I spotted this enigmatic scene on my dash through downtown Vancouver yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure if it's the local Pony Police who prance about in a campaign to stamp out smoking, or if he's a friendly horse of a different colour trying to cadge a smoke from an unsuspecting nicotine addict. Perhaps the person lighting up rode the critter in to town from a cowboy hinterland and decided that this spot looked as good as any to hunker down and set up camp. As I was sprinting to catch a bus, I didn't have the time to linger and offer a sugar cube (unlaced) to the the pony or anything a little stronger to the puffer to loosen his or her tongue. I guess we'll never know the true story of this little vignette; life's mostly like that, there's just no use in neigh-saying it.
Speaking of a horse of a different colour...I came across some more unexpected livestock on my foray into the big city yesterday. I hope that pretty red-haired dog whisperer has some hefty plastic bags stashed somewhere about her lithe body as these fellows could leave behind some serious doo-doo on this trendy, pristine, downtown street.
I'm always impressed by how well-behaved and downright civilized most city dogs are. They don't rush at passers-by, go for strangers' crotches, try to race after, hump or kill other canines they encounter, strain at their leashes dragging their owners in their wake, or otherwise make a public nuisance of themselves. Out in the country where I reside back in New Brunswick, dogs have a tendency to behave in such unbridled behaviour while their owners blithely ignore any droppings their canine pals may feel moved to leave behind.
What I don't understand, however, is how people living in apartments (sorry, "condos") of limited square footage and immediate outdoor access can manage to house such large beasts for pets. I think an investigation into this phenomenon would make good fodder for a doctoral dissertation on contemporary anthropological trends in city life. Or at the very least, a new novel by Vancouver writer, Douglas Coupland.