In Mexico, there’s little worry about snow removal, so many houses have flat roofs.The flat roof provides a place to put the water tank, and sometimes a propane tank.
Sometimes the flat roofs provide a patio to sit on, sometimes a place to hang the laundry, and sometimes a place to store old stoves and washing machines.
Two young girls dance to disco music playing in the town square below their house. I worried about the maze of electric wires attached near the corner of the rooftop.
Naturally there must be access to the roof and this makes the house vulnerable to break-ins from above. The obvious place for a guard dog, then, is on the roof.
The dogs certainly do their job, barking at every passer-by and possible intruder. Often they don’t have much human contact and are left on the roof for long periods of time. It’s easily possible that they are forgotten and not fed or given water regularly.
Often, one will bark and set off another dog some distance away. Then another barks and another and another until the whole dog-neighbourhood is barking and howling.
When the constant barking gets too annoying, it’s not unusual to hear a human voice shouting in the middle of the night for the dogs to shut up.
It’s sad that many of these roof dogs (perros de techo, as they’re called) learn to become aggressive and belligerent. The chow and his buddies pictured above were quite intimidating every time I walked by their house on my way into town.
On the other side of town, a completely different kind of dog had the run of the roof. It looked to me to be a kind of schnauzer and was more inquisitive than aggressive.
Down below at street level the shop owner had another dog that might have been a real biter. He had him tied up with a chain and although he was skinny, he looked very tough.
And then there was Andy. He was fast asleep on his mat on the countertop at a small hotel lobby. The lady who owned him said to my husband, “This is Andy. Go ahead. You can pet him if you want.” He wasn’t moving except that we could see his chest slowly rising and falling. Finally my husband reached over to pet Andy and the woman couldn’t contain her laughter anymore. Andy was a stuffed cloth dog with a battery inside to make his chest go up and down.
The whole town seemed to be going to the dogs.