Catalonia is not Spain

We got in from Barcelona last night via a two-flight nightmare (part the first: 8 hours; part the second: five hours) followed by a two hour drive from Phoenix. Earlier today, I thought I had fully recovered, but I crashed about an hour ago and am now just slogging along, waiting for a legitimate bedtime to arrive so I don’t spring up at four a.m., ready for the day. [shudder]

In all, it was a great vacation. I’ll blog down the line about some of the stuff we ended up doing (which, towards the end there, seemed to revolve almost entirely around eating).

One thing that really struck me is how dog-friendly Barcelona is: we saw so many people out walking their dogs. It was nice. It made us miss Banjo and Petra, although they wouldn’t be half so well-behaved as 98% of the dogs we observed. Many of the Barcelona dogs weren’t even on-leash: they just trotted obediently along with the owners, who would stride ahead, oblivious, taking for granted that the dogs would follow.

(There’s some lesson for me here, as a dog owner who’s failed completely to convey the concept of loose-leash walking. I’m not sure how to apply the lesson, though. I know Banjo would follow me off-leash, but Petra doesn’t have an attention span when she’s outside, and I might never see her again. Then there’s the matter of our city leash laws.)

The dog pictured was out by himself just taking a stroll in the Ribera district. He came trotting out of an alleyway and popped into a couple shops. We never saw his owner, and no one was perturbed by his appearance. One dog we did see on leash was apparently harder to handle: the owner had two leashes going, which seems ridiculous, but instantly I thought of hooking Petra up with a collar leash and a Gentle Leader leash…it might help. We also saw a woman with a mastiff, which trotted along next to her occasionally mouthing the foot-long bone she held in one hand to keep him in line. Banjo would totally go for that.

There were lots of little dogs too. I saw about a bajillion French bulldogs, which are crazy-cute. I’m not big into small dogs, or bulldogs, but somehow French bulldogs are irresistible. Over by Park Guëll, we saw an Afghan hound, which had the most amazing, graceful gait (the effect was slightly spoiled by its floofy, too-short haircut). And cute, wiry-haired mutts of all sizes abound.

Early in the trip, every other dog seemed to be wearing some variety of butch leather collar with studs, so we went on a hunt and found a matching set for Banjo and Petra. Petra’s looks great, but Banjo isn’t a butch dog, and seems a little uncomfortable with this new vision of himself. Maybe when we trim off the overhang and custom-fit it with a new hole (it’s a little too grande for him), he’ll feel more at home in it. And, of course, looking at the pic…well, Petra’s could use a trim as well. Who knew…the dogs need tailoring as well.

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