By Anupum Pant
Back in the old days, there weren’t as many fast food centres and restaurants in Moscow (anywhere actually). So, stray dogs of those times didn’t find many people holding food stuff. Instead of begging for food, the dogs preferred searching for it on their own. Probably bins of residences and factories were the best places to find food.
Soon, fast food centres and restaurants started pooping and factories started converting into shopping centres, in the new world. This changed something. Dogs started feeling a need to adapt to the city life. For one, their strategies to forage for food changed. Stray dogs started developing better techniques to get food.
Gathering Food in a City
They started sneaking behind people who carried food. And just when they felt the moment was right, they barked. The men got scared and dropped the food. Moreover, they’d jump and bark just behind the head of people to startle them. They don’t bite, their aim is to just get the food somehow. Other times, packs of dogs send out smaller and cuter dogs to beg for food!
To make their food finding efficient, they have figured out which one of the many people would actually get startled. Dogs turned into dog psychologists. The dogs of today know Muscovites better than Muscovites know the dogs.
Travelling in the Subway
Besides that, the stray dogs of Moscow have mastered using the subways. To travel across the great city, the dogs move around in the subways with the humans as if it’s totally normal. Unlike the domesticated dogs, these dogs have mastered the art of handling dog stress that is associated with loud sounds. What scares the domesticated dogs, has become normal for the stray dogs of Moscow now.
The most amazing part is that, even if they can’t read, they somehow know where to get in and where to get out. Scientists are guessing that it could be the signature scents they associate with various stations. Or may be there’s something else. It’s hard to know. That is the reason there are people who’ve been formally studying local stray dogs for 30 years now!
The thing is, even the city people love these dogs. In fact, they even have a dog’s memorial statue in one of the subway station. Watch how the city dogs move in train…
By watching the traffic lights, dogs there have even learnt to cross the street. After I read and watched what these dogs have been doing, I’ve found new respect for these seemingly “not so clever” animals.
Still they have a long way to go before they can get as smart as crows of Japan. [Link]