I’ve always been a cat person. Never had anything against pooches, but I just never really knew any on the same level of intimacy that I maintain with puss cats. Here in Ollanta, however, dogs are large and in charge, and I’ve been plunged deep into doggie society. Dogs have free reign of the streets. They influence the path you take home (both to avoid or to rendezvous with hated or loved ones). If mean or muddy dogs live in your neighborhood, fewer people will come to hang out at your house. Tales of dog encounters and dog gossip take up a sizable portion of conversation.

It’s time those of you not in Ollanta were brought into the doggie loop. Trust me, it’s worth your time. I’m going to do a Dog of the Month post so that you can feel a modicum of updatedness on the canine community in our fair pueblo, and in turn, the human community. I shall do my best to paint informed portrayals of our pups, but should you have any questions or comments, my co-writer, Jack Wolfskin, will get back to you.

Let’s start with a bang. July’s is a bad, bad doggie who lives on Patacalle. I call him Diablo because saying “that muscley beige dog with big ears whose growl is like 100 demons groaning inside his gaping dog maw” grew cumbersome as encounters with the shorthaired beast increased. He is the meanest dog in town, routinely pursuing humans and dogs alike, terrorizing them with his demonic growl. My roommate Willa once threw a perfectly good ayudin container filled with perfectly good guacamole at him in a desperate attempt to ward him off. It’s a shame because me and Jack here, we think he’s pretty darn cute.  But don’t be fooled by those big ole ears and the way his little dog feet point in all directions when he takes a pause from his evil day to bask in the sun. Diablo will get you.

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It’s was not easy to get a picture of this guy.

Jessica Younker and her common law wolf, Jack Wolfskin, reside in Miskanapampa just outside of Ollanta on the road to Patacancha. Two doggie-filled roads lead to her house and converge at what is translated from Quechua as “The Doggie Gate of Heaven” (Arqopunkuphuyoq) where a white fluffball-breed dog jumps to greet you whenever you pass. Jessica has been working on the weaving project for Awamaki for a year and half. Jack used to work on the Inca Trail and later at the train station in Ollanta. He currently works for Ollanta architectural firm Hannegin Peru. Jack met Jessica and they bonded over how much they both liked lunch and the walk into town.