Vicente José Rogers Cruz

Dear readers,

No. Vicente is not our son. Not our human son, anyway. Hondurans have a culture for labelling their pets as their “hijo or hija“. But I assure you my wife was not nine months pregnant with the puppy in the picture attached (don’t worry, mum). Nor with Frida, who by the way is actually Frido, as she has been confirmed a he. My wife insists he is still a she, or transgender at least, but I think it’s due to her fondness of the artist Frida Kahlo and/or she likes to over do the fact that Frido suffers from female jealousy. 

Frido’s gender was confirmed when I went to an animal rescue centre in Colonia Kennedy called Casa de Noé – Lacaden to look at puppies. Quite an adventure, I must say. The centre is pretty much a porch which contains a zoo of animals, all of which have been found, abandoned or injured. Along with dogs and cats, there are monkies, owls, falcons, possums, parrots, doves, turtles and, the bizarrest of them all, a cat-rabbit. I didn’t realise they existed until I saw one. It has the facial appearence of a cat but the hind legs of a rabbit. I didn’t think to ask if it meowed or about its diet (nor what it tasted like, for that matter), but it did feel that I was in the presence of a mutant. It’s wrong and insensitive to say, I know, but it did leave me a little freaked for a couple of days.

Anyway, in one of the cages were white fronted amazons, the same as Frido. I said that I had always been suspicious of Frido’s gender, and I was right to. It turns out females wings are all green, while males have coloured plumage. She showed me the difference and there was no doubt that Frida was in fact Frido. The gender complexes Frido must have now…

Back to Vicente. My dearly beloved, by who I mean my wife, turns 30 this week. She is a dog person, and I think those who know me well are aware I am not (and having a dog only confirms even more to me that cats are far smarter). Despite this, I was determined to pleasemy wife by introducing a puppy to the household. I must admit, I knew relatively little about dogs. I still do. I had originally wanted to surprise my wife, but it proved impossible. I kind of let it slip, as I learned Pamela would be on vacations for a couple of weeks which would give her time with the puppy. She had been dreaming of it for a while, because she had a name in mind before even looking at the puppies. Vicente José. Named after the Mexican ranchero singer, Vicente Fernandez (I think), and José due to a family tradition of naming one of the male off spring by that name. I liked the name Tufts Vicente, as his ears looked like tufts. Tufts sounds like toughs, and having a dog that looks a little like a German Shepherd and Rottweiler cross needs a thuggish name that sounds like toughs. Suffice to say, the look on Pamela’s face when I told her of my idea about the name Tufts was all I needed to know that it was a name that wouldn’t stick.

It was my idea to have a street dog. Sorry, wrong. It was actually my brother-in-law’s, Juan José, who told me that mixed dogs, or street dogs, are often more humble and easier to manage than pedigrees. Vicente so far seems chilled (to an extent), but I have nothing to compare him with really. All dogs seem to be needy and attention-seeking. As suggested above, I’m a cat man. I have always been wary of dogs, especially after being bitten by one which left me with stitches on my abdomen. Furthermore, it used to wind me up (and it still does) that some dog owners don’t see that their dogs can be seen as potentionally dangerous. So adopting a street dog that is part German Shepherd, part Rottweiler, probably goes against the grain. So far, Vicente has been like therapy. A great addition to the family.

As it is the wee hours of the morning, I need to finish and get some sleep. Part two will be up in the coming days.

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About Nicholas Rogers

I am an English journalist/copywriter living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and I have been here since 2011. I originally came to work with Casa Alianza, which supports street kids and vulnerable youths. I then stayed on, after meeting Pamela Cruz Lozano, who calls me her adopted Catracho. I work freelance journalism and I have my own translation business. Why did I come here? For the challenge, to open my mind and get out of my comfort zone. I love literature and I've written a book with street kids. I write novels, short stories and poetry, all of which you will find on this blog, as well as a lot of information about Honduras. View all posts by Nicholas Rogers

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