Meet Buck, he’s an 8-week-old Australian Cattle Dog puppy who is currently undergoing an existential crisis. Buck’s just come down with his very first attack of hiccups (aka synchronous diaphragmatic flutter, aka ‘singultus’ which I just learned is Latin for ‘catching one’s breath while sobbing’), and Buck is convinced that the only way to rid himself of these hiccups is to snarl and bark them away. The only caveat is that Buck weighs all of about 4-pounds, and couldn’t scare a butterfly away from a flower.
The Australian Cattle Dog, also known as a ‘heeler’, is widely considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds in the world. They’re freakishly smart. I used to think it was all mumbo jumbo to take away from the intelligence of our ‘Murican dogs, but then I experienced their freakish intelligence first hand a few years ago. After we graduated from FSU, a few friends and I went down to Costa Rica for a month, driving around, surfing and fishing, doing whatever. At one point we drove over to the Caribbean coast for a few days to hit Salsa Brava, which is actually the biggest wave in all of Costa Rica. For the life of me I cannot recall the name of the hotel we stayed at, but I vividly remember when we checked in it was around 10pm, we’d been driving all day from Pavones, which is actually not too far if there was a straight road from the Pacific to the Caribbean, but there’s not, so we had to drive across half the country to get there.
The person at the front desk checks us in, hands us our keys (we had 2 rooms), then whistled for the resident heelers. Up comes running two Australian Cattle Dogs, the man behind the counter told them (en español) which rooms we were in, and then told us to follow the dogs. This place was frickin’ MASSIVE. Like strange hallways going off in weird directions. Bungalows off in a far courtyard. Everything just really spread far apart. We had one bungalow and one room, and the dogs got to a walkway then split off, and each took us to the respective rooms. It was nuts. The guy behind the counter just said the room number and these dogs took us there. Blew my mind.
If anyone knows what hotel I’m talking about (from my awful description), drop me a line in the comments because I’d love to look it up again. As for our time in Puerto Viejo, well, that place must’ve been a hotbed for drugs coming up from Colombia because it seemed like you couldn’t walk 50-feet down a road without being offered blow. Aside from that I remember eating the best pineapple I’ve ever had, and it was even close.