Exploring Lake Chapala and Saving ‘That’ Dog

Lake Chapala: where rich Americans go to retire and where us three girls decided to spend a Tuesday. Lucky for me I’d made friends with Neomi, a woman with wheels. We drove, well she drove, the 45 minutes to Lake Chapala from the centre of Guadalajara. The drive was stunning. We zipped past huge mountain ranges, lush forests and on the way back came the scenic route through cute towns and villages filled with the traditional Mexican colourful houses.

Exploring Lake ChapalaLake Chapala is Mexico’s biggest freshwater lake and a favourite day trip for anyone visiting the country’s second biggest city, Guadalajara. Visit and you can take a boat out to the castle on the island, or just cruise around the surface for a while with a friendly tour guide to explain what you’re seeing. No one goes in the water though – the lake is dying thanks to dehydration, phosphorus levels, heavy metals and overfishing. In the case of Lake Chapala it’s much better to just look at it, rather than to go in it.

We decided to just hang out on the pier, take some photos of the wildlife, hang out with the popes at the Chapala Church and just generally enjoy the vast and epic scenery.

Exploring Lake Chapala

Dogs and Lake Chapala don’t mix

That is, until my companion Maayan decided to befriend a dog. From here on in he’ll be known as ‘Mexy Rexy’. Maayan and I had only been friends for a week but I’d already clocked her dedication to animals, she loves them all equally and possibly more than humans.

The dog and her were having a great old time, as you can see in the corner here.

Exploring Lake Chapala

Maayan decided to take Mexy Rexy for a walk along the pier, well he followed as she explored. Once at the end of the pier he decided to jump in. I was up the top watching him paddle away, and it was all fun, games and photos.

But then Mexy Rexy started paddling harder. He was splashing all over the place and it looked like he was caught in the grass. Suddenly he went under the pier and the splashing and paddling stopped.

Exploring Lake Chapala

My heart was in my mouth. I could see the panic on my Maayan’s face and could just imagine her jumping in after him. I ran down to the pier thinking I’d need to help her, to help him. I’ve read stories about dedicated owners going in to water after their pets with bad consequences – that was not about to happen.

I got to the bottom and still there was silence. There was a lot of efffing and blinding from the three of us trying to work out where he was.

Then suddenly, a splash. He’d managed to paddle out the other side and was trying to mount the pier from the less grassy side. My friend laid down and pulled him out, holding the wet mutt close to her in relief. Mexy Rexy was back on dry land and thanked us by shaking his wet fur all over us, spraying stinky water everywhere.

Exploring Lake Chapala

Jeez it was an intense minute. Of course he scampered off in search of the next adventure while my animal-loving friend had to have a sit down and be grateful for the fact she hadn’t just led a dog astray and ended up, in her eyes, being responsible for his final doggy paddle.

After all that we decided it was time to leave. Ten minutes later we were at the Iguanas Restaurant supping on a Pacifico beer admiring the view of Lake Chapala and getting excited about the fajitas on the way. Another fun day in Mexico!

Exploring Lake Chapala

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11 Comments

  1. by Barbara on October 23, 2014  2:12 pm Reply

    I went to Lake Chapala when I was in Guadalaraja. It didn’t look like that when I was there there – great photos!

    • by Vicky on October 24, 2014  3:35 pm Reply

      Yeah, it was such a beautiful day! And such a shame you couldn't go in the lake, but yeah, it was beautiful.

  2. by Joe on October 23, 2014  2:13 pm Reply

    Ooo looks pretty. Oh dear about the dog, should’ve just let it drown!

    • by Vicky on October 24, 2014  3:35 pm Reply

      Err, bit harsh Joe! I'm not even a doggy person and I couldn't have done that.

  3. by Franca on October 24, 2014  8:53 am Reply

    I'm so glad the dog didn't drawn, that would have been devastating plus I love stories with an happy ending! :)

    • by Vicky on October 24, 2014  3:37 pm Reply

      Me too! Would definitely have been a very different day if the doggy had popped it. Honestly, my heart was pounding. I thought it was a gonner!

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    • by Vicky on October 25, 2014  10:47 pm Reply

      Me too! Would've been a very different day...

  5. by Karen on October 25, 2014  10:42 pm Reply

    Oh my god! That must've been so scary. I remember when I was little and my dog fell in the pond, I thought it was the worse thing ever. My dad managed to get him out, thank god. But I remember standing on the side, terrified that he wouldn't make it!

    • by Vicky on October 25, 2014  10:51 pm Reply

      Guess whether we admit it or not, we all love animals!

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