PAW PRINTS ON MY HEART
By Gudrun Jones, Co-Founder & President
of the Lakeside Spay & Neuter Center
Commuting Dogs of Moscow
(This story has been sent to me and I think it is worth repeating.)
Stray dogs are commuting to and from a city center on underground trains in search of food scraps. The clever canines board the Train each morning. After a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets of Moscow, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night. Experts studying the dogs say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop—after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train. The mutts choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train. They have also developed tactics to hustle humans into giving them more food on the streets of Moscow.
Scientists believe the phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city center to the suburbs. Dr Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: “These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses. Because the best scavenging for food is in the city center, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway—to get to the center in the morning, then back home in the evening, just like people.”
Dr. Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute. He said: “They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop.” The dogs have learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, and they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels. They sneak up behind people eating a snack – then bark loudly to shock them into dropping their food.
The Moscow mutts are not the first animals to use public transport. In 2006 a Jack Russell in Dunnington, North Yorks, began taking the bus to his local pub in search of sausages. And two years ago passengers in Wolverhampton were stunned when a white cat called Macavity started catching the 331 bus to a fish and chip shop.
Another story told to me is of a young woman, due to some unavoidable circumstances, had to give her dog to her mother who was not really a dog person. The mother lived in the country and every day the dog disappeared and spent the afternoon at a Farmhouse up the road. Calls have been made and the people at the Farmhouse stated that they didn’t mind having the four legged visitor. After some time the woman saw the dog taking his ball to his new friends, but the next day she knew that something was amiss when the dog dragged his blanket out the door, up to the Farmhouse and did not return.
The La Bodega is having an evening of Karaoke on October 9th, benefiting the Lakeside Spay and Neuter Center. If you like animals, and like what we are doing, then join us, and all of us at the Lakeside Spay and Neuter Center will be grateful for your support.
For Information call 766-3813.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com