One of the very first characters to greet me upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, Peru, was Maximo. Maximo the friendly Pit Bull, who’s more commonly called ‘Precioso’ by his loving owners Qeta and Carlos. If you have followed my previous posts you will have met Qeta and Carlos as I described my first treatment of reflexology using the spanish language and in Peru also.
As I took a step inside the door of Qusiqollor (hospidaje/accomodation), Maximo ran towards me with a welcoming wagging of his tail. I tried to remain calm as I was not expecting to be sharing with a Pit Bull. Unfortunately, I had not been acquainted prior to this, with the friendly form of what turns out to be this charming animal.
The part of the world from which I hail, you see, has given rise to the destruction of the reputation of the Pit Bull. I am sure there are many owners who have the friendly sort but unfortunately there are owners who’s sole purpose for possessing such a creature appears to be more in line with defense or attack.
OK, before I get told off for saying this, I revert to my story of Maximo. I removed my cap so that he would recognise me better next time we would meet. He just wagged his tail and returning to his cushion in the corner of the living room.
Like many of the dogs in Ollantaytambo, Maximo is a loving, friendly creature, responding in turn to the loving treatment that he receives regularly from his owners. This is not a secret, many pet owners know this to be true, treat an animal with love and respect and it is likely you will receive the same in return. It works with humans too, but less people seem to know this!
Maximo became even friendly towards me directly after I provided the reflexology treatment to Qeta, he almost jumped into my lap! And a few days later as I returned from my voluntary work he ran to greet me in the street, dropping his favourite toy at my feet as an invitation to play with him. I quickly became a part of his family and even witness to his rare escapes of spectacular gases, to which every one would respond incredulously ‘Maximo’!!! Luckily in the space of 4 weeks there were only 2 of these spectacular explosions and always he was shown the door while the rest of us recovered.
One day I returned to find Maximo engrossed with the jaw-bone of an ass (or at least that’s how it was described to me in Spanish). Always my first split-second impressions are the most amusing. So Maximo had won the battle with the Ass and was enjoying his reward!! No, not at all, of course! A trip to the market in the following days explained the fact that it is not uncommon to encounter such animal remains, as the meat-clad versions lay strewn across the tables of the market stalls.
Even so, Maximo remained the hero in my mind. And the day I left Qusiqollor for other pastures, Maximo offered me his belly to be rubbed. Adios Maximo, precious one, you will always be the saviour of the Pit Bulls in my mind.