Eastern Europe is not at the top of most people’s travel list, but after my short experience I think it is worth hearing about. I have been wanting to share a piece of my recent adventure to Budapest, Hungary, but was unsure of what to discuss. Sure, the food was fabulous, the views were out of this world and the people, simply amicable. As much as I loved those aspects of the trip, they did not WOW me. What did wow me?
I know, I know. That sounds silly. In true dog-lover fashion, I typically notice cute buddies where ever I travel. As could be expected, there were all types of breeds, from the native Hungarian Vizsla to my favorite chubby English Bulldogs. They all appeared happy and healthy with sweet, welcoming dispositions. But, after reaching down to pet about 4 or 5 dogs I realized there was something unique about dogs in Budapest. These dogs all behaved perfectly. This is no exaggeration. Every prancing pooch would move alongside their owners without a leash on a daily basis. The dogs would never run away and should they reach a stop sign before their owner they would actually stop, sit down and wait. AMAZING. Right? It seemed like something out of a dream in which I had been transported to an alternate universe run by canines. Countless people would run out in the street paying no mind to how close a vehicle was to hitting them. The dogs, however, were smart enough to stop and wait.
Not only were the cute canines the very essence of gentlemen on the streets, they were also perfectly behaved in restaurants. As is common in Europe, dogs in Budapest are allowed to enter restaurants and sit next to the table while their owners wine and dine. The dogs that I saw in restaurants were not salivating at the mouth or giving those irresistible puppy dog eyes while their owners ate, either. They were just hanging out and catching a snooze under the table.
Now, the thought has occurred to me that this behavior is so shocking to me because I have simply been raised around some unruly pups. This is possible, as my Grandparents dog, while adorable, could in fact be the fido spawn of Satan. If we attempted to let him walk off a leash he would be hit by a car and forrrrrget trying to take that little food-beggar into a restaurant. But I don’t think my naughty four-legged pals are out of the ordinary in the U.S. Maybe it is something in the water over there? Or the iron fist of Mother Russia enforcing strict Communist command until the ’90s? Regardless, I have never met a dog that was so well behaved as a Budapestian dog and needless to say, I was in love with every single one of them 🙂