Some years ago, when I wore a young man’s clothes, someone told me that when dogs get old and die, they go to The Dog Star. Now, as a man with gray hair, I know the truth. When dogs pass on, they go to England.
When I was a child I had a dog. His name was King. He was a good dog too. Except the one day he wanted me more than our large back yard…so he followed me to school.
“King! Go home!” I yelled. He would stop and then start following me again. I forget how that day turned out…it was more than sixty years ago. He probably went back down Front Street and sat in the back yard until one of us got home from school.
We didn’t ‘play’ with him in the way some dog owners do. We never threw a stick, a frisbee or a tennis ball. He just enjoyed playing around us as we played our own games.
I cried when King was “put down”…something that my parents did when I was in bed with the flu. I heard about it later from a friend. It was the right and humane thing to do. King had damage from being struck in the hind quarters in front of our house. He was old. He howled when the train blew the whistle as it came near our house. I was sad but didn’t blame my parents. I was quite ill and they didn’t want to make my misery any worse.
I’m okay with all that.
But, here in England…they love their dogs. Pets are even allowed into the bar area of a pub…where people can eat. That is not legal in NYC, or most other places.
In front of almost every shop along the High Street of any small town or village, there are stainless dishes for the dogs to drink from. That’s a good thing. I thought the Upper East Side of Manhattan was the place to open a pet supply shop. No, it’s in every village in England.
I do have to object to the fact that many walkers (and England is full of walkers) don’t keep their dogs on a leash. The dogs “worry” the sheep and lambs. That’s not right.
But you should take a walk along West 92nd Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Hardly anyone obeys the “pooper scopper” laws. It’s a problem all over (and I mean that literally).
I love dogs. I really do. But I’m the one who wants to be the master.
That’s why I love cats more than dogs. The cat’s attitude is: “I’ll get back to you.”
[All photos are mine]