Mateo vs. the Chucha

There’s a little dog at the villa where we’re staying in Cali. He belongs to the caretakers, and his name’s Mateo. Mateo likes to sit around a lot and he sleeps much of the day. There’s a larger dog named Lucas who has similar interests (but more questionable ownership). They will occasionally drink out of the pool.

Monday evening, as people were wandering off to bed, I heard from outside the unmistakable sound of a dog in pain. My first reflex was to run out and help, but then I realized I had no idea what was happening, and whether I’d be safe, so I decided against leaving the villa. The next morning, we noticed that Mateo had an obvious injury on his forehead, so we asked Adrianna, the caretaker, what had happened to him. She said he had been bitten by a chucha. Please do not Google chucha, unless you enjoy looking at pornography. If that is the case, then by all means, help yourself, as soon as you’re done commenting nicely on this post.

I wanted to include a link to information about the chucha, but all the sites I’ve found are in Spanish, so they won’t do anyone any good, particularly me. The chucha is a nocturnal marsupial that likes to attack unsuspecting dogs, people, and whatever else crosses its path. Our professor has been coming here for four years (since Mateo was a wee pup), and has been warned against leaving doors and windows open, or going outside at night. She thought the chucha was a chupacabra-like myth, until poor little Mateo. The good news is, the wound isn’t infected, and Mateo is regaining some of his vigor (though he hates taking his medication).


This picture is not of the chucha that attacked Mateo – it is an image I stole from the internet (thanks, internet!) of a chucha that was seen somewhere else, at a different time. On the right is sad Mateo, with his head wound, the morning after. I apologize if the photo is too graphic. I tried to be good!

4 thoughts on “Mateo vs. the Chucha

  1. Oh man. Thanks on the tip about not Googling “chucha.” I once Googled “life is short party naked” and let me tell you… Poor Mateo!!! I hope it does not get infected. One case where a skunk looks preferable!

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