October 7, 2014

Subway Dogs of Moscow

The elite of Moscow’s 35,000 stray dogs are about 500 Russian dogs constantly living in the Moscow subway (Metro). About 50 of subway dogs have learned to ride the trains, commuting from quiet suburbs stations where they spend the night to downtown where it’s easier to get some food. (Photo Credit: AlphaTangoBravo/Adam Baker/Flickr)

In Soviet times stray dogs were barred from subway. Today Moscow Metro’s passengers are so accustomed to dogs on subway – sleeping on empty seats and hanging around stations – that they do not pay any attention.

Living in the subway is just a survival tactic the Moscow stray dogs have come up with. The subway dogs have figured out how to use the city’s huge and complicated subway system, getting on and off at the stops they need. They recognize the desired station by smell, by recorded announcer’s voice, and by time intervals basing on their biological clocks. Usually they ride first or last car to keep away from crushes.

For these strays the Moscow Metro is their home. The subway dogs get outside to do all their deeds and behave friendly to the passengers. They have very good instincts about people, greeting happily kind passengers and avoiding contacts with intolerant. And they always find somebody who will share food with them.

After recent terrorist attacks on Moscow subway when two suicide bombers blew themselves up, killing dozens of rush-hour passengers, city’s authorities are tightening security on the rails. Hopefully these measures won’t make homeless the subway dogs which became an integral part of the Moscow Metro.

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