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Santiago has more than its fair share of stray dogs. There are stray dogs who have houses (on the street), who are fed kibble, or cut up hotdogs and other leftovers by passersby, neighbors and even the police. Cute ones with short legs, and lopey ones who limp around on their three goodish paws. They are everywhere. Isabel Allende writes about them in My Invented Country. It’s worth a read, especially about how Chileans don’t drive their shopping carts in the giant grocery stores with any kind of precision. Ahem. But I was talking about the dogs.

They know how to cross the street, waiting for a human or two to make the mad dash, and follow along. I once had to accompany a dog to the corner to cross properly instead of running across the street and jumping the divider (as I know I shouldn’t) so that the pooch could cross safely.

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of dogs in general, and stray ones even less. I’ve been bitten not once, but twice by dogs in Santiago. The latest bite was so stealth that I didn’t even know the dog was beside me, timing his jaw chomp to my down pedalstroke just in time to catch the heel of my spiffy keen shoe (the right one) until I felt the strange backwards pull. I will be forever grateful at his precision timing and that he didn’t catch my spiffy right leg. And forever apologetic to the people nearby whose lives I took years off of by shrieking the shriek of the dogbitten. They were big teeth.

Anyway, the presence of all these dogs means that my dog-related vocabulary in Spanish is pretty decent. I know the word hocico, for example, which means an animal’s muzzle or snout. I also have at my disposal the excellent word garrapatas, which means ticks, and should not be confused with garabatos which is Chilean for swear words. With my excellent canine vocabulary, when I recently saw this lotion at the local drugstore, all I could do was laugh (and take a picture).

Because sarna? It’s mange.

Enjoy, and hope that pesky rash doesn’t ruin your day!