I used to think, from what I saw as I walked the streets of Los Angeles, that this place must have more dogs per capita than any city in the world. This, I now know, is not true. It doesn’t even seem to be the dog capital of the west coast. It’s hard to find exact data – googling tends to turn up “dog friendly cities” rather than actual numbers - but it seems definitely not to be LA – San Diego and Portland look like much better bets. San Francisco supposedly has more dogs than children.
Of course all these need walking – some a lot more than others, obviously - and (and again I don’t have hard data) as I walk the streets it does seem to me that Los Angeles must have more professional dog walkers per capita than any city in the world. Angelinos don’t want to walk their own dogs any more than they want to tend their own gardens or clean their own swimming pools.
Last week for instance I found this thing stuck on my mail box:
I have no idea if it’s genuine. Do parents really allow children to do this kind of thing? More to the point – do eleven year olds really expect to earn 10 dollars an hour? That’s more than minimum wage!
But my favorite flyer, one that turns up stuck to lamps posts and telegraph poles, around the neighborhood, is this one from Rocket Dog Walking:
I love the picture but somehow I don’t feel that the actual guy who turns up to walk your hound could possibly live up to the picture.
But here in last Sundays’ New York Post is one of the best dog-walking related headlines I’ve ever seen, possibly the best ever:
Since it’s in the Post it may not be strictly accurate, but still ... We're all accustomed to Faustian bargains, but selling your soul is one thing, selling somebody else's dog is quite another.