Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Sad Morning Walk - Stray Dogs in BA

Every week day morning (around 5:30am) Henry and I walk down to the river so that he might do his business before I leave him for the day. This is usually a very peaceful walk. A quick "Buen Dia" to the security guards who watch over the school, a little fresh air, and then we are home so I may begin the daily grind. A couple of weeks ago, however, we had a bit of a surprise on our walk and I thought I would share my experience so that I might confess my guilt and also earnestly ask for advice on what to do next time.

There is no doubt that Buenos Aires is a pet-loving city. Many families have dogs. There is a veterinarian or two in every province. I have noticed, however, that many Argentines like to walk their dogs on busy city streets without leashes and even worse (in my opinion) that there are dogs all over that are "let out" the front gate to return after they have explored for the day. These dogs seem to be much wiser then Henry in regards to crossing the street (which I might add is dangerous even for humans). So, if I see a dog roaming the streets, it is quite possible he has a loving home, he is just on a walk-about.

This was not the case however for two puppies that found Henry and I one chilly morning a couple of weeks ago. No more than 4 weeks old, these two little guys were desperate for help and they whined and followed us on our walk as I contemplated what the heck I was going to do! As Henry and I approached the school where I work (the two puppies close behind) a couple of security guards approached and offered to help and they made a phone call as Henry and I headed back home without the little guys. I never asked them who they called or what happened to the pups. Truthfully, I don't think I want to know.

Just a quick note that Buenos Aires seems less flooded with homeless animals then other places I have visited. In the town of Bariloche (a small village in Patagonia), wild dogs over take the streets running in packs and chasing cars. It isn't nearly as bad here. I would guess it is because many loving hearted Argentines take these stray dogs and cats into their homes.

Update! I have found that there are services for stray dogs and cats throughout the city. They are all private and support foster programs.