29.12.08

Aminals on Sidewalks

This terrible story about the dog frozen to the sidewalk in Sheboygan, Wisconsin got me to thinking about how animals and sidewalks interact. A friend of mine once told me that the sign of a good neighborhood is lots of people walking their dog, and I think that's just about right. Dogs serve wonderful functions in community building, mostly because they get their owners out of the house with great regularity, forcing them outside and walking around on the sidewalks where they can look around at neighbors' yards, experience the freshitude of Minnesota air, and maybe even meet a few people that live near them. Which is why anyplace where people walk dogs (AND pick up their poo) is probably a good neighborhood. Dog parks, vet clinics, sidewalk trash cans, and doggie-treat-wielding shops all form these little symbiotic nexuses of interaction, working together to create neighborhood interdependence.

So its sad when a dog gets left outside, and has to rely on its morbid obesity to save its doggie skin.* Firstly, let me say to all you winter dog walkers: Get doggie booties! Take precautions!

Secondly, it made me want to share some photos of dogs on sidewalks, so that we don't start thinking that dogs and sidewalks cannot peacefully coexist.

When I traveled to Berlin, Germany a few years ago I was amazed at how many well-behaved dogs I saw in public places in the city. It seemed everyone had a dog, but nobody had a leash. Dogs would follow their owners into little bars and cafes, and sit peacefully at the foot of the table waiting patiently for an occasional table scrap. Even the young vagabond-types had really well-behaved dogs with them. It made me less sad for 'city dogs' that can never run around and experience the true joy of chasing a porcupine overland through the thick brambled woods. It made me realize that sidewalks are for the dogs.



[A sidewalk dog waits out a shopping trip on a summer's day in Uptown, Minneapolis.]




[A sidewalk dog on a nice snowy day in St. Anthony Park, Saint Paul.]




[A sidewalk cow on the streets of Mumbai, India -- h/t thanks Kate!]



* The relevant part of the frozen dog story:
Police say Jiffy, a morbidly obese border collie mix, survived the single-digit temperatures Dec. 4 due only to insulation from layers of fat, officials have said.

1 comment:

Viagra Online said...

Nice images in here, But the best one is the last one because look at the bull tied in the tree, I think the person who left it there thought he was in the country.