Friday, November 7, 2014

Santiago's smart dogs

After we dumped our luggage at our Airbnb apartment in Santiago we headed out onto the streets.  We were walking through a business district, and I couldn't help but notice that a lot of people were accompanied by a dog as they were out and about.  Coming from a place where dogs are pampered and are regarded as children, I naturally thought "Wow - they bring their dogs to work here too!"  Only after I noticed a particular dog trading "owners" did I realize that these were stray dogs.  They are not your average mangy, flighty stray dogs, however - oh no - they are sociable and quite smart.
They have figured out that to cross a street, they need to go to the corner and cross with a crowd of people when the light changes. They also will attach themselves to a person or group of people and become part of the"pack" for a few blocks.  We joined a walking tour halfway through one day, and the dog that was with them had joined them at the beginning of the walk 2 hours earlier, and had waited for them to come out of the points of interest they had gone into.  The dogs seem to be at least partially looked-after, as none looked like they were starving and some even had old shirts on to keep them warm.  Most of them would let you pet them, then they would just go on about their business.
This is my favorite picture of one of the dogs, taken in the Mercado Vega.

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