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Pooch Patrol

July 16, 2009
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When I first arrived here, I had no concept of the elevated position our canine friends occupy in the grand scheme of all things Dutch.  It seems that most dog-lovers love their dogs more than anything else in the world including children and it seems that the majority of Dutch households seem to possess at least one of the furry poop machines.  The trouble with dog owners is that, like most parents, they think everyone else must find their pooches as loveable and attractive as they do and are actually insulted if you don’t want to kiss their drooling, farty bulldog on the lips like they do.

I have seen people in restaurants over here who must, I’m convinced, make a reservation for two but actually go out to eat alone, or en couple, taking Pooch with them.  Said dog gets to sit on the other chair at the table thus facilitating the sharing of titbits from the table with salivating hound.  This is the point at which my mother usually announces in her Extremely Loud Voice Intended For All To Hear that it’s disgusting and dogs should not be allowed in restaurants.  I wholeheartedly agree with her but you can’t argue with an entire nation, can you?

The large doggie population and their owners are also resp0onsible for the sizeable problem we have with heaps of stinking waste on the streets here – owners not wishing to scoop do not seem to have thought of kneeing their pets gently over to the gutter whilst they perform so that the end product is left out of the way of unsuspecting pedestrians.  You should see the pavements here.  When I go running it’s like a veritable turd obstacle course with all manner of shapes, sizes and even colours.  The variety is truly amazing – just like dogs themselves, I suppose.  The stench, however, is always the same – I won’t start on about the guffs of stinky air I run through on sunny days.  It’s hard enough trying to hold your breath when you’re out of it and inhaling is enough to make one gag.

As I said before, when I first arrived here I didn’t realise that dogs were held in such high regard.  People go on marches here for dogs’ rights, claiming it to be unfair that they are not allowed on the beach between May and September.

One day, when driving down a narrow one way street, a woman with hound walked out to cross over just ahead of me, so I instinctively slowed to give her time.  As she reached the middle of the lane however, her dog adopted the familiar hunched pose necessary to make a deposit.  As I approached at a crawl, she made no effort to drag said creature to the edge of the road but merely stood waiting as he huffed and puffed and stained and squeezed.  This was going to be along job in all senses and I was expected to wait.  I am a fairly patient person as a rule but I object to being made to stand in line for the doggie toilet, so I hooted.  The woman looked at me startled, as though I had taken a pot shot at her or something, and in her turn fired daggers at me.  She heaved pooch 2 centimeters over as a gesture of defiance and stayed put, daring me with her daggers to try anything else.

Well that was it.  The gloves were off.  I edged forwards and managed I don’t know how to squeeze past the hound taking great care not to run over the tip of his tail.  As I passed, the old haddock spat an insult in unintelligible grunts through the open window at me, so I retaliated by flicking her the birdie.  I carried on t the end of the road, parked my car around the corner and went into the house of the friend I was visiting.

When I reappeared a couple of hours later, there was a note in what looked like semi-literate child’s scrawl on my windscreen, the gist of which was:

‘If you ever insult my wife again I will take your up-stuck finger off  and shove it up your arse (actually the C-word was used but I can’t bring myself to type it here), you dirty, cancerous whore.’    This latter is, so I’m informed, the worst possible insult you can pay a person in Dutch.

The author’s name was clearly printed at the bottom, just above his address, which was around the corner.

Isn’t that thought-provoking?  In England, there would be no sitting down to write notes which are then placed carefully under the windscreen wipers of your car.  No, there would be knives taken to tyres, keys taken to bodywork and maybe even a pee or worse taken on the bonnet.  But that is one of the differences between the Brits and the Dutch and I cannot decide what the motive was in leaving a note containing all of his particulars.  Did he want me to send my husband round to his house for a duel?

Once out for a walk on the beach during off-season with Husband, Seven and Four, we were having a game of sea chicken where Four ran screaming up to the edge of the retreating water, only to perform a smart about turn and run screaming back towards us, hotly pursued by centimeter-deep jetsam, his arms and legs akimbo.  Thus he was happy to chase and be chased by the ebb and flow of the sea and its tiny waves for hours on end, with his funny snowman arms on – you know, the ones that are held out at right angles to their sides with fingers widely splayed.

Later, as we were walking along the beach, Four suddenly stopped in his tracks, pointed ahead and said in a voice that carried as far as New Zealand:

‘Look, piggy!’

Bearing down on us from a distance of about 3 meters was a white squat grunting little bulldog, as wide as he was tall who did, in fact, bear a striking resemblance to a pig, both in his build and his grunting sounds.  On the end of his leash was his equally white, squat and tattooed owner, who bore an uncanny resemblance to said porker  The look we received from the one with tattoos as we passed each other was not a comforting one.  That said, we did get  a remarkably similar look from the piggy.

They do say that owners grow to resemble their dogs.  Or is it the other way around?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2009 8:36 pm

    Oh My! I was at first shocked by the notes content.. eek C word (on both counts).. not nice! But then, as you pointed out that over here there would’ve been some malicious damage done, I began nodding my head in agreement! If getting it off your chest means leaving a rude note as opposed to physical damage (to cars or otherwise) then I’m all for it. I just wouldn’t leave my address and contact details too! I had no idea that dogs were held in such high regard there – don’t tell them that Other Half squirts a high powered pump action water pistol at the yappy Westie that lives next door. It is the most annoying canine I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet (and I love dogs), it barks at fresh air, birds, birds farts and its own farts!

    • purplejake permalink*
      July 23, 2009 10:23 pm

      Ha Ha! Thatgril39, you can tell Other Half that I find the pump-action water pistol equally as effective on the sea gulls here that rip open our bin bags and leave tea bags, mouldy corn cobs and other vile stuff strewn across the street….

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