For the last 16 years I’ve always had at least one dog in my life. As part of the family, they’ve come most places with me. In recent years in Australia, the places they’ve been allowed to go with me have become fewer and more restricted; a fact brought home to me last month while travelling in Europe (I know, what a hardship, but it was, after all, my first official holiday in six years).
The last time I was in Europe, I didn’t own a dog, so perhaps didn’t pay quite the same attention. This trip, though, I was thrilled that dogs were allowed just about everywhere; not just service dogs or assistance dogs, but everyday companion animals too. I photographed these dogs everywhere – interestingly enough they seemed to know I wanted their attention. And, might I add, dogs weren’t the only animals that were readily accepted in most places.
So here are a few …
This Berlin dog’s owner was amazed to hear of our public transport restrictions in Australia, when I asked if I could take a picture of her dog (with a sigh of relief that I wasn’t ‘crazy dog woman from Down Under’).
This photo is my favourite. This is Peko, who was rescued at the tender age of 15 (he’s now 16) from a shelter so he could live out the rest of his days with dignity. We came across Peko riding in a pram (after a run around) at the Charlottenburg Palace gardens in Berlin.
Another in Berlin; shopping for bargains in the multi-storey shopping mall.
A cat in an Amsterdam café window taking a nap after the lunch-time rush.
Along with the freer access, of course, comes responsibility from owners and tolerance from others. While away we heard not a murmur of complaint from anybody about the animals around them and observed responsible ownership practices.In Australia, the not-for-profit organisation, Barking Mad, has been campaigning for dog rights since its establishment in 2006. For more information, go to www.barkingmad.org.au
Not only do animals enrich our lives, as you can see from these photos, they also promote social interaction!