Dogs and Europe

Minding the shop, AmsterdamBeing a slightly obsessive lover of dogs and general animal lover I could not help but take notice of dogs and dog related things on our tour of Europe. Europe so far has been a very dog friendly place, owners can take their dogs to hotels, parks, museums, campsites and they’re also allowed on all forms of public transport. In Paris the homeless people and beggars have dogs, most of them are in better condition than their humans and are often curled up on their laps, we saw one gentleman outside of Notre Dame with two little dogs curled up on his lap, they were both sound asleep and looked cute and cosy, there was no taking of photos unless you gave the owner money and I am kicking myself for not handing over a couple of Euros to capture such a wonderful sight.

Dogs in Paris poop everywhere and their owners don’t seem to care, you have to constantly be on the look out for poo on the footpaths, in the parks nobody is allowed to walk on the grass thus poo in parks isn’t a problem. The majority of dogs we see in Paris are little dogs with short legs, a bit like Jack Russell Terriers but the bodies are slightly bigger and their legs much shorter. I love the French bulldog and we saw a few of those from a distance, I can’t imagine that the Parisians would want me running up to them and asking to cuddle their dog. At Versaille I did get a dog fix, a little terrier came up to me and sniffed my leg while I was taking a photo, he was very cute and the owner did not mind me saying hello and giving him a pat, he was a friendly little dog. Amsterdam was another city where you had to watch your step, the variety of dogs was greater there and we saw more big dogs, one in particular came bounding up to the window of a shop (see photo on left) and he or she must have been wanting to go out for a walk because you could see that the dog had left a little present for the owner on the floor of the shop. It was really cool to see the dog carriers and other accessories in the shops and seeing someone carrying their dog at the station always got my attention. It must be lovely living in a country where you weren’t made to feel guilty for having dog and wanting to take them everywhere with you.

Man's best friend, Paris

Germany was strict when it came to dog poo, the disposal units in the parks couldn’t be missed and I took photos of the signs posted outside houses and business that clearly said ‘no dog poo allowed’. I typed much of this post whilst on a train leaving Switzerland and there were people in our train carriage with a dog, the train was like the Australian XPT train only better and faster. In Germany and Switzerland we saw the largest dogs on our travel, Newfoundlands, St Bernards, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Huskies and Dalmatians, we rarely saw any Staffordshire Bull Terriers and wondered if they were a banned breed in those countries. On our coldest morning in Munich a little white dog, wearing a halter and collar was pacing from door to door, sitting in front of each and obviously looking for his owner. It was actually snowing and the poor little thing was shivering, Marty knew that I wouldn’t leave until the owner showed up. We were standing next to the Casino and my main concern was that some irresponsible person had disappeared inside to gamble and left the dog outside to wait in the freezing cold, finally a woman popped her head out of a doorway and called for the dog, I happily moved on then.

The worst thing about being overseas is that I miss our two black dogs, they make me laugh and I love the cuddles I get. We saw stuffed dogs, porcelain dogs, little French bulldogs made from denim and sculpture of dogs that appear to have their head stuck in the ground because you can only see their back legs and tail. In Munich we walked past a pet accessories shop that catered for wealthy owners and smaller dogs than ours, the collars were covered in bling and they featured the cutest little jackets and outfits.

Dogs in Venice, every corner we turn there is a dog or several, big and small and all shapes and sizes, poodles and Labradors seem especially popular. Not all dogs are on leads, many are happily trotting along behind their owners, stopping to sniff and pee on whatever takes their fancy, I thought my leg was going to be a target at one stage but the garbage bag nearby sufficed. Poo is fairly common in Venice, sometimes it is in a little black bag similar to the dog poo bags we have at home, dumped in a corner or doorway but more often it is squashed into the footpath. In one campo we find a little  shop dedicated to dogs, selling accessories, jackets and food, sadly the jackets are only for little dogs but lying on the floor is a friendly pooch that didn’t mind me stopping to scratch behind his ear and give him a cuddle. Dogs sitting patiently outside shops and snack bars while their owners pop into to buy something or have a bite to eat, some look almost asleep as they soak up the warmth of the lovely spring sunshine.

One gorgeous fellow needed wheels to get around, however it didn’t stop him from checking out the sights of Menaggio but it was a hot and thirsty day and I’m sure that he was very grateful that the Italy has an abundance of water fountains. A little further south and on another warm day, we were moving between the five towns that make up the Cinque Terre and saw many dogs, including a pair of very elegant looking Dalmatians but it was the Labrador puppy being carried by his owner that really made us smile. The poor little fella was probably hot and tired and it was lunchtime.

When I visited Pompeii in 1999 stray dogs followed the tour groups around the ruins and although I would prefer to not see stray dogs at all, it was nice to be able to get a doggy fix and see more of my four-legged friends 12 years later and even better to see that an adoption program has been implemented and you can adopt one of the stray dogs of Pompeii.
Almost everywhere we went in Italy we saw dogs, all shapes and sizes and I wanted to cuddle them all but settled for taking photos instead and even my husband got in on the act. We did meet an awesome little French Bulldog called Hugo, my husband was not fond of the breed at all and thought them small and odd looking, his mind changed upon meeting Hugo as he was about the same size as Bundy and reminded us very much of our little staffy boy. Hugo’s owners were from France, they were having a holiday at Lake Bolsena and Hugo was having a lovely time paddling in the water and rolling around on the grass, he even came over to say hello and happily let us rub his tummy.


25 thoughts on “Dogs and Europe

  1. rita314 July 2, 2012 / 12:36 am

    Nice photos. I’m sorry I can’t meet Maxi and Bundy in real life!
    — Rita the dog

    • twoblackdoggies July 3, 2012 / 1:42 pm

      Thank you, I’m sure that Maxi and Bundy would love to meet you too!

