Cuba’s Four-legged Fighters

Photo feature by Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, March 7 — If things are bad for those of us who walk around upright and on two legs, what’s left for the dogs and cats?

Like the saying goes here in Cuba, they have to get out and “fight their way through” just like everybody else. Each has their own mechanism.

Some are tireless workers who dig furrows in fields until they find some potato or yam.

Then there are those that guard the tables at farmers’ markets or help their owners to cross the street and do the shopping.

Others escape from their houses the best they can when they are not given the chance to visit their significant others. But it’s more common for them to prefer to simply be funny and faithful helpers of those who take them in.

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2 thoughts on “Cuba’s Four-legged Fighters

  • Dogs in Havanna
    I have visited Havanna twice and each time I have seen a lot of straydogs running around to find food. The poor dogs are sick and skinny.Some of them even lies dead in the street. As a guest in Havanna it is heartbreaking to see how these dogs are treated and I really don’t understand , why nothing is being done about it.
    If I could I would feed all of them- each time I saw one, I bought some food to give to the dog. I know that we, Europeans, have an other view on and relationship to our dogs- but I still think, that the straydogs in Havanna have a miserable life- and I really don’t like seeing it.
    I will soon visit Havanna again- because I love the city and the people there- but I am not looking forward to see all the suffering dogs.
    Susanne Hansen, Denmark

  • It is touching to see the fierce loyalty between my friend, “franco franco,” and his faithful “Blanco.” As limited as his table is, he always finds food for his four-footed friend, and makes sure I bring down flea collars and cannine vitamins, whenever I visit Cuba. Every morning, after working all night, and every evening, before starting work at midnight, he takes Blanco for a five-block stroll up and down Avenida 51 in La Lisa.
    During our family’s 2004 visit, my youngest daughter, then 7, collected quite a few of these diminuitive “seguidores” every time she walked through Habana Vieja. I remember six or seven of them waiting expectantly, benneath our table at the outdoor cafe on Plaza Catederal, as she fed them most of her breakfast. (Alas! Now she remonstrates whenever I feed “Duncan” when he begs at our kitchen table.)
    Most fortunate was a smallish yellow Habana Vieja street dog adopted by a young Californian. According to her report, relayed on Lonely Planet’s Thorntree site (Cuba Branch) she was able to sedate the dog and place it in one of her carry-on bags, and bring it back with her on a Cubana flight from Habana to Tiajuana (through Mexico City) and, after walking across the border to her parked car near the Tiajuana-San Ysidro access point, both she and her new friend were on their way to a new home!

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