Saturday, March 26, 2011

Going to the Dogs

Jasper would fit right right in, but I'm afraid that Mocha just would not at all.

Now most of you know that Jasper and Mocha are two dogs I know. Jasper is a very small dog and Mocha is on the large size. They love their dogs here in El Campello, but other than a very few “bigger” dogs, they are generally small in size. What they lack in size they make up for in pure numbers. On a nice sunny day here, the promenade down by the beach is covered in little dogs all out for a walk.

One Saturday I saw a little orangey, Pomeranian type  dog being pushed along in a child's doll stroller by a little girl. He seemed perfectly happy this way. When the little girl went down onto the sand, her mother picked the dog out of the stroller and put him on the bottom shelf of a baby buggy and parked it with the little girl's brother and her dog beside the wall along the walkway. The dog just stayed there. Later he was put back in the stroller to continue their walk. Along the way he objected to something another dog did or said and he gave the other dog a good barking, but never left the stroller – stood up and gave him a good barking-to. I thought he perhaps was unable to walk, but the little girl at one point took him out, put him on the ground and put her doll in the stroller. He just started walking.

This morning we walked down the promenade to the bakery, and I saw a gentleman in one of the beach front cafes, having a coffee and a sweet while reading the paper. He had a little white dog sitting on his lap who seemed as interested in the news as he was.

Social Networking for Dogs
On most days, I have seen one older man walking three dogs. He moves pretty slow, and the trek down the promenade and back takes awhile, but the dogs are almost as old as he is and they also move slowly. He has a leash attached to one dog which he holds onto and then the second dog is attached to the first and the third is attached to the second. I don't know how the order is determined; if it is seniority, or behaviour, but it seems to work for them.

I am amazed at how good most of the dogs are. On a nice sunny day there are probably 50 dogs out for a walk, but you hardly hear a bark, and I have never heard a fight – well not amongst the dogs anyway. They quietly stroll up and down, stopping and socializing when the humans they have out for a walk stop to talk. Most are on leads, but the ones allowed to walk freely deserve the liberty. They walk along always keeping a close eye on where their masters are and I have never seen a dog who had to be called back from exploring.

There is definitely a positive economic side to the number of dogs. There are more veterinarian clinics than there are hospitals here in El Campello. I think there is a human hospital here in town, but I'm not sure where it is. I have however seen three Veterinarian offices. On the TV there are ads for “Pet Insurance”; I'm sure you can get this service back home. but I don't think it is yet big enough to purchase ads on National TV.

Now there is a down side to the number of dogs . . . . . you've got it, they all use the toilet outside or as my mother-in-law says “damn shitty-ass dogs”. You have to always keep one eye on the sidewalk as you walk, because there WILL be some little doggie turds on the sidewalk. You have to be sharp too because the dogs are little their traces are also small and can be hard to spot easily. The city provides disposal bins for dog waste, and I have seen more people picking up after their dogs than I have seen pretending that “Their dear little dog didn't do that!”, but it is just the sheer numbers. They keep the main areas pretty clean, and I suspect someone must come along and clean the promenade and the main street sidewalks, but watch out if you step off the sidewalks or take a back street.

Wipe your feet on the mat by the door please. 

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