Immediately I hopped off my bike and snapped a couple of pictures. Finally I had captured on film a sight that is as much a part of everyday life in Buenos Aires as dodging dogshit: a paseador de perros.
I asked Mario if he ever had problems with the dogs. No, he said.
“But don’t they ever get scared?”
“Sometimes,” he said vaguely, eyeing the rigging to which no fewer than fifteen leashes were attached.
We crossed the street. A brutish-looking mastiff stopped to urinate against a utilities box. Mario smacked his head against the metal box, and the group went on its way.
“And do they all get along?”
“Some of them make friends, others no.”
Mario charges 100 pesos a month, per dog for this service.
New York dog owners pay far more to have a dog walker, or even a dog runner, take their pet out, never in the company of more than a few other dogs.
Think of all the money they would save on Zoloft prescriptions, canine psychologists, and acupuncturists if their dogs could socialize in large groups on a leisurely, daily stroll.