Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Blind Puppy Love

When we moved from the US to Switzerland, of course Smidgey came along, too.
How could we not bring this cute furry face?

















Actually the move across the world for Smidgey was fantastic. She was picked up by a pro dog-handler in Phoenix, flown to Chicago where she had an overnight layover at a pet resort (kennel). Then she was flown to Zurich where she was received by another pro dog-handler who drove her to us. When Smidgey got out of the van, she was happy as can be - full body tail wagging with a look on her face that said, Where were you guys? I had the best trip! She had no quarantine and was with us within hours of our own arrival in Switzerland.
She even has her own Swiss passport:











Upon setting up residence here in Zug we had to register Smidgey with the Gemeinde (local government) and pay a 'Dog Tax'. For Smidge it is CHF100 a year.

















This tax provides us with all the poop bags we may ever need to clean up after Smidgey...and she is prolific! The poop bag dispensers are all over the city: along the sidewalks, at many bus shelters, and out on rural paths, between fields. You pay, the Swiss provide, so things stay dog-poop-free, for the most part.
Some provide orange bags...



















...while others provide red.



















Some have a cute jumping dog picture on the trashcan...



















...while others are a bit more graphic for what its purpose is.



















Switzerland is a rule bound society, with pretty strict enforcement, which I appreciate. But the one area the Swiss seem to think the rules don't apply to them is walking their dogs on-leash. There are plenty of signs graphically explaining the rule:










Or:










But more often than not, we encounter dogs off-leash when walking Smidgey. And for those of you who may not have met Smidgey, she doesn't always 'play well with others' - especially if it is a big dog bounding toward her off-leash. So we have resorted to avoidance: either hiding behind a hedge, a building or a car, or completely changing directions to avoid doggy conflict. When none of these tactics is an option, we resort to a hug and a hand. It is much the same principle as a hooded falcon, what you can't see won't hurt you:
See no evil...
...means no evil barking.

It works. Every. Time.
Smidgey literally has no idea she is being carried right past another dog. We just set her down right after we've passed the other dog, and she goes about her doggy business none the wiser. The other dog owners mostly think it is funny, especially the owners of the little yappy dogs (like Smidge). Some owners look at us puzzled. And a few have given us the stink eye. But our thinking is, if you kept your dog on-leash, we wouldn't need to hide our dog's eyes!

Today's poem is about walking our Smidgey-girl, always an adventure: 
a hug and a hand
turns day into night
other dogs off-leash
there is no f(r)ight
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Warning: Shameless Publication News: 
I am proud to announce that my poem, 'Mom Always Knows', 
will be published by the Irish publisher, Gill Education, who are developing a new core English program for Irish primary schools called Over the Moon. My poem will be in a 1st Class Reader and will have accompanying exercises and activities.  How cool is that?

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your Irish publication, Bridget. Very cool!!

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  2. Thanks, J&B! The coolest part is that they found my poem, instead of me submitting it. Shows you the power of the internet! Looking forward to seeing you two soon! =)

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  3. Our parks have only black bags. Interesting always to hear about your new life, Bridget, and about the off-leash dogs. It's rare here, but we do have those dog parks, sheer pandemonium! I like that ending of your poem! Congratulations on this new publishing. That's terrific!

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    1. Thank you, Linda! Yes, I'm surprised by the number of off-leash dogs here. But there are no dog parks, so may be that's why. Funny, Smidgey did fine in dog parks in Tucson, especially when the dogs were separated by size - little dogs = tolerable, but big dogs = watch out! Thanks for your kind comments. =)

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