Hello all, it's so grand to be back writing for you! I've been abroad, taking in some European culture and doing instensive research on international pooches of all shapes and sizes. My journey took me to France and England, both absolutely chock full of dogs and dog lovers alike.
- The French do not appear to have any leash laws—to be fair, they're pretty light on all laws—which resulted in a cavalcade of loose puppers romping around the City of Lights.
- A particularly righteous Jack Russell was patrolling the grounds right outside the Eiffel Tower chasing all manner of sticks, birds, irritating tourists taking selfies. He was also getting fed quite well, as almost everyone was picnicking. Smart boy.
- There's a park in London called Hyde Park—the irony was not lost on me that I'd travelled 3000 miles only to again arrive at a Hyde Park containing ecosystem—that was absolutely CRAWLING with doggos. Probably saw about 100 doggos running about the park, off leash and absolutely loving it.
- There is a large pond in the middle of Hyde Park—Round Pond—replete with all manner of aquatic fowl that was a focal point for quite a few of the park doggos. A lot of retrievers gazed intently at the water, waiting to engage with their genetic heritage and bound into the water to...retrieve...the birds. Unfortunately, the size and aggression of the swans that filled/owned the pond served as insurance that that would not happen on this day.
- A cocker spaniel was sitting at the table behind me at a pub called the Churchill Arms, likely enjoying a pint of bitter with his owner, when a waitress went over to them and started lightly howling. As she got a bit louder, the cocker spaniel began to howl with her. Clearly, this dog and its owner were regulars and this had happened many times before. It was the cutest thing in the entire world.
- Interestingly, the only English bulldogs I saw were stomping around the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris and the only French bulldogs I saw were somersaulting through Hyde Park. Unclear what this means, but I'm sure there's something deep to it.
The only real comparisons I can make between American dog culture and European/UK dog culture are of the same hue as comparisons between human culture. America is an overly litigious country—meaning everyone sues everyone here. Europe and the UK are not. Thus, you can have dogs off leash everywhere, dogs in pubs, dogs drinking wine, dogs driving on the wrong side of the road, etc. etc. The people seem freer and thus the dogs seem freer. With this freedom comes a necessity for well trained pups, and this was certainly born out in my experience. All the dogs I met, whether on or off leash, were super friendly and responded to their owners' commands perfectly. It was beautiful.
Don't get me wrong, I love all the doggos in America—especially Chicago. But I do think that we could learn a thing or two from the dog culture abroad, perhaps just a more open perspective on life with dogs. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, all of Home Treat Home's clients are exquisite dog owners and their dogs would totally fit in across the pond and be runnin' the place in a matter of weeks. Apologies if this was a lil rambling, I'm still jet lagggggged.