First let me start this post by stating the obvious…Reina is a dog. She still has the animal instincts that we as humans have lost through years of evolution. Reina, for example, can barely contain herself when she is anywhere near another animal. She instantly feels the need to chase said animal. Jamie and I like to believe that all Reina wants to do is play with the other animal, but we have yet to actually find out what would happen if we let her give in to the chase.
With the obvious having been stated here is a little background information. We have stayed many places where we can let Reina run free off the leash. We call these places “Wiggle Farms”, Wiggles being Reina’s nickname. One such Wiggle Farm was San Cristobal. The Rancho San Nicolas RV Park was the perfect place to let Reina roam. It is a large area at the base of a hill that is all fenced in. We would tie Reina up at night but the moment we woke up Reina would be let free. Occasionally we would call her in to make sure she was ok.
We were in San Cristobal for Christmas along with a group of kids that had driven up from Palenque. On the way from Palenque the kids had stopped to purchase a turkey, a LIVE turkey, which they intended to kill, de-feather, and cook over an open flame for Christmas Dinner. They tied the turkey up right outside their car and went about their business. Now remember what I said about Reina being off leash? Yep, that’s right she went straight for the turkey. Fortunately for us she only wanted to sniff at the poor thing. The turkey was scared out of its mind and freaked out but no harm was done. After the incident the turkey was moved into the room and Jamie and I were happy to learn that Reina could be trusted around poultry. Deer, cats, squirrels, puppies, and children were not ok, but poultry was in the clear.
Knowing this fact when we got the tour of the Corazon Maya Spanish School in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala, was great because they had a pretty little turkey tied up right along the pathway. The first thing the owner asked us when she saw Reina was if she was ok with other dogs because they have a small dog. We replied “yes” and that was it. We decided to camp at the school because there weren’t any cabanas available and no hotels would let Reina stay there. Plus Nate and Sarah from thelongwaysouth.org were there with their dog Brady, so Reina would have two dogs to run around and play with. We were camped at on site at our Spanish School for free, Reina had friends to play with and we had friends to play with, and we were walking distance to a big market and lots of great restaurants. Life was good.
Thirty minutes later we were setting up camp when Reina comes up followed by Nate. Instantly I know something is up. Thoughts start racing through my head. Did Reina attack the school dog? Did she maul the cat? Was there a child running around that she thought was a plaything and not a human being?
Fortunately Reina had not attacked a small child however, Nate informed us that Reina had, in fact, attacked the turkey. I know what you’re thinking, “No, not Reina!? She loves turkeys. She proved that when she just sniffed the other one”. Unfortunately we learned the hard way that Reina is not a turkey lover and the owner of the School wanted to have a word with us to discuss the incident.
I was mortified. This was their food that our dog tried to eat. It wasn’t just a pet it was their livelihood. Luckily the owners were nice and forgiving. The turkey wasn’t dead, just scared. From now on we would have to keep her locked up.
We later learned the whole story from Nate’s perspective. He had been studying when he heard a lot yelling and screaming coming from the turkey area. He, thinking it was Brady; jumped up to see what kind of mischief his dog had gotten into. When he got to the turkey area Reina had the turkey pinned down and there were feathers everywhere. Thankfully the second he yelled at Reina she jumped off the turkey and made a beeline for our camp.
We spent three weeks in Spanish School and unfortunately for Reina she spent those 3 weeks tied up, to prevent another incident with the turkey.