  2. Fabulous Fur Friends July 21, 2012 / 10:07 am

    Lovely photos – brings back nice memories. We were in Paris on our honeymoon nearly 8 years ago when we decided that we would get a dog on our return. We saw so many lovely dogs around the streets and shops, we decided we’d get one with a scruffy face – they looked so sweet! We went to one of the big department stores and bought a lovely little collar and some other accessories we could bring home. Unbeknown to us, our brothers and sisters had decided that their wedding present to us would be a dog from the Lort Smith animal shelter in Melbourne! The day after we returned from our beautiful 5 week European honeymoon we went to the shelter and chose our two boys – Rupie and Ralphie (neither of whom have scruffy faces!!). And the rest, as they say, is history! Best thing we ever did.

    • twoblackdoggies July 21, 2012 / 10:55 am

      Thank you, I really missed our fur-kids when we were overseas so it was great to be able to see so many dogs (and get to pat some of them), Europe is such a dog friendly place. What a lovely gift from your family, and how wonderful that they knew you were ready for a dog or two in your life 🙂

  3. Gwen. April 12, 2013 / 12:00 am

    Oo, I love it. Doggies and Europe together.

    • twoblackdoggies April 13, 2013 / 1:46 pm

      Two of my favourite things, glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies May 12, 2013 / 8:12 pm

      Thank you, I didn’t realise how many photos of dogs I’d taken while on holiday and I’m happy that you liked them 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies May 15, 2013 / 8:11 pm

      Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Hopefully we will get to do it again in the not-too-distant future although I don’t look forward to being away from the furkids. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. reggie mateo May 26, 2013 / 3:49 am

    I really enjoyed this post. I’m starting to fall for those French Bulldogs too. No photo of Hugo? 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies May 26, 2013 / 6:51 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, thank you for stopping by 🙂 Hugo is the black and white dog in the knee deep water, he was having so much fun swimming and running around it was hard to get a close up of him.

  5. odd tales from abroad August 19, 2013 / 8:01 pm

    I miss my big black dogs dearly when we travel and always wished there was a rent-a-pooch business for tourists. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dog at your side while you’re wandering the streets of Italy or hiking the mountains of Switzerland? OK, maybe there’s some regulatory issues with that… 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies August 22, 2013 / 10:56 am

      What a fantastic idea! I think that there is a hotel in Canada that has a resident pooch and they keep him/her there to provide that ‘touch of home’ for travellers.

  6. Elyse August 22, 2013 / 12:26 pm

    When we moved to Switzerland in 1997, we knew dogs were welcome many places they aren’t here in the US. But at the first restaurant we went to with Charlie, our huge Bernese Mountain Dog, the hostess took one look at him, and asked away. She had gone to find a table for us, clear away one place for the dog and get him a bowl of water. Then she came back and seted us!

    • twoblackdoggies August 22, 2013 / 3:15 pm

      That is so awesome and what fabulous customer service, I think that Europe is the place for us 🙂 I loved that dogs were welcome at hotels, cafes and on trains and wish that is was easier to travel and carry out daily tasks in Australia with our dogs in tow.

  7. dogsliketraining2013 September 29, 2013 / 12:43 pm

    Having never been to a European country(ok if truth be told have only been outside of Canada little more than four times) I was amazed to look at your pictures and read of your travels. I am stunned that dogs are so welcome everywhere! Boy it sure isn’t like that here! Many times dogs are left in hot cars because they are not welcome to bring them into malls, or stores(there are a few that are getting with the program). There are lots of public trails and parks with big fat signs that read, NO DOGS ALLOWED! So they start creating dog parks. Well I recently took two of my dogs there much against my better judgment to run off some steam. There was noone else there and two dogs came in and one promptly grabbed my dog right by the neck. MY dog was muzzled and on leash at the time! I suppose the reason Canada is so tight knit about these rules is because of the owners! Yes the owners who refuse to even pick up their dog’s doodoo even though there are bags right there in the dog park! People complain about dog doodoo left behind at public parks and it is evident that people generally lack knowledge about dog behaviour! They allow their dogs to run right into another dog’s space without asking the owner first. Sorry this is a bit long winded…..but great photos. I think I want to move to Italy! Not only good wine and food but dog friendly! Love it and envious of your travels!

    • twoblackdoggies September 29, 2013 / 4:44 pm

      Europe is definitely more dog friendly than Australia, sad to hear that Canada is not so dog friendly either and although there are an abundance of dog parks here as well I am anxious when using them because you can’t always trust the judgement of other dog owners. We have a large number of irresponsible owners in Australia (but more good owners than bad I think) and the media love sensationalising any incident involving certain breeds which irresponsible owners are seemingly drawn to so legislation is getting tighter and there is less tolerance for dogs being in public places. Italy and France were both very dog friendly, I think I’d be happy living there as well 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  8. queenzdesire12 October 21, 2013 / 4:48 pm

    I think you are a dog lover.. Right? btw nice dogs… 😉

  9. queenzdesire12 October 21, 2013 / 5:03 pm

    Oops I hate dogs but loves only German shepherd’s and i like cats too much 😉

      • queenzdesire12 October 22, 2013 / 2:23 pm

        Cool.. ^_^ .. I thought you have cats too ?

      • twoblackdoggies October 22, 2013 / 3:13 pm

        No cats, not since I was at Uni and I don’t think my dogs would like to share their space with a cat.

  10. queenzdesire12 October 22, 2013 / 3:19 pm

    Aww its sad :(…I guess they compromise…
    In my opinion cats are very friendly and lovable as compared to dogs they manage…

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