Street dogs in sweaters

Winter is becoming spring and the sweaters are coming off the street dogs.

Street dogs (“quiltros”) are everywhere in Santiago. In the winters, it gets cold, so people put sweaters on the dogs. The sweaters become filthy over the months, accumulating dust and mud. Then, as the weather warms, they are anonymously removed from their furry bearers.

I like to think about the people who do this. These are people who care about the comfort of a quiltro.

Neighborhoods are made up of little things and the little decisions that surround them. We make them our own by claiming them: my block, my corner, my favorite fruit stand and my favorite park. The street dogs appear unclaimed at first, like stray plastic bags. Then the sweaters come on.

The dogs remain free to roam. Nobody owns them but somebody cares for them. How beautiful! Unowned but loved, not with grand gestures but with winter sweaters.