One of the most interesting things about traveling is learning things you don’t expect. The first time I travelled overseas (to Italy 5 years ago) I was surprised to come across stray dogs. And then again in Turkey. Each place I visit seems to have a different approach and philosophy about our furry friends.
Finding a stray dog in the states can be quite shocking and upsetting. But in much of the world, this is completely normal. And in a lot of these places, the stray dogs are a beloved and integrated part of the community. I enjoy learning about the way different communities view and take care of their street animals.
In Istanbul, a large and bustling city filled with street cats and dogs, there is actually a service that’s soul purpose is caring for street animals. Dogs and cats are tagged and chipped for the purpose of tracking their health and wellbeing. Caregivers and vets will pick up the strays off the street and check their tags to determine if their vaccines are up to date – and if not, they will give them the necessary care and then release them back to their “home” on the street. A good friend of mine who lives in the city has even talked about “his dog”, a street dog who walks him to work in the mornings.
Each person you come across on your journey of life has a story to tell – and if you take the time and listen properly, each dog has a story too. And some are really interesting. This post is dedicated to (just some of) my furry friends I have met along my way through Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia. Some I got to know very well, and other’s became merely passing acquaintances. But there is no denying their presence or impact on my adventures.