Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

My dog is just being friendly!

Catch me if you can

I admit it - I’ve been a bit of a voyeur.  I blame it on Facebook. I love seeing my friends photo’s, or reading witty one-liners. But more than that, lately I’ve become obsessed with New Zealand’s, educating dog owner sites, and particularly the sites interested in apparently ‘badly trained’ dogs being over friendly.

I read one analogy in which a ‘badly trained’ dog was compared to an indecent man, who sidled up to a seated women and her husband in a mall and began groping her while licking her ear. The women screamed and pushed the man away, then was dismayed when her husband behaved angrily towards her, and the gathering crowds tutted at ‘her’ bad behaviour. Initially I was all for the article, indignant for the women (and insinuated dog) who’d suffered terrible indignity. Yet, something wasn’t sitting right, all night the article kept reverberating in my mind, yes I know I should have better things to do. Two glasses of wine later I got it! The husband and crowds would never behave that way (it takes me a while to get there sometimes), so the analogy couldn’t work.

For the analogy to work with people not dogs, the more likely scenario would be: husband and wife sitting on a bench in a mall, a man comes over and begins enthusiastically taking to the women or man: asking lots of questions, beaming smile plastered on his face, takes his wallet out and shows them a photo of his family. The couple could, ignore him, tell him to piss off, or shockingly engage in conversation and find a new friend.

           This made me think about the difference between the dogs described in New Zealand and the dog’s Alfie’s met since we’ve been in the Netherlands. Either we’ve been incredibly lucky, or the dog’s here are for the most part friendly and very well balanced. I know I’m generalising but, I was wondering if it had something to do with the small amount of personal space we have here compared to the New Zealanders. People and dogs must learn to get along here, because there is nowhere to hide if you don’t.

If you don't get on with other people( or dogs), the Netherlands is not for you.

For instance last week we took Alfie into the local café (pub) where the owner practically pleaded with us to let Alfie off the lead so he could play with his dog. I objected, thinking it might cause problems with the other customers, but the owner just shrugged his shoulders and said.

                ‘It’s not a problem, I like your dog, my dog likes your dog, everyone here like dogs, if it becomes a problem we do something.’

So for the next twenty minute, Alfie and his new friend danced around the café, sniffing and licking not just each other but any of the customers who called them over, before collapsing under my chair, which vibrated from the beating tails of two very happy dogs.

My dog is just being friendly

           Large expanses of our local forest are designated ‘lead free’ zones. It’s a pleasure to walk there on a Saturday morning and meet up with friends. Alfie has his regular mates: Harvey (the singing dog) and Maggie (winner of canine Miss Breda). When we arrive at the forest I admit Alfie isn’t the best behaved dog, he pulls on the lead and practically hops from one foot to the other, in his impatience to find his mates. When he does spot them he charges (yes I know that's wrong too) leaps into the air and lands about three feet away, his face in the mud and his bottom in the air, tail on permanent vibrate.

My dog is just being friendly

In the centre of the 'lead free' zone is a vast open space, with benches and tables for people to sit and a surplus of logs to jump and sticks to chase for their canine friends. This is where the dogs really get to socialise. Alfie play’s happily with Great Danes, Pit Bulls, Lurchers and Chihuahuas, he adjust his speed to the capabilities of the other dog as they play the game of ‘chase me, chase me’. These games are always instigated by either Alfie or the other dog approaching, sniffing and giving the let’s play signal.

My dog is just being friendly

Dogs, like people are not all alike, some are grumpy, some have had bad experiences in their life and some are just old and tired. Dog’s that have been allowed to socialise and greet other dogs freely will almost always sense those less willing to play and keep a wide berth. Although, Alfie will at times wander up to within three or four feet of a standoffish dog, just to see if he can’t change his mind and invite him to play.  Sometimes it works. Last week I watched while Alfie and a beautiful white lady Boxer chased after each other in the forest, occasionally dropping to play bow like some elaborate mating ritual. The Boxer’s owner explained in broken English, how it makes her heart swell, to see her dog happy and playing for a change.

My dog was just being friendly

I know I’m probably over stating my point here, and God knows I’m no expert, but what’s so bad about a dog being friendly? Surely the good points outweigh the bad?  Although I'm willing to be proved wrong here..

Lots of pictures of my dog just being friendly:
He's coming!

Quick lets run

Another one (just behind Andy)

Alfie taking a break between games

Which one of you is going to chase me first?

I'm gonna get you

yeah.. You got me!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting :-)