Tel Aviv is home to a neighborhood known as Florentin, well known for its street art and eclectic atmosphere.

But even more impressive is the fact that this neighborhood has the most dogs per capita in the world!

We spoke with various Florentin pet parents, and several of them voiced the opinion that having a dog during the pandemic has been a blessing and a perfect reason to get out of the house.

The dogs (and owners) you are about to meet were interviewed at two parks in Tel Aviv, the Florentin Dog Park and Park Hamesila (Railway Park).

Joy, Pilpel and Tuka

Joy is a three-year-old Canaan adopted from a shelter. Photo by Danya Belkin

Bashful dogs are often the most loving of all. Joy, Pilpel and Tuka are three Florentin residents who share these characteristics.

Joy is a three-year-old Canaan. He is shy and easily frightened, especially by other loud dogs. When he finally becomes comfortable, he is one of the most loving dogs you will ever meet. Joy was adopted by his owner from SOS Pets Israel, a dog shelter in Herzliya, when he was two months old.

Pilpel warms up to people quickly. Photo by Danya Belkin

Meet Pilpel (Hebrew for “pepper”). He’s a two-year-old mixed breed dog recently adopted from a Tel Aviv shelter. He is independent and loves to play around with his owner and other dogs. When you first meet him, he is timid but warms up to you very quickly.

Tuka is a four-year-old Border Collie in Tel Aviv. Photo by Danya Belkin

This is Tuka. She’s a four-year-old Border Collie who was acquired from a breeder. She’s friendly but can also be quiet at times, especially when meeting other dogs or people for the first time. Her owner says Tuka is loving, gentle and very smart.

Kal and Baby

Some dogs have unique talents. They can learn to do things that are so human-like it is almost not believable unless you see it with your own eyes.

Kai knows how to turn the lights off when leaving a room. Photo by Danya Belkin

Kai is a four-year-old mixed Border Collie who was adopted at six weeks of age from an adoption fair held at Gan (Park) Meir. Kai is a very smart dog! His owner has trained him to turn the lights off when leaving a room. Every time his owner returns home, Kai is at the door waiting to greet him with a handshake.

Baby came to Tel Aviv all the way from Thailand. Photo by Danya Belkin

Meet Baby. He’s a three-year-old mixed breed pup who came all the way from Thailand. He was adopted by the owner from his friend who was having trouble taking care of him. This dog doesn’t bark! Instead, when he needs something he yawns. This unique trait is interesting to observe. During our interview, Baby yawned to indicate that he was thirsty.

Barney, Boof and Bello

Some dogs aren’t so fortunate, and they end up in shelters or on the streets.

Luckily, there are many kind and generous Israelis who decide to adopt dogs. When speaking with many dog owners around the Florentin neighborhood, a large majority shared that they adopted their dogs from shelters across Israel.

Barney, Boof and Bello all found homes this way.

Barney was adopted at the Florentin Dog Park. Photo by Danya Belkin

Barney is a Great Pyrenees mixed with Labrador and he’s two years old. He was adopted from an organization that frequented the Florentin Dog Park every Friday before corona to give people an opportunity to meet and adopt a furry companion. Barney is calm and loves attention. His owner expressed how everybody in Florentin has dogs. In his eyes, “There are more dogs than people here.”

Boof, an adopted pit bull, is loving and loyal. Photo by Danya Belkin

Boof is a five-month-old pitbull. His owner describes him as a friendly pup who is loving, loyal and gentle. Boof was adopted from a shelter.

Bello was found at Carmel Market and is smart and intuitive. Photo by Danya Belkin

Bello is a 12-year-old Border Collie mix. Bello’s name was chosen as it means “beauty” in both Italian and Spanish. He is a smart, intuitive and a curious dog. His owner describes having a dog in Tel Aviv as “a great way to meet other people who also have dogs.”

Bello’s owner found him in the Carmel Market and saved him from living on the streets. Thanks to generous Israelis like Bello’s owner, there are far fewer homeless dogs.

And finally… Bondy

Some dogs are so well-trained that they don’t need a leash. This is the case for Bondy.

The well-trained Bondy parades through Tel Aviv off his leash. Photo by Danya Belkin

Bondy is a 10-year-old mixed Labrador and German Shepherd. He’s an independent dog who is easy-going. He thoroughly enjoys parading the neighborhoods off-leash, where he enthusiastically greets his human and furry friends alike.

It is easy to tell that dogs bring happiness and provide a sense of purpose to their owners and simultaneously bring communities together.

In many parks across Tel Aviv, dog owners can be seen sitting together talking and sharing stories about their beloved pets. This creates a wonderful atmosphere and social outlet for both dogs and their owners.