Cara- Thank you for asking me to blog about my favorite subject.. dogs! Munich might be one of the world's most dog friendly cities. Lucy and I feel blessed every day that we live here! I’ll actually let Lucy tell you about life as a dog in Munich. If she could talk, this is definitely what she would say are her favorite things about life here in Munich.
1. The English Garden
When I first moved to Munich with my mom, I heard her describe the English Garden as “doggy heaven”. I wasn’t sure what that meant at the time, but since then I have learned that doggy heaven” is pretty rad. The English Garden is one of the biggest city parks I’ve ever played in! (over 900 acres) It is full of trails, streams, open fields, beer gardens, and even a lake to swim in! There are hundreds and hundreds of dogs here every day that I get to sniff, hump, and chase. I also get to stalk birds and rabbits. And I don’t have to wear a leash! In this park I feel truly free! This isn’t the only doggy heaven in Munich though. Munich is truly a GREEN city with gorgeous dog friendly parks scattered throughout the city. Lucky me!
2. Day Trips to the Mountains
There is nothing better than running on a mountain trail with my mama and Munich is only a stones throw away from the Alps and all the amazing trails, lakes, and beautiful mountain scenery that define them. We can simply hop on a train (see #6) and in a couple of hours we are in a pristine alpine wonderland. It’s kind of magical. And it makes me a very, very happy dog.
3. Freedom to Roam
It makes sense that there are times when it is safer for me to be on a leash. But the truth is, I really don’t want to be confined to a leash my whole life. Blahhh! I want to be free! I want to explore and let my hair, or rather, collar down! This is why I love Munich. Instead of a blanket law that requires leashes on us canines at all times, Munich has a more sensible approach, designating only a few key areas where we should be on the leash and leaving it up our humans to decide the rest of the time. Big dogs (over 50 cm) must be leashed in the city center within the Old Town Square. And all dogs must be leashed at public events, in the immediate vicinity of children’s playgrounds, and in public transport (railways stations, buses, trams, and platforms). Everywhere else we happily trot around leash free at our human’s side (and sometimes wandering off a bit to smell a bush or bum when we feel so inclined).
4. Poop Bag Stations
For whatever reason, our human friends like collecting our shit in little plastic bags and Munich makes it really easy for them to do this because there are poop bag stations like this scattered all over the city.
5. Dining and Shopping
Before moving to Munich, I had never stepped foot inside an elegant restaurant or a shopping mall. I guess you could say I wasn’t very civilized. All that changed when I moved to Munich. I am allowed in almost every restaurant, café, bar, and shopping center in the city. I’ve even learned to take those moving stair thingies at the shopping center. At first I wasn’t sure how to ride them, but now I’m a pro. And the best part of being allowed in all these places?? I’m always offered fresh water and loving pats on the head by the staff. **Please note...I am not allowed in the grocery stores or the butcher shops (darn!).
6. Transportation and Traveling
Subways, long distance trains, trams, and buses too… they all welcome me aboard in Germany. It makes traveling with my mom super easy. On the subway and trams, I get to ride for free. On the long distance trains, my ticket is half price, which is fair since I don’t get a proper seat and lay on the floor. The train is another place where random strangers smile at me and rub me behind the ears.
7. Making Germans Smile
I can make even the grumpiest of people smile. I can crack the hard exterior and get to the gooey softness underneath. The Germans are the perfect example of this. These Germans can act quite serious and distant, but once my wagging tail and smiling face is in front of them, they melt. And their warm, sweet, loving side spills out all over me. They shower me with kisses, hugs, smiles, belly rubs, and doggy treats. And I happily let them.
8. Friends and Dating
Before coming to Munich, I lived in Bangkok, Thailand. The social scene there was less than ideal. There were a lot of tough street dogs that had no interest in my playful ways. Some barked incessantly at me, some just gave me the cold shoulder, and others bit and attacked me. What a drag! Coming to Munich was a real boost for my social life. Dogs here are socialized and love to play with me, chase me, hump me, and are almost always friendly and well mannered. Most of the dogs I've met here are highly educated, attending dog school with their human friends and dedicating themselves to becoming upstanding and model canine citizens.
9. Beer Gardens
This is one of my very favorite parts of living in Munich. Imagine this: rows and rows of picnic tables with drunken people dropping schnitzel (!!) and wurst on the ground as they clumsily try to eat it. It’s seriously paradise for a hoover dog like me who likes to gobble up every morsel of flesh I can. I also get lots of smiles, pets, and love in this big mass of drunk and cheerful humans as well. And that’s pretty awesome.
10. The Isar
The Isar is the river that runs through Munich and there are beautiful trails along both sides that are perfect for running and occasionally dipping into the river to cool off. In the summer this place is teaming with BBQ’s (literally everywhere!) and BBQ's in Germany mean lots of grilled meat which means delicious scraps offered to me if I put on my cutest feed me face.
Yep, I’m a career woman now. It’s nice to feel productive. In Munich, many dogs go to work with their people. I go to work twice a week with my auntie Emily. She works for a design company and everyone there loves me. I even get to wear a go-pro on my head while I’m at work. Again, pretty awesome.