Is Europe going to the "dogs?"

Old Oct 26th, 2000, 08:57 PM
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Is Europe going to the "dogs?"

It seems to me that one can tell a great deal about the inhabitants by the way they treat the dogs. In England it has been my experience that people generally are pretty responsible and clean up behind their dogs (in the city). In Paris, I never saw so much dog dirt on the sidewalk, and the dogs go into the shops, groceries, and cafes, even sit in the chairs beside their masters. Had to watch every step I took in San Tropez. Seems the French are just indiferent. Dont know about the Italians. Here's a tip. Watch your feet and don't wear shoes with "waffle" type soles. It is everywhere.
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 09:36 AM
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Yes, Sandi, for the most part, the French just don't care about that mundane stuff. On the whole, they are much less concerned with hygiene, or sanitation. (unless you consider the bidet in every hotel room). Seems like a strange contrast. Dog dirt IS a common fact of life in French cities, because they do love their dogs, and there are not too many parks, etc. It wouldn't be enough to keep me home.
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 09:45 AM
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We visited my wife's niece in Paris (she was in France for her junior year of college) last April. According to her, in Paris, it is considered good luck to step in dog poop, provided it was accidental of course.

Now when we in Montpellier, we saw a guy drive around the main plaza in this golf cart looking vehicle vacuuming up the dog poop. So there is apparant progress on the canine cleaniness front in France.

Old Oct 27th, 2000, 09:51 AM
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Sandi, interesting topic, I don't remember too much in the way of pet waste in Paris, I do, however remember a great deal of it in Amsterdam, back in 1985 in fact, at that time they had postcards, that featured a pile of dog poop, with the words, Greetings from Amsterdam written over the top. I haven't been back since then so I don't know if this has changed. As an animal lover, I must confess that the ONLY thing that I did not care for in Greece were the amount of feral animals running around. I mean this creatures are everywhere. We saw baby kittens without legs and eyes and packs of dogs in Athens. Everywhere you went there are thousands of these homeless domestic animals, and a great deal of them are in seeming ill health, and of course leaving a great deal of waste everywhere. I remember thinking that Greece was sorely in need of an animal control program, though we did see a ton of shopkeepers and citizens handing out scraps of food to these animals. It was very strange to see such a huge population of homeless pets.
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 10:38 AM
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Sandi: We just returned from Paris and Nice and found exactly what you've described! Can't say as it was that pleasant having to watch my step everywhere, but they DO love their dogs. In Nice, there were fewer dogs "on the loose" and more "on the leash". One thing we noticed after a while was...where are all the cats??? Perhaps the dogs have exterminated them?! Either that or they were all indoors when we were there!
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 01:40 PM
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I for one would happily wear boots and step on doggie do all day long, rather than have the situation Thyra discribed in Greece. Seriously though, I must say that when I was in Geneva (the worst I've seen) it was no fun trying to avoid the dog dirt, but I really would hate to see animal abuse or neglect and seeing it would ruin my trip, so I'm with the French animal lovers.
Old Oct 27th, 2000, 01:58 PM
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My reaction to Geneva is quite the opposite of Carol's. I've seen little dog poo in Switzerland.

One of my favorite travel experiences happened in the old Geneva airport where I was waiting for a flight at a cafe table overlooking the main terminal floor.

In walks an elegantly dressed woman with a greyhound. Dog stops in middle of floor. Woman stands patiently while dog deposits three pounds of doo. Woman and dog stroll serenely off.

Immediately, and I do mean immediately ... as though it had been prearranged ... out steps, from nowhere, an airport functionary with a pooper scooper and immediately retrieves the poo.

Entire sequence must have happened within 60 seconds from start ot finish.

Consistent with what others have had to say, the lady was headed toward the 'French' side of the (bi-national) air terminal ... I've always thought she must be French.

Old Oct 27th, 2000, 04:52 PM
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Am I missing something here, or would one actually step in dog poop on purpose? I found the same thing in Paris and Nice as well. I'm a dog lover too, but that doesn't mean I should have to watch every step I take. The owner of the dog should be responsible for picking up their dogs waste, as they are in other civilized countries.
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 12:35 AM
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Walking along a pavement in Geneva a lady opens her door and out rushes about 10 POOdles, all proceed to deposit what POOdles doo. Lady waits patiently till last drop is deposited, turns on her heel, calls 10 POOdles and returns to her pooless interior.
Just thought you may like the full story
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 05:27 AM
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Thyra, I know what you mean about the feral cats (and to a lesser extent, dogs) in the Cyclades. It positively broke my heart. There's apparently not much in the way of spaying and neutering in Greece, or at least on the islands, and these poor animals are heartbreaking. Several dogs stake out the sunset viewings in Oia hoping for some food from the people around. (And these definitely aren't well-fed local pets with a good eye for a begging opportunity.)

Interestingly, though I saw lots of stray cats and dogs in Venice, they didn't seem so ill cared for. They looked kind of "in charge." I observed to a friend at one point, after watching yet another small dog heading off through the campo with a very determined (one could even say dogged) expression on his face, that "All the dogs in Venice have jobs." They really all did look like "I'm going somewhere important."
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 07:10 AM
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One does tire of Sandi's rants-disguised-as-questions, but the issue of "wild" domestic animals in some European countries is a valid one -- one they don't seem to see as a human public health issue, let alone a matter of humane treatment of the animal population.

We too saw many, many feral cats in Barcelona, right as they all seem to be having kittens. It was heartbreaking to see all the scrawny, scaredy-cat mothers in the Parc Guell with all their kittens huddled around them hiding in bushes and under trees.
Old Oct 28th, 2000, 09:43 PM
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When we were in Pompei last summer we noticed a great number of stray dogs, lean, bony, scabby and mostly starving, wandering about, lying in the streets, etc. and the local population absolutely indifferent. Sure was unsettling, not just from pity, but from the possible disease factor, like "rabies".

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