Well, not the day but the hour to take out the dog or the kids. More precisely, it’s the time before sunset – after the heat has reached its peak and before its getting dark. Which means, depending on the season and latitude*, between 16:00-17:00 or 19:00-20:00 in the afternoon / evening.
It’s the time of small dogs, small children, the nannies, pensioners and those being idle; the time for a meeting, some gossiping, and letting the little ones run free; the kids that is – not the dogs. Other countries may have their pensioners’ club or the playground, in Brazil people meet simply at the next big square or park close by.
During these get-togethers, the dogs and children are mostly cared for by a domestic worker, the endangered status symbol of the Brazilian upper class. Both the children and the dogs fulfill during this time a more social purpose: provide something to be talked about. The dogs generally excel at this task since they don’t appear to be overly well trained.
Which is not a problem since most of them are of the variety Fusshupe**, i.e. it barks and yelps a lot, but can be lifted or pulled in any direction thanks to its inferior mass and therefore resistance.
Even with the children, one does not notice an undue degree of educational care. It needs to be said however that Brazilians in general show an incredible patience and benevolence to children of (almost) any age. That the level of noise considered acceptable is far higher than in most European countries, is probably not entirely irrelevant in this context.
After an hour of laughter, crying, weeping and yelping, with the constant chitchat of the companions in the background, it is time to return to the residential towers and to assist the nightly telenovelas. A very special topic which we will leave to others…
* Brazil is huge. Really. It reaches from the 6th degree northern latitude to the 34th south, i.e. more than 4300 km in total. The east-west extent is almost as large. In other words: the European Union fits in nicely.
** A friend of mine came up with this expression. Literally translated it means footbuzzer