Reflections on a Petra Dog

 Petra Dog

I took this photo in Petra, Jordan, while on a 10-hour exploration of the ancient site. It was hot, scorching really, and every living thing was seeking shade of some sort, including this little guy. Dogs traditionally are not well cared for in certain countries around the world, for a variety of reasons. This holds true for much of the Middle East, although that perception is slowly changing, but in truth only amongst the elites of the region. Instead the dogs tend to be abused, discarded and killed. Not many people really care for them, and they’re left to fend for themselves. This Petra dog is what I would call a mutt, my favorite breed. He had one eye, but had eked out a simple existence for himself in Petra, living off of the random kindnesses of strangers and purveyors of tourist kitsch.

I took his photo not to just take another dog pic, but because of his strength and in that strength his beauty. Most people probably wouldn’t even look twice at this poor pup, but he stood out to me right away. One look at his face spoke volumes, he had had a tough life for no fault of his own, and yet he still struggled. He didn’t just lie down in the desert to die, he got up every day and tried to survive. And that is enough for him. At the risk of sounding like one of those commercials with sad Sarah McLachlan music, I’ll stop, but this dog showed me something. He showed me that no matter how bad things may get, there’s always a reason to keep going.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

2 Responses

  1. Emily

    I am a huge dog lover. In fact, my profession is in the veterinary world…not a vet, but in the profession. I appreciate this post and your heart to stop and care for them. I am traveling to countries this year that not only just leave them to fend for themselves, but that sadistically torture, rape, and mutilate the strays. I am trying to do all I can to help, having found this out recently. Anyways, thank you for this post. Good to see someone care. Treatment of animals is one of the top two things that is hardest for me as a traveler. It eats me up inside b/c there is nothing I can do to really change the country’s viewpoint on these matters.

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  2. laura

    hearing this makes me feel awful, but the moral at the end shows me that that dog has guts to do what he’s doing. And I’m going to share this cite with my 6 friends so that they know what life is like out there for other animals. Thank you for writing this small story.

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