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Dog lovers in Denmark and Danish “hygge”

To many of us, actually millions of people according to trade associations, dogs mean everything. We love them more than most people. We spend more on our dogs than we do on ourselves. We care about their wellbeing and spend tons of time and money making sure they live their best lives with us. After spending a week in Denmark recently, I can confirm the Danish feel this way too.

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Last month, I went to Copenhagen and experienced the best of Scandinavia. Spring was beginning with longer hours of blue skies, fewer wool layers, and many people riding their bikes with their dogs! I saw dogs on walks, in cars, inside department stores, and at cafe tables. I even watched one wait patiently until his person returned from having a drink inside a bar. 

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It was a sight to see a city filled with lanes dedicated to bicycles, and wide pedestrian only streets. They had dedicated bike lanes along the many canals that dissected the city. They also had special wooden crates on their bikes to carry dogs of all sizes and weights! These are the sights that make my vacations better.

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Have you ever heard of the word hygge? The word comes from a Danish meaning "to give courage, comfort, joy". This is how I feel around dogs, and while I was in Denmark, I saw example after example of how dogs brought this feeling into the lives of Danes. The “influence positively” part of the Grouchy Puppy motto, only in Danish, is how I perceived Danish dogs and hygge

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My Danish friend spoke to me about how important hygge is to the Danes and their lives. Every time I saw a person with their dog, I understood this unique concept a little better. I didn’t need to speak Danish to understand the communication happening between person and dog.

Dogs bring me comfort and joy, and often courage. Any time I can give those same feelings to a dog, such as when I am at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue volunteering, then I am reflecting back these important feelings to the dogs. After this trip, in addition to the Grouchy Puppy motto, I have a new word to describe my relationship to dogs. How great is that?!

 

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