Dogs are by far my favorite animal, and while in Scandinavia I noticed how many dogs there were. It seemed as if you could find an owner walking their dog on every street corner. Dogs were welcome in places that they are not in the US. Scandinavia has some of the happiest countries in the world, and I can’t help but think the prevalence of dogs plays a role in that.
Just like the United States, dogs seemed to be a part of families in Scandinavia. While in Sigtuna, Sweden, I talked to a man walking his dog. It was evident how much he loved him, just like we do in America. However, there were some differences. He talked about how most people in Scandinavia like to train their dogs. His three month old dog already new lots of basic commands. In the US, I do not think there is as big of an emphasis of training our dogs. He also told me that there are over 700,000 dogs in Sweden. That is a lot of dogs for a mid-sized country.
Sadly, when I came home yesterday, my dog Ginger passed away. It was so sudden and unexpected. She was an amazing dog and a member of my family. She showed me what unconditional love and joy look like. What this trip and Ginger have taught me about dogs is that world-wide dogs teach their owners about love. Whether they are better trained in one region than another does not matter. They bring so much happiness into our lives no matter where we are. We are universally connected through our pets who find their way into our hearts and become a member of our family.