Living in Ecuador- Paying Attention

Friday, Mar 31, 2017

Our Place is Going to the Dogs

We have a dog who I think has adopted us for paying attention to it. We first met this dog on the beach when it came up to us and we gave it a pat. She is a cute dog and full of vigor. She was with another dog and as we walked the beach she would occasionally come back our way for another pat.

Saturday we were on our terrace which can be accessed by some side steps from the open yard. This dog, along with another one who I think lives close by, suddenly was standing on our terrace. Seeing her, as she came up to us, we all gave her a pat . The other dog didn’t approach us and left almost immediately. This one we met on the beach however plopped herself down. For about 20 minutes or so she stayed with us, and then got up and headed away to do her thing.

Sunday night I came out of the bedroom after a coaching call and looked out my screen door onto the terrace. There she was, just lying outside our door watching the activity in the living room. Of course we want to give her food and water but…would she consider herself adopted? She is in good shape, no bones showing, a nice shiny coat, so I assume she belongs to someone.

Over the next couple of days I did some investigating about who this dog belongs too. I found out she lives 2 houses over. This makes me feel better knowing the dog has a home and a place to get food and water. She does however seem to want our pats and likes us paying attention to her.

Ecuadorian Dogs

Through my observations of Ecuadorians, they seem to have a different kind of relationship with their Ecuadorian dogs than what I am used to. When the dogs are puppies I see the owners walking, or even carrying them, on the walking paths and playing with them in the parks. Many people stop to look, pat the puppy, and talk to its owner.

When the dogs get bigger and are more adult, the owner’s interest in them seems to wane. When I take walks I often see adult dogs in a yard, looking like they permanently live outside the house, badly in need of a bath and some attention. Yet, at least these dogs are inside the fence.

I will also see dogs locked out of the yard. Dirty with a tangled coat, they lay on the sidewalk or street in front of a house, really never leaving the spot I find them at. I often wonder if they ever get back inside the yard at all.

Are We Being Adopted?

“Our” dog has been visiting us daily. Sometimes when I don’t notice her on my terrace I will hear a whine and look out. There she is standing looking at me with her face just outside the screen door, tail wagging and her mouth open, making her look like she has a big smile.

At some point I will stop what I am doing, go out and pat her head and scratch behind her ears. She laps it up and usually gives me one small tongue lick before finding a cool place in the shade on the tiled terrace to lie down. We have started keeping a bowl of water for her there, but no food…yet 😉

Road House Restaurant

pay attention

Me and Darcy
Road House Wine Wednesday

Wednesday night we had dinner at the Road House in Olon. It gave us a chance to meet up with our friend Mark, one of the first people Heidi and I met in Olon. This is the first time Chase and Easton get to experience Wine Wednesday and eat dinner here at the Road House.

On Wednesday nights there is live music and $1.50 glasses of wine. A special dinner menu is available on these nights as well. Tonight on the special menu are various burgers. Meat or fish, on a regular or gluten-free yucca bun, take your pick. Darcy, the owner of Road House, works diligently to mix the menu up and keep it interesting.

I had a cheeseburger on a regular bun and it was fantastic. Heidi had her burger on a yucca bun. Since she eats low carb, I ate much of her yucca bun, and it was delicious! The music tonight is performed by a very talented Argentinian women. She is playing on an acoustic guitar singing several Spanish songs with that easy Latin vibe. And just to mix it up she even sang a few old Beatles songs… in English of course.

Paying Attention

The night is humid, and at one point drops of rain begin to fall. We are sitting at a table outside, but have enough of the thatched overhang to cover us if it does rain hard. I don’t mind the rain here because it is warm, and I just don’t get cold. Ahhh…heaven.

Right now it’s an opportunity for Chase, Easton, Heidi and I to eat tasty food, drink nice wine, and spend time talking to friends, like Mark who is sitting with us. Even Darcy found a minute to sit, eat, and chat with all of us. What a blessing for me to be here in Ecuador.

I try to become very present with this moment and pay attention. I see the sparkle in the beautiful eyes of my wife, and hear the laughter between my two sons, grown men who share a brotherhood bond. As the melodies of a stringed guitar and the voice of a soulful singer pass by me in the night, I am acutely present to all the people here. Our lives intersecting now. I’m connected to not only life, but to all that is creating this singularly unique moment in life.

And in a blink, it’s gone. Changed into something else. I guess that’s how moments work.

paying attention

Did You Catch It?

Chau.

6 Comments

  1. Laree Delaney March 31, 2017
    • Todd April 1, 2017
  2. maribelpjw April 2, 2017
    • Todd April 3, 2017
  3. Ian Crabtree April 3, 2017
    • Todd April 3, 2017
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