TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

The Dogs of Argentina

Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist

Every country seems to have its own dog culture.

As I travel the world I’ve noticed that dogs are treated very differently in each country. I started out in Central America and was dismayed, in certain parts, to see that dogs are mostly street dogs and hungry. I’m a dog lover. Back in the US if someone has a dog, a puppy, any kind of dog really, I’m going to bend down and pet that dog. Unless the dog is not friendly and growling. But usually I just indulge and pet every single dog I possibly can. In fact if you’re in midsentence with me you’ll probably lose me if a puppy comes along.

Dogs conversing in El Calafate

Photograph by Heather Markel, copyright 2019

So it’s with enormous delight that I come to Argentina and find that dogs here are basically like people. People you can just run around and pet. 🙂 They roam the streets like anybody else with or without a collar. They seem well fed and nobody seems to go hungry. I learned that they all have owners, but they are free to roam the streets. I swear to you they have daily meetings. Some of them seem very intense and deliberate as they trot to some meeting point they may be late to meet some dog colleagues. If they aren’t wondering around in couples, you’ll find them sleeping on every street corner as if it’s their living room.

“It’s like the streets are full of companionship.”

I feel like I have 95 dogs now. There’s the dog who is a mommy and it’s very clear that she’s still feeding her young. There’s the dog with the beautiful brown eyes. There’s the black dog which has a funny furry little face. There’s another black dog that’s more like a pitbull. There are brown dogs there a white dogs. I keep seeing the same ones over and over and over. A few of them have jumped up on me like they know me. They all absolutely love being pet. Of course they want some food but they will follow you around if you pet them as if they’re your dog. And, in many cases, when I stop petting a dog, it would sit on or lie on my feet. Talk about feeling loved! 🙂

Some dogs will, literally, lie at your feet if you pet them. By the way, those are my feet, under that dog.

Photograph by Heather Markel, Copyright 2019

In some places, however, the dogs do create problems. There are signs in just about every public park to NOT take your dogs inside. They will hunt the wildlife. Most of the dogs are male, but if there is a female, well, nature happens. Despite these concerns, it’s a joy to be in a place where dogs are loved, nurtured, but like the local wildlife, free to roam. The result is amazing affection from just about every dog you meet.

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