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My husband and I , with our dog, Tate, moved to Buenos Aires.. Life has never been the same since ~ Back in the USA ... life is still not the same !
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's a Dog's World


Buenos Aires.... it's a Dogs World .

Really, this city is a Dog's Delight.
First of all, it seems that 99% of the population has at least one dog and the other 1% doesn't have them but they love dogs and wish they had one.
Even the homeless dogs in our neighborhood, are nursed and fed and watched over by shopkeepers, ladies in the neighborhood and kind souls.
These people should have no doubt that one day, they are going to Heaven ... in my book, anyway, if you are that kind and loving to a poor animal in the street, your Goodness levels are high enough to get you a Free Pass into Heaven, even if you did cheat on that test and lie about your age.

It doesn't matter where you live, big apartment, small apartment, posh neighborhood, by the tracks, high rise, you name it, there will be dogs there.
And what an array of breeds ! You will see quite a few mutts but I have seen some of the most fantastic purebreds here ! They like hunting dogs, I guess that is because quite a few people in my neighborhood, also have homes out in the campos ( countryside) and the dogs are hunting/working breeds.
So I see a lot of spaniels. They are not crazy about Pup. For some reason, they bark hysterically when they see him.
Even those two little yappers who live on the second floor of the building down the street that we pass on the way to the park ... day or night, rain or shine, we walk down that block and they start yapping... there are days I want to throw things at them ... Callate ! shut up !
I thank someone every day that I am not their neighbor.

But then there are the big dogs... I mean BEEG dogs.
There is a very nice lady who lives in a tiny apartment with her family and 2 full sized collies.
Yep, Lassie and Lassie Jr live in an apartment the size of maybe, 4 rooms .. my husband just thinks of all the dog hair and gets itchy.
There are quite a few Bulldogs and French Bulldogs and Cocker Spaniels .. there is an elderly gentleman that always has a book with him. He comes to the park each day, book in hand, little blonde Cocker Spaniel by his side. He sits in the shade on a bench and the little Cocker sets off to sniff every inch of the park.. if Pup is there, every inch of him gets sniffed too.
Pup is tender and patient with the little dogs, he loves this one. He will stand still for the inspection then takes off , bouncing and saying, Look what fun this is ! Come on ... Run !! and the little Cocker looks at me, comes over, and falls down on the ground at my feet, offering me a little belly to scratch. Adorable.

They have a lot of Staffordshire Terriers here. They make me nervous.
There is a man with 2 large red ones. They make me nervous.
They are both female and walk beside him with no leashes on.
When he stops at a light, they stop. When he continues to walk, they walk.
When they go into the park, they sniff around, staying close to each other.. I used to grab Pup, put his leash on him and slip quietly out of the park, before a loose man-eating Pit Bull came and got us.
I told you, they make me nervous !
But one day, my husband said, they are not bad .. they won't hurt Pup.
So I stayed and waited and watched and worried and Pup sniffed around and ignored them and they just had eyes for the man that they were with and each other. When they left the park, they walked right by us, the dogs didn't give us a glance... they ignored Pup completely.
Phew ! But I am still wary of all the others.

So with all these people with all these dogs, there is a lot of picking up after your dog to be done and it is still not catching on here like it should.
I think Buenos Aires must rival Paris for the amount of things left in the street for people to step in, slip in and generally really annoy people.
There is a rule to pick up after your dog but they are being very verrry slow about following it.
I, the New Yorker with Dog, restrain myself from yelling at them, ... Are you going to just leave that there ?? Pick it up !! What is the matter with you ???
Mindful of my lack of fluent Spanish and not wanting to be hit upside the head with a dog , or worse, thought to be an impolite foreigner , I keep my mouth shut and just give them Really Dirty Looks.
So far it doesn't seem to be working.
I am hoping the Mayor will step in.

The people here work a lot of long hours. Someone has to walk the dog.
So we have Dog Walkers.
Watching them is worth the price of admission ... a man or woman walking down the street with up to 18 dogs on leashes. They often take up an entire wide sidewalk.
The only ones who annoy me are the ones that tie all the dogs to a pole and leave for some reason. The dogs bark, they are too close to the street and cars and they are often left in the sun.
But other than that, it is such a sight, I am often tempted to be one myself. If we have to walk one, why not 3? maybe not a dozen but 3 or 4 would work..
What about Pup and a bunch of toy Pups ?
Pup gets all the attention he needs. He is one of a kind here. There are no others .
People have asked us if they can take his photo, tourists get off the Tour Bus in the park and take photos of the Statues, the flowering trees and the Pup.
There are people all over the world with photo albums with pictures of their trip, monuments, hotels, streets, each other and Pup.
No wonder when he sees a camera pointed at him, he sits. He is an old hand at the photo thing .. smile !


Now it is time to go for a walk. Pup will be happy. He hates it when we go to the door and leave him behind.
I hate it too.

2 comments:

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

What an interesting read! I am terrified of unleashed big dogs, actually. I was bitten by one when I was about 4 ... a doberman. :( Since then, I have been very uncomfortable around animals. Sad, right?

You are so right about people cleaning up after their pets! It's the decent thing to do. :)

Mrs. D said...

I have an intense dislike for pitbulls. I don't trust them one bit and I hate hearing that it's all in how you raise them... sorry, they are just not stable breeds. I can't believe they don't leash them!

I'm more of a cat person, but I like dogs all right. We had a chow when I was young that was a doll. I'd like another like her someday.

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