Paseadores de Perros

February 26, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Here in Buenos Aires people have a love affair going on with their "mascotas", aka family pet (dogs). Everyone has one, and living in such a "high-rise" dense area is not a deterrent. I've seen everything from a St. Bernard to a Chihuahua coming out the side door of apartment buildings. In fact, most buildings in BA have rules that you must use only the freight elevator if you are taking your dog in or out of the building. 

You would think that somewhere along the way, with people having to work so hard to earn a living, that the dogs social life would suffer. Not So!

When the local economy went down the toilet in 2002, some enterprising young folks started to offer their services as professional "dog walkers". Here they are called "Paseadores de Perros" and in the last 10 years they have elevated the job to a prestigious art form. Having a dog walker take your pet out on a daily basis is not only good for the dog but has definite "snob appeal" for the owners, and that too is important as most of the folks in this area are upper middle class and fairly "class conscious". 

The walker will come by to pick up your pet in the morning (and leaves the remainder of the pack tied up down stairs while he's doing that). He will comb the neighbourhood for all 10 - 15 dogs in his list and then scoot them off to the local park for a couple of hours. The dogs get to run free or are tied up to a favourite tree while the walker commiserates with all his dog-walker friends. At the noon hour he returns the dogs to their homes and sets out to gather up the afternoon group for a repeat of the morning session. Some "walkers" are doing so well that they can afford mini-vans, which they use to carry the dogs to and from the parks. 

In all the times I've watched this process happen, I have never noticed any pack of dogs fighting amongst themselves or offering any resistance to the walker or passers-by. 99% of the dogs seem quite well adjusted and socialized. Mind you, I love dogs .. and the dogs know this, ergo I've never had a problem with any dog ... so maybe my observation in this regard is biased. 

Walkers do good business, all things considered. I had to ask to find out and was told that a good walker can get 20-30 clients a week and will charge upwards of 500 pesos a dog for a months worth of walking. They walk each dog once a day, usually work 2 - 3 shifts a day, with weekends and holidays off. 20 dogs a day works out to be 10,000 pesos a month. That works out to about $2500 a month U.S. (and they will gladly accept payment in U.S. dollars preferred).

 

People take their dogs with them everywhere. These two were waiting very patiently for their owner to come out of the local COTO grocery store and take them home. 

They paid no mind to anyone else, in spite of the fact that they were blocking the main entrance and customers had to step over them both coming and going. 

 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February (6) March (9) April (7) May (2) June July August September October November December
January (3) February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March (4) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December