I, Ria, have a camera with no name. I could have a dog named Sam, but that would mean responsibility and I am launching myself into freedom and curiosity and a dog is too much baggage to bring along.
San Miguel is a town of dogs and cameras. They are everywhere. Some people accumulate both, others settle for one or the other. Both bring attention to their owners.
If you have a dog, especially a cute one, one with personality and a wagging tail – people stop. They coo and want to cuddle, have it lick their outstretched hand. Ask its name, find out its story. It is a conversation starter. A friend maker.
But a dog requires attention – feeding, grooming, exercise. That is a lot of effort for something that isn’t really portable.
A dog needs to be in a stable environment. And it can be expensive. A dog needs space. And what happens if it gets sick – a vet? Money!! There go those travel plans. And what if it dies? There is a hole in your heart. The blanket it used to sleep on or tug around through the halls. The smell of wet fur. The stain on the carpet. memories.
A Camera? Well, that is my pet of choice.
I can take my camera anywhere. And, it too can be an attention-getter. A conversation starter. I have found that in San Miguel if I have my camera raised, people stop, they let the shot happen. Then we smile at each other and give our Buenos. Sometimes we actually chat. Maybe they have a camera too. We trade our photo tips and check out our equipment. It is the equivalent of petting a dog.
My camera is my companion. Through it, I tell stories and create them. Memories. I can go back to them always. I can catalog them. They remain.
I even talk about my camera as having a personality. It can be fickle by not allowing a shot – even one I think is perfectly good. Like it is sitting down on a rug and I need to tug at it to come to play. It can have a calm day – one of bits and pieces, a search for subtle shots. Or it can be frenetic. A parade goes by and it jumps around, searching, recording, excited. I think I wag my tail too.
Don’t get me wrong. A camera can get expensive. It has pedigree. Papers.
Dogs get squeaky toys.
Cameras get lenses.
Dogs don’t like bad weather. Neither do cameras. Dogs are a bit easier to dry out though. And they fetch. I guess I can’t throw my camera, even in frustration.
But I don’t want a dog. It doesn’t fit in a backpack.
Sure, I can explore with a dog, but a dog has a voice. The camera only a slight click.
I can bring it to more places.
It can travel.
No food is necessary. Just a charged-up battery and I am good to go.