WEIGHT: 59 kg
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Five days a week his job takes him up and down the streets of this dog-crazy city, past cafes and apartment towers, around angry doormen and reckless cabdrivers. Homero belongs to Pamela Clemente, a year-old part-time ballerina and full-time dog walker. That a petite woman such as Clemente can control several hundred pounds of anxious, barking, full-bladdered canine mass is a testament to her mastery of the art of the paseaperro, as dog walkers here are known.
The secret, Clemente says, is understanding dog psychology. And having a dog on your side. And not a single gray hair. Their destination is the relative bliss of Las Heras Park.
Advertisement Human and animals walk together in a rugby-like scrum of 58 legs moving forward in something resembling synchronicity. One of the keys to staying untangled, Clemente says, is organization. So she keeps the smaller dogs to her left, attached to the rope that wraps around her waist. A beagle named Pam squishes in between a pair of cocker spaniels.
When the pack stops, Pam gives the nearest human a sad, worried stare. Go get a real job! In many better-off neighborhoods, there are more veterinary offices and pet supply stores than pharmacies. Local radio and television air several weekly programs for dog aficionados. An estimated half a million dogs live among the 14 million humans in greater Buenos Aires -- a canine population roughly equal to that of New York City, home to , licensed dogs and an estimated , unlicensed ones.
As in New York, most dogs here are owned by apartment dwellers. With labor relatively cheap in the Argentine capital, a dog walker can be had for as little as a dollar a day, and the ranks of the paseaperros have increased dramatically in recent years. The walkers can talk for hours about canine psychology, and how the paseaperro helps even the most domesticated cur get in touch with his inner wolf.