The 4th anniversary of our dog’s funeral is drawing close. Otto, as he was called, had certainly filled a gap in our family and also left one. Our family of 4 affectionately welcomed and integrated Otto, the puppy, about 18 years ago. I sometimes took Otto to my office in Brighton („IDEAL-English Language and Culture“) where he would quietly be lying in his basket during several IDEAL-sessions. Many of my international IDEAL- clients had grown very fond of him and often mentioned his name in our email-correspondences over the past 15 years.
At that time, at the beginning of 2000, dogs in Greece had been given rough, even brutal treatment by their indifferent owners. They used to be skinny and visibly neglected in every respect. Things have changed in Greece – and not only there! Posh pet stores have emerged all of a sudden and warm affection, even “love” towards dogs has replaced those years of bitter austerity for our 4-legged friends. They are now even allowed on public transport in Greece – a far cry of what it was like 10 years ago when we were escorted off a local bus in Pilion/Greece where Otto was described as a “vicious Rottweiler” (he was a small terrier with an innocent face!).
How come all this change of “fortune“ for our 4-legged mates?
Are dogs becoming the new children, with an entire service industry springing up to satisfy their humans’ constant desire to be around them?
Britain is certainly going to the dogs. Or at least, their cinemas are. A few weekends ago in the UK, so I have read, a cinema chain hosted screenings for canine guests, with bowls of water in the foyer an blankets on seats. Luckily, the corresponding film was not animal-related! This is the sort of story that divides the world into those who think it’s quite sweet and those who think this symbolises absolutely everything wrong with our modern society; and much like parents, doting owners can be woefully self-absorbed. No doubt, it’s maddening for anyone who is allergic, scared or just sick of dodging dog deposits.
We, at IDEAL-English Language and Culture in Brighton/UK, would like to know what your opinion is concerning our dog-and cat obsessed society. What is it like in your country?
The other day, when I took my jacket off the hall peg, I still half-expected (after almost 4 years without Otto!) our beloved 4-legged friend and family member to emerge with his lead between his teeth and ready to go for a walk with his master.
Frequently used idioms about dogs are:
“Bark up the wrong tree”
“Dog eat dog”
“As sick as a dog”
“Going to the dogs”
If you happen to know some other dog-related idioms, phrases, etc, please let us know.
Until our next IDEAL-blog in May 2018,
All best wishes to you and your family!
Peter Kalinke – IDEAL-English Language and Culture in Brighton/UK