Unleashed

There is a canal near where I live, and I often walk along it on my way to somewhere…it’s usually quiet per lack of cars, and I need nature regularly in my life to feel sane.

Usually, these walks are decorated by graffiti, which is actually one of my favorite things (although I have to say, Scotland, that your graffiti is pathetic compared to Germany. Let’s step it up).

If graffiti isn’t covering a structure or wall along the canal, vines and moss are.

Sometimes I walk along the canal at night (well…it gets pitch black after 5 pm, so kinda night), which provides for super creepy yet beautiful reflections, especially of the churches along the way.

And of course, there is some wildlife living in the canal and the bridges.

And, it wouldn’t be a nice, quiet place to walk if it wasn’t full of cyclists, runners, and dog walkers. Which I’m okay with. I have been all of those things at one or another point in my life. However, I noticed almost immediately something interesting about the dog walkers here. Which is this:

No leashes. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen a dog walking on a leash in this country. There’ve been a few tied to something sitting outside a store…but when they are going on a delightful stroll with their owners…no leash. And they pass by humans and other dogs without growling, sniffing, stopping, barking, or even blinking.

Is there some magic dog trainer in Edinburgh that everyone goes to? These dogs even walk at their owners’ sides, not trying to run ahead as fast as they can like the dogs that I grew up with tried to do. If the dog does get ahead, they’ll stop and wait, or else turn around and walk back to their owner. It’s true; I’ve seen it many times. I know it’s hard to believe, but if you really stretch your imagination, I think you can do it.

Or was it just my dogs growing up that were unruly walkers? Even the princesses my parents own now can’t really be trusted to walk themselves properly. What does it take to have a dog walk like a domesticated animal?

Before you answer that, just take a look at this ADORABLE dog sitting calmly outside the store that I saw today:

Conclusion: I may or may not need to buy a dog in the near future. Because I seriously regret not stealing the one pictured above.

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