Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hard Times

It's not in my nature to kick someone while they're down nor for that matter to document their suffering. I only managed to snap this picture from the relative anonymity of my seat on the bus and did so only because the subject's face was obscured.

Despite the rather robust social services offered by the French government, you can still find folks looking for a handout on the streets of Paris. Sometimes it's an older woman on crutches bent nearly in half, other times a gypsy lady with a couple of kids in tow. Then there are the men who come on to the subway cars and make a little speech about their situation. What has struck me lately is that practially all the men who are panhandling have puppies. I assume it ups the sympathy factor but I also read that it provides protection against arrest since the police don't want to deal with homeless pets in addition to homeless people. I don't have confirmation on that. I also heard that there is a swift rental business for the puppies. Sad stories all that make me grateful for having a roof over my head.


Anonymous said...

I have also noticed the proliferation of dogs. They seem to be part of the gypsy "family" that is now camped near Galerie Lafayette. Some of the dogs wear darling sweaters. It really breaks my heart that the dogs are being exploited this way.


Starman said...

What you heard is true. That is the reason for the dogs. I got my information from a Frenchman, so I'm fairly certain it's correct.

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