We’ve befriended a nice neighborhood dog named Bobby, he’s similar looking to a Golden retriever but a little less gold, little smaller and thiner. Very gentle dog that lives freely in the area and travels a circuit to visit his many friends and eat some handouts. Bobby, or Roberto as we sometimes call him, comes to the gates of our villa and waits until someone sees him, then barks and wags his tail with great enthusiasm. Fortunately for Bobby he’s befriended a house of dog lovers, as we have 3 small husky pomeranian mix dogs and because we always save him some scraps, which he’s come to enjoy each day like clockwork.
What’s amazing about Bobby is that he wears a nice thick leather collar with a tag but he’s ostensibly free to roam about and live however he sees fit. The caretaker of an old house that’s scheduled to be razed (to make way for a new apartment building), sleeps on a mat in the back room and opens the door each night for Bobby to get shelter from the fairly consistent rain lately, then let’s him out early in the morning to enjoy his freedom again. Remarkable, is how at ease Bobby is around car traffic, he watches and crosses the street with ease even on the busiest days. More remarkable is the number of people who know Bobby by name, it’s not uncommon to see a half-dozen people (that I don’t know) in the course of 10 minutes, stop on the street to pat this sociable dog and call him by name.
Sao Paulo has far too many stray dogs living on the street, as explained in the following paragraph, excerpted from the Economist City Guide for Sao Paulo.
Can man have too many best friends? Sap Paulo now has one dog for every four inhabitants, more than double what scientists believe is a healthy ratio. This wouldn’t be such an acute problem, were it not for leishmaniasis, an insect-borne parasitic disease that has killed 48 people since 2000. Pet fur is the preferred habitat for the protozoa that carries the disease, which is then passed to humans through infected mosquitoes or fleas. The state has decided on mass dog castrations, which are cheaper than killings ($11 versus $48) to say nothing of karmic benefits. Officials are also encouraging dog-owners to spay their pets and advising on how best to avoid infections. Here you can find .