in words, sights and sounds

Old woman with dog and cat - Paris

In no Western European city do I remember having seen more old men and women begging in the streets than in Paris. I have not undertaken any scientific survey so that might, indeed, just be a reflection of my individual experience. But there is another important attribute that makes them stand out for me: almost all of them have either dogs or cats, or – as in the picture above – both.

I am not sure whether all of these elderly people are actually homeless, but they are certainly among those less fortunate in life. After all, they are forced to beg for money… come rain or shine.

Just for the cash?

I am always touched by how they care for their pets (and even more by the fact how the animals stick around with them). Sure, one can argue that these cute little creatures ensure the cash flow so they serve an immediate purpose.  However, I think it must be more than that. Life can be a real bitch and, then, companions are absolutely critical.

Comforting creatures

Undoubtedly, these kind of four-legged critters make for ideal companions – at least for those of us who like animals: they are unpretentious, loyal, non-judgmental and incredibly comforting.



Post a comment
  1. GG #
    July 25, 2013

    I love your photography, and your observations on the comfort that companion animals bring; I see a few of the homeless or extremely poor people begging for money here in Montreal who are snuggled up against a pet, usually a dog. And I think their pets’ well-being takes precedence over their own. As animal lovers know, being around them is good for our health. Unfortunately not all animals are better off being in the company of some humans, but that’s another topic. I look forward to reading through your blog and checking our your photos.

    • July 25, 2013

      Thanks a lot for your nice comment, GG, and for checking out my blog! And, yes, I totally agree that animals in general (and pets in particular) have a positive impact on our health and psychological well-being. Have a great day!

  2. July 22, 2013

    recall George adamson’s comment ‘ on any day I would prefer living with lions in the wild than with humans’

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