As we roamed around the streets of Florence, something caught my attention even more than the Duomo or any museum did. It can almost be described as a “tourist attraction” as it draws the crowd, but because of my huge respect to the creature; let me say it is more of a local trying to observe the unfamiliar faces around him (or her if it’s a she). I baptized the poor fellow, “Alex”.
Alex works for his master while sitting patiently at his square meter of Florentine ground equipped with a mat, water dish, and a “coin dish”. I gave him a coin but later on I realized I should have given him food instead. Alex’s owner stays on the opposite sidewalk, keeping an eye on his business. He is obviously not doing his dog any justice. I feel so sorry for Alex.
This broke my heart more because I remembered my dog, Mateo.
|My dog and constant companion, Mateo|
Alex may not be living a life as comfortable as Mateo does. And I don’t think Mateo and I will frequent the streets begging for money or food. One thing I’m sure of: both dogs deserve love and respect. They offer a special kind of friendship so deep and true even humans find it hard to understand.
If you happen to visit Florence, don’t forget about Alex. You might see him tired, but full of hope, at his same spot on the sidewalk. If you don’t mind, please give him a gelato for me. Knowing that you made him feel loved will be one of your most wonderful experiences in Florence.