Inside Italy: Puppy Love?

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I know the British are supposed to be a nation of dog lovers but the Italians surely take the (dog) biscuit.  They really love dogs.  Everywhere I go, there are Italians – or their maids – walking a variety of tiny dachshunds, terriers and Chihuahuas (Google Chihuahua-husky mixes; they’re gorgeous.  Like walking beanie-babies).  I know very few people with a dog in England but am personally acquainted with four dachshunds here in Rome.

Dogs are accepted just about everywhere: cafes, bars, post offices, shopping malls, offices, operating theatres…possibly.  It was rather disconcerting when a Yorkshire terrier poked his nose into my changing room in H&M – well, the first time anyway.  If dogs go everywhere that humans do, then I guess that makes more sense when it goes the other way: the Dog Park at the end of my road is strangely popular with the local teenagers as a drinking/smoking/face-sucking venue.  Maybe they can’t resist the allure of the heady fragrance of doggie droppings?

Which brings us onto the down side of all these dogs in Rome.  Dog poo.  Everywhere.  Great big piles of it all over the pavement.  It’s like England in the 1970s.  Seriously, I spend any walk with my kids shouting, “Watch the dog poo!  There!  And there!  Watch that huge one!  Little bit on the edge!  One in just in front of you!  That one!  Oh great, you’ve stepped in it.”  Honestly, sometimes it’s just merda

When the weather heats up, all this doggie waste heats up too and the smell rises up from the pavements in great wafts.  I may start walking around with a posy under my nose like an Elizabethan lady to avoid being knocked out by the stench.

Apparently, it is illegal not to pick up your dog’s poop and most dogs I see have a little bone-shaped packet of plastic bags tied to their leads.   And I have yet to see an owner not picking up their dog’s doings.  But, believe me, either lots of owners are getting away with not picking up the poo under the cover of darkness or there’s one single dog out there on a mission to personally pave the streets of Rome with cacca.


22 thoughts on “Inside Italy: Puppy Love?”

  1. Great little vignette about poop! And several different languages used….something else us brits are arguably obsessed with….
    Ps hoorah, changed phone and appears I can view yr blog on the go now. Hoorah!


  2. I did google chihuahua husky mix, and yes, they are cute.

    I couldn’t bear all that dog poo. In Paris, they used to have people on moped with hoover-like contraptions on the back, whizzing around and sucking it all up. Only the French could turn picking up dog poo into a stylish job!


  3. I think it’s a great job for HHW on a pooper scooter and you could sit on the back with your Prada scarf blowing freely in the breeze whilst inhaling the scent from a jar of freshly made limoncello curd! Bingissimo!


  4. This has made me laugh. I also spend my time shouting; be careful poo, be careful poo.poo POO. Oh never mind, it’s not your fault. My son ended up with a huge infection when he fell in to some poo at the playground…….


      1. Sorry to be so serious about it but it is actually very dangerous for us. It annoys me how blasè the dog owners are about it. It really upsets me. That and children travelling in cars without the correct child restraint or even without a seat belt…..I’ll shut up now.


        1. Yes, I saw three children in the passenger seat of a Smart car this morning, no seat-belts. The mum, who had her belt on, was merrily chatting on her phone as she drove along!


        2. Don’t even start me on seat belts. I’ve come to the conclusion that living in Italy is like living in the uk in the early 70s! I’ve seen it all with regards kids in cars; my favourite is still a woman driving with 4 kids in the back, 2 in the passenger seat and a toddler on her lap! Needless to say the woman driving was the only one with a seat belt on.


  5. I loved this! Never ask your kids’ opinions on what you should blog about, incidentally; if I listened to mine I’d probably be reduced to writing about knitting and sonnets). I’ve seen the little bones with poop bags in Milan; maybe they’re the canine equivalent of a handbag. Here in the South of France the bags are used as urban toys for bored teens, who pull them out of the distributor and throw them everywhere. I’ve developed a dance I call “the pavement poop trot”, it’s almot as good for you as zumba!


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