How to Make Friends in San Miguel

I wrote the following article for the San Miguel de Allende SPA (Sociedad Protectora de Animales). It appeared in their newsletter and also in the city’s newspaper, the Atención.

Paul sitting w dogs SMAHow to Make Friends in San Miguel by Paul Schiratti (It’s published under Mr. Grumpy’s name, but I wrote it.)

Years ago, while waiting in line at the Teatro Angela Peralta, I overheard the stranger behind me say he needed a fourth for tennis.

“I brought my racket,” I said.

“Great! Here’s where we’re playing…”

I’ve been playing with them ever since.

That’s hardly a unique experience in San Miguel. Five minutes in the Jardin and you’ve already met two new people and received three restaurant recommendations.

I’ve met many wonderful people and had many exceptional experiences in San Miguel, but the most fulfilling, the one I hurry back to each year, is walking the dogs at the S.P.A.

No sooner do I unpack, when I head down Canal Street to see my friends. My welcome is deafening. Barking, howling, baying—a sweet melody of doggie greeting. I walk through the well-maintained, volunteer-run facility, past each brightly painted cage to see old friends and new faces.

There’s Dulce and Guera, Shy and Nube. I’ve been walking them for years.

And years.

Paul dog walking SMAI’m delighted to see them, but it breaks my heart they’re still here, year after year, hopefully awaiting their forever homes. No matter how clean and bright each cage is, it’s still a cage. Dogs need a home of their own and a family—even a family of one. Add a dog, and now you’re two.

I volunteer because I love dogs, San Miguel and walking and making new friends—of both the human and the canine varieties. The S.P.A. satisfies all my passions.

I walk the larger dogs, together with other volunteers—strangers one minute, best buddies the next. My wife prefers the smaller dogs, and sometimes “socializes the puppies.” (Read: plays with them.) Cats, too.

Sadly, this year, we stayed home because our older rescue dog had grown too frail to board. And indeed, she crossed the rainbow bridge just before Christmas—too late for us to change our plans and join you in SMA this year.

I miss San Miguel, the Jardin, the coffee window, parque Benito Juarez. I miss Azteca soup and the soulful violin of Pedro Cartas. I miss the music and the dining and the art and the people.

But most of all, I miss the dogs.

Here's Paul with t

Here’s Paul with the casita we sponsor each year.

 

 

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About Gina X. Grant

Gina X. Grant writes ingenious plotlines with twists, turns and sometimes magic. She is represented by Rosemary Stimola, the agent who also represents the Hunger Games series. Gina’s RELUCTANT REAPER trilogy is available from Simon and Schuster’s Pocket Star imprint. She lives in Toronto, Canada, just blocks from the house she grew up in. She’s married to a friendly curmudgeon from a mining town in Northern Ontario. They have one rescued hound, Storm, named for Gina’s other pen name. Storm Grant—the writer, not the hound dog—writes engaging action adventure with two heroes. Since 2007, she has published with a variety of e-publishers and more recently, self-publishes. Gina’s and Storm’s books are available at all your favorite etailers, such as Amazon, Kobo and iTunes. Visit ginaXgrant.com or stormgrant.com to find out more.

Posted on May 3, 2016, in dogs, Family, real life, Travel, update, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What a wonderful idea!
    Sorry for the loss of your own beloved dog.

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