Friday, January 21, 2011

Seattle is a Dog Town

Seattle is a dog town. It has more dogs than children and people love their dogs. There are many fancy dog stores, Seattle dog magazines, many special events for dogs including an annual cocktail party where people dress up and dress up their dogs. There are eleven dog parks in Seattle. Magnuson Park is one of the top 10 dog parks in the US. These parks are run by the city and there are smaller dog parks scattered around outer Seattle. We haven't visited them all yet.

You can find many dog trainers, all with special training methods. Veterinarians make a good living here, and there are many to choose from.

Businesses often put out water dishes for dogs, especially in the summer. Although dogs are technically not allowed in stores, many business owners ignore the law. Outdoor restaurants often have pups parked under the tables. Most of our Seattle dogs are well behaved in public, and of course the scoop law is well enforced!

We have a leash law and rarely do you see a dog running loose. If we do, we assume it is lost and try to capture it to help it get home. Only yesterday Jim brought home a beautiful Husky and the dog came right in with our dogs and made himself at home. We soon found his owners driving around our neighborhood calling for him. Ace had jumped their fence.

Walks with our Basenjis are always interesting. We have met so many people and they all are so interested in our boys.  We laugh at some of the remarks people make. As people see us coming toward them with our two Basenjis, Sanji and Gumbo, they ask:
"What kind of dogs are they? Are those the bark-less dogs? Are those the dogs that climb trees? Are they friendly? What are their names? Do their tails curl naturally? Do they shed? My, they are such stately dogs - such beautiful dogs, so sweet. They look so intelligent. Bet they are smart. How do they stay so clean? The look like little foxes. They look like little deer. They look like my dog. I wonder if he is part Basenji?"

Today a man with a professor persona came across the park and said, "Those dogs look like they were constructed at Cal Tech, not a bit of waste to them!" He was fun to talk to, and I hope we meet him again.  Other questions we often get:
"How much does one of those dogs cost? They look expensive. How old are they? Are they related? They look so much alike. That one is 10 years old! He sure doesn't look it. I've seen pictures of them but never have seen one in real life. I bet they can run fast. They are so well mannered. What do you feed them? They have beautiful coats. Can I give them a treat? Do they like other dogs? Would they be good on a boat? Don't they get cold in the winter with such short coats? Their eyes are so kind - so intelligent - so bright. They look right into your eyes. They're adorable."
And of course, the ever-popular question: "Can I pet them?"

Jim always tells people, "Why they're African dogs called Basenjis and they love people." He never tires of answering all their questions, and of course we always mention BRAT and that our Sanji came from BRAT many years ago. The dogs never tire of being petted, talked to and praised. We all come home feeling good about ourselves. I wonder if we should hand out Basenji cards with BRAT's website. Think I'll make some up!

Marj Baker

1 comment:

  1. Yep, my three get all those questions....we love our walks, I have two brat boys that are 2 now and my Belle, who still hasn't forgiven me for bringing those two into our life!