Medellin.- Eros, eight years old, trots through the streets of Medellin several times a day with a straw basket on its snout, carrying vegetables, fruits and packaged food to customers of the El Porvenir market. The chocolate-colored labrador dog is rewarded with snacks and massages on its hairy head.» It helps us with social estrangement,» says her owner, María Natividad Botero. «And people like it a lot when we send them the dog.»
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Eros wasn’t always the star he is now. Botero reluctantly accepted that the can stay in the family after his son’s insistence to adopt a dog. But Botero and the rest of the family soon fell in love with the puppy. And when they opened the market four years ago in the Tulipanes neighborhood, Eros began accompanying Botero and his children to make supply deliveries. Eros doesn’t know the addresses, but remembers the names of customers who have previously rewarded him. And with patience, he has learned to go to the houses on his own.
The names of five or six customers are known,» Botero said.
«I send the market in the basket with a receipt, and I get paid by bank transfer.»
Eros brings a basket of bread from El Porvenir market to one of the customers in a neighborhood of Medellin, Colombia, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. / Photograph: AP.
With coronavirus cases reaching more than 3,000 new infections per day in Colombia, municipal governments are imposing estrangement measures and limiting the number of days per week when people can shop. That has made delivery workers an increasingly important part of the economy. Eros doesn’t know he’s become an essential worker. But he’s happy to be able to help his owners and collect his daily pay.
Eros brings a basket of bread to one of the customers. / Photograph: AP.
«It’s a glutton at lunchtime,» Botero says. «He doesn’t leave the house until he gets his meccato (snack).»
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