I'm not exactly a dog person, although all of my friends' dogs are working hard to convert me. So long as their owners clean up after their pooches and make them behave when out in public I'm happy to live and let live. The lengths to which Iranians have to go to own dogs are just bizarre.
This summer, so-called morality police are cruising the streets looking to enforce the anti-dog law. The punishment varies from a fine of up to $500 if the dog is seen in a public space to temporarily confiscating cars and suspending drivers' licenses if the dog isn't contained in a carrier inside the car.There are two interesting things about this article. First, the lengths to which Iranian authorities will go to prevent dog ownership and second, the lengths to which the Iranian people will go to own dogs.
To evade detection, pooch owners are resorting to middle-of-the-night walks and driving hours to the countryside just so their pets can roam. Vendors charge the equivalent of up to $10,000 for top dogs and operate so covertly that some blindfold potential buyers en route to the kennel.
"It was crazy," says Ali Shekouri, a 32-year-old businessman who pursued three dicey strategies before obtaining a local beagle. "After a while I didn't know if I was buying a dog or dealing in an international drug trade."