Saturday, February 26, 2011

Begging Dogs: An Exposé

Remember last week when I fell in love with her?  It seems I fell right into their trap.  Yeah, I'd seen other beggars with dogs (and one guy with a Persian cat.  Props to him!) around Paris, but this little dog seemed singular.  She was on my daily route, out there every morning, noon, and night.  She was special somehow.

And then I started noticing the rest of them.

This guy on Rue de Rivoli.

Farther down on Vielle du Temple.

On Rue des Rosiers.

Another one on Vielle du Temple.

And I discovered they were a network.

The guy on Rosiers often leaves his dog alone while he goes to hang out with another bum/dog operation a block down on Vielle du Temple.  The people at the small grocery on V du Temple near Rue de la Perle seem to keep a good eye on them... maybe they've caused trouble in the past?

And I'm pretty sure I stumbled upon what seemed to be their weekly meeting one evening walking home on V du Temple.  They were all there--the guy who whines "Maaaa-daaaaaam" when you walk by (though he does have the cutest dog), the lady who sometimes outfits her pooch in a coat made of purple terry toweling, the guy who leaves his dog alone on Rosiers, and a few I didn't recognize.  What were they talking about??  Comparing techniques perhaps?  ("Listen Franck, your sign could be more direct.  And we're getting complaints about the whining.")  Sharing dog training tips?

But the worst of it was they had a puppy with them!  Are they breeding these dogs into the life of the streets?!  This poor, waggy puppy had no idea what it was getting itself into with these hoods.  I wanted to go grab him and give him a real life--with me!  Although, now that I'm sure they're just a ring of hustlers avec chiens, I am hoping that they actually have a house to go back to at night and the doggies have a roof over their heads.  Heck, their place is probably bigger than mine!

Oh, and I'm not dropping any more change their way, either.