Future Landscapes


Dogs in Europe.

Every now and then when I'm going to the grocery store, I see a dog sitting outside. Sometimes his leash is tied to something (tree, bike rack, sign post) and sometimes not. Invariably, he ignores every single thing around him and is focused on the door of the grocery store. Stiff posture, pointed noise, tail completely still. 


Other times I am biking, and there will be someone in front of me who is biking with their dog. The dog is not on a leash, he just runs along beside. He stops when the owner puts their hand out. Starts when they whistle. Never ever attempts to say hello to a passerby or gets distracted by the smells of the street. 


Or maybe I'm walking down the sidewalk and someone is at a cafe. Their dog is milling about on the sidewalk, sniffing here, sniffing there, but pays absolutely no notice to the people or food around him. 




According to my friend who is dating a German, everyone goes to special dog school in Germany. 


I don't know about you, but we took our yellow lab to dog behavior school and until the day he died we had to shame him into not sniffing garbage on the street by talking to the garbage in a threatening voice. 


I don't even think that 'well behaved' is the right way to put it. I think that animals are over the top obedient, to the point where it's like their animal will has been broken. What kind of dog doesn't sniff for food? Or try to say hello to random people on the street?


I am just putting it out there, but it is not natural. It was impressive for a little while and now it is just frightening. I don't like seeing these ghost dogs, who have been to scary German dog behavior school, sitting like statues in front of the grocery stores. Do you know, there is even a little sign on the doors with a picture of dogs in perfect posture that says "wir müssen draussen bleiben!" ("we must stay outside!") which seems.... a little... you know....


okay, okay, I'm not saying that dog training here is fascist, but I just miss seeing dogs that actually wag their tails or lift their heads to be petted.