When visiting the Atacama Desert for the second time I spent time asking locals about my pervious experience and the mystery just thickened…
Around 6 years ago I was staying in the little red dusty town that serves as the perfect hub for exploring the driest place in the world. So much about San Pedro town feeds the imagination; it looks like a movie set out of a western movie you never quite watched to the end. They still have the raised paths that would allow you to jump on to your horse with easy, many of the doors are simply swinging shutters and as if staged, you do actually see the occasional tumble weed.
During my stay I had found a quaint mud built hostel on the outskirts of the town. One night, myself and a few friends had stayed out a little later than was wise and had to make our way back in the dark. On our return a ferocious pack of dogs kept nearing us, snarling and intimidating as if ready to attack and bite at any time. Not in a rush to get rabies, I was really quite scared, we all were. They kept circling, running ahead dashing behinds, snapping towards us. The more we edged towards the direction of our hostel the more intense they became.
Out of nowhere, sprung forward our courageous guardian. We had earned no loyalty from this creature, but this plucky little love was determined to protect us. Angle Dog chested up to the others with all his might and indeed did a remarkable job of protecting us. At very real risk his or her own life, Angle Dog guarded us all the way home, not allowing the other dogs to get close enough to harm us. Once safe in our hostel, our protector simply disappeared.
I truly have no idea what motivated this sweet soul to keep us safe. When sharing this story with locals recently, I expected them to be surprised. Quite the reverse, people started telling me of other similar situations where dogs have protected or even guided lost people back to their homes late at night. This is particularly perplexing when you consider how strange it would be for a dog to even know where they are staying.
I am afraid I can offer little in the way of explain any of this, but found it so mysterious and intriguing I thought I must share it with the world and see if anyone can fathom it.