Monday, April 15, 2013

Los perros de la América del Sur

Written by Adam
Like most big cities around the world, a new cottage industry has emerged: professional dog walking.  It was certainly no different in Buenos Aires, at least in the neighborhoods where we were visiting.  These entrepreneurs somehow found a way to lead their tethered friends like a bouquet of barking balloons all around numerous territories like Recoleta, Palermo, and Belgrano.  The dogs seemed genuinely enthusiastic; anything to get out of their stuffy apartments shared with their owners and sniff around a bit, I suppose.  

Karen and I used to refer to the little travel souvenirs they inevitably left behind as “chorizos” as we warned each other constantly to execute a sidestep on occasion.  With that aspect of city life as the criteria, I came to the conclusion that yes, Buenos Aires was certainly the Paris of South America - at least when it came to well-fed dogs and gravity.  We got real good at looking down in between looking around.

Elsewhere throughout South America you would often see the local dogs in a more natural state.  There would be packs of them roaming the streets and countryside, motley assemblies of mad genetic experiments gone wild.  Their DNA surely dates back at least to the Spanish conquistadors and their loyal mutts.

I can recall many times where we were being transported in buses, and a dog would be standing in the road directly in our path.  There was seemingly little regard for them by the driver of the vehicle, and at the very last moment the dog would bail out and head for safety as the speeding vehicle roared past them.  Actually, I can’t recall ever seeing a dead dog on the side of the road anywhere in South America.  Maybe those Andean Condors constantly flying overhead have something to do with that?

I told Karen that as a tribute we should try to assemble a photo gallery that featured “The Dogs of South America”.  Happy, hungry, openly mating in the streets, tearing open garbage bags everywhere, somehow always in the way, they were also our constant travel companions.  Whether suffering from debilitating bouts of canine narcolepsy, dressing up, or just casually loitering on the sidewalk, they certainly made an impression on us, that’s for sure.


Joanne said...

I love your description, "a bouquet of barking balloons." Great pictures!

Jennifer Chase said...

Love the article Adam! It's nice to see that they love their dogs too :) Hope you and Karen are having a blast!

Observers of Life said...

Hello Joanne!

Missing the helium, of course! Glad you enjoyed the pictures - I've probably got enough unpublished pictures left to fill a kennel.

Adam J.

Observers of Life said...


I think this dog idea is global! Thanks for reading the blog - rhymes with dog!

Adam J.