Monday, September 22, 2008

Walking the Dog, a Comparison

As I took Pickles on a walk around the neighborhood this morning, I was noticing. I manage to keep her under control, but I have to keep a constant vigil about it. I basically shorten up the leash & make her walk with me & if she starts to head out on her own I give a tug to get her back. On these walks, which are business walks (no not that kind, unless it happens), she doesnt get to stop and smell the roses. She doesn't get to run ahead or lag behind. Its a constant effort though. If I were to let her have the length of the leash, she'd jerk me all over. As it is, she does pretty well. She's heeling, even though she doesn't know it. When we get back to our property, then I loosen up and she can smell things, explore a bit and relieve herself if needed.

Here's the comparison.

Many years ago I was in the Army, stationed in Augsburg, Germany. I don't know where Germans get their dogs, but they are, over all, extremely well behaved. I'm sure there are strays in Germany, but I don't remember seeing one. The one scene stays with me. I lived in Barracks on Sheridan Kaserne, and the quickest way to the PX was a walk through a German residential area. Once I found myself walking down one side of the street, and came upon a middle aged woman, walking her Boxer dog, and 3 boxer pups, without a leash. We were all on a residential street, and the dogs all stayed on the sidewalk. Some small children were playing across the road and they ran across to pet the puppies. I remember one saying "Er so klein ist", and I was proud of myself because I actually understood it. The dog stood there, and the pups were pups. Looking back on it, I'm sure the dog was training her pups to a certain degree, maybe as much as the woman was. The dog was extremely well trained & well behaved, and the pups were well on their way.

This was not an isolated incident - I saw unbelievable numbers of well behaved dogs during my entire tour of duty there. And I still dont know how, as a nation, they do it. I traveled a bit while I was there, and one of the cultural difference I could see between countries like France & Germany, were the behavior of the dogs.

If I had Pickles in Germany, I suspect the Hundpolizei would be knocking at my door. In France, I don't think they'd care.


TrishaRitchieNC said...

I walked her today and we went by Petey "white dog" Anderson's house. The two of them went nose-to-nose. Petey's mom, Sharon, is worried about what she will do with him when her sister dies and she has to go to the funeral in Virginia. She will have to leave Petey home and is afraid he'll be sad. Well, I guess she'll be sad too. Anyway, Petey only growled a tiny bit - better than the other day when he barked and lunged. Pickles did her usual - slink behind me to hide with her tail down. What does that German phrase mean?

A Valdese Blogger said...

Er so klein ist? It means He's so small. With the accent on small.