off the streets. She mothered pups – she was probably a boss of a mother. She was destined to be a Mex dog in the end. I guess we just prolonged the inevitable. I am glad I did go back and see her. You have to realise that people in some countries just don’t treat and care for animals – they have their own children’s mouths to feed and higher priorities to care about. You can’t blame them, but it’s such a shame to see.
In loving memory of Bosi – rest in peace from all the boys. X