Saturday, 25 July 2015 22:32

For dog's sake

dog on balcony dog on balcony

It’s that time of year when we leave all doors and windows open to catch that breeze. And along with the current of air comes… the sound of dogs barking all around.

I love my neighbourhood and am very fortunate that it is overall relatively quiet and peaceful and generally friendly. And I am also very fortunate to have a very airy top floor apartment with a spacious balcony going all around. Me and my cat love it equally – she to take what seems about 35 naps per day on it and perform all sorts of sprints, acrobatics and paper ball chases, and I to just sit around and do some less vigorous yoga moves.

Unfortunately not all the balconies in my area are being put to what seems to me ‘good use’. Many of them have been made into homes for dogs. Dogs that are never walked, dogs that barely get to see a human. “Why!?” I keep asking myself.  Why would anyone have a dog, if it can neither fulfil its innate purpose of guarding the house nor demonstrate its well known characteristic of being a good companion?

Now, I am not a ‘dog person’ at all and know absolutely nothing about them. But as a total cat lover I assume that a ‘real dog lover’ will find similar pleasures to mine in owning that pet. Maybe I’m just too idealistic by thinking that the minute you bring a pet into your home, you make it your responsibility to see that the creature – no matter what its nature – is well taken care of, happy, comfortable, provided with all its needs…

Considering that none of the numerous barking dogs are in my actual building, I am still lucky about the level of noise. And considering that the situation of animal rights in Cyprus is less than rosy, those dogs are also ‘lucky’ as they are at least fed and provided with some sort of shade in summer.

However, as I’ve noticed the increasing number of ‘balcony dogs’ I have unintentionally taken up the habit of paying attention to what’s going on around me, trying to understand ‘the point of it all’ – I am obviously getting nowhere.

At least I find the barking less annoying as I am sitting there trying to think what the poor dog must be feeling/saying every time someone walks by down in the street and it does not get to have any of the fun, interaction and care.

I feel especially sorry for the little white one across from my kitchen window that gets excited to the point of jumping vertically up and down every time its ‘human’ turns on a light on its floor just to find itself ignored no matter how insistent and exited the barking is.

I know one of those neighbourhood dogs gets totally panicked by anything like fireworks or any kind of ‘banging noise’ and can keep on barking for what seems forever, audibly very upset by it all. Where are the owners in all this? They just sit next to that balcony door saying: “Oh seems the dog’s panicked, it’s barking its head off, that’s too bad”?

I’ve tried notes, letters, friendly conversations… but it seems I’m the only one who finds anything wrong with keeping a dog on a balcony 24/7. The only ‘solution’ I’ve found so far is to give thankful smiles to the dog owners who do walk their dogs and extra cuddles to my cat who gets a double dose of love instead. 

As published in The Cyprus Weekly of July 24 2015 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

Email Me · Linked In · Twitter · Facebook