Friday, June 12, 2015

MOSCOW'S SUBWAY DOGS

Moscow, the capital of Russia, has 35,000 stray dogs. The élite of those homeless dogs are about 500 who live in the Moscow Metro, for whom the subway is their home.
Among those subway dogs are an ingenious 50 who have learned to ride the trains, commuting every day from quiet stations in the suburbs of Moscow where they spend the night, to downtown where it’s easier to get food.
subway dogs
Each morning, like clockwork, the dogs board the subway to begin their daily routine amidst the hustle and bustle of the city in search of food scraps.
subway dogs1
Then after a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.
subway dogs2
Living in the subway is a survival tactic the Moscow stray dogs adopted. Experts who have studied them say the dogs have figured out how to use the city’s huge and complicated subway system, getting on and off at the stops they need. They recognize the desired station by smell, the train announcer’s voice, and by learning to judge with their innate biological clocks, the length of time on the train before it arrives at their desired station. The dogs even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop.A dog travels in comfort on a seat, seemingly ownerless, aboard a subway train in Moscow, Wednesday, Nov., 18, 2009. Stray dogs in Moscow are often seen using public transportation, and is largely tolerated by Moscow commuters. (AP Photo/Anna Shevelyova)
Once in the city, the dogs have their own special ways of getting food. Some position themselves outside butcher shops and wait for dog lovers coming out of the shop to toss them a bone. Others have refined a technique of sneaking up behind people who are eating food and surprising them with a loud bark that (hopefully) startles the person into dropping whatever they’re eating. The dog then grabs the food and runs.
The dogs also don’t leave their waste products lying around where someone can step in them. Instead, they relieve themselves in out-of-the-way spots away from the main traffic areas.
Bereft of human owners and companions, the subway dogs of Moscow nevertheless have learned how to interact with and move among people in order to survive.

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