Posts Tagged ‘Prinsengracht’

The plight of democracy for Dogs (Milo will be calling you soon)

March 13, 2013

008The plight of democracy for dogs. (Milo will be calling you).

My, how time flies. Just now, while taking our Jack Russell ‘Milo’ for his constitutional, I saw and heard the first of the season’s leaf-blower at full throttle. No, it’s not a kind of rare bird or marsupial. It’s a petrol machine dreaded by some but mainly revered by many suburbanites whose life long aim seem to be to keep errant leaves at bay. This is going to be a noisy period and I dread it.

As it was, while walking past this lady with the strap on leaf blower, Milo decided he would let go of a couple of brownies of his own as well, right in front of her gloriously flowering pink Myrtle tree. They blended in well and were almost indiscernible from those golden shimmering autumnal leaves.  I always carry a bag to bare hand scoop the poop in but decided the lady’s’ blower might do that job just as well.

Some dog walkers carry the plastic bag ostentatiously in their hand or have it tied to the dog lead.  It is as if they want to say; look at me, I am brave enough to pick up the still warm and steaming turds of my dog. Look at me, look at me! I don’t suffer from this habit because I am a bit rebellious by nature and do not wish to conform in the poop scooping traditions of the neighbourhood at all times. I carry a bag in my pocket next to my hanky and this leaves many guessing if I belong to the brigade of callous dog poop on the footpath abandoners.

Milo and I have an unspoken understanding that, at times, he is allowed to do it spontaneously without his efforts being scooped away insensitively within seconds. We all know that dogs like to mark their territories by leaving calling cards. Who am I, as an intransigent dog lover to deny him those instinctive urgings?  It would be cruel, and I am merely heeding good dog etiquette. How would you like it if someone’s strange hand underneath deprived you of the same in such callous manner?


Some years ago, when dogs were free to roam and do their business at call and with reckless abandonment, you could not walk around Amsterdam without risking slipping and sliding around the Damrak or Prinsengracht as a result of the unfettered democratic freedom rights of dogs and their calling cards. Some wit decided to exploit this natural phenomenon by sticking the world’s national flags into the dog poop and taking close-up photographs, producing souvenir Post cards for tourists to send home to.  He called those cards “Tulips of Amsterdam”. He made a fortune and is now whooping it up in the Bahamas stretched out on a deckchair while in deep contemplation of his deposit savings book.

A fair reward for laying flat out on the pavement taking those close-up shots within centimeters of dog s…t in Amsterdam before their free roaming days were outlawed and strict toilet habits for dogs introduced and made law…Amsterdam is now clean but many dogs are nervous and usually wait till they are back in the department and deposit it under strained conditions in a special box with vermiculite.

Milo is so lucky able to decorate the Myrtle tree amongst the autumn leaves. Good boy Milo, good boy.