This is a constant topic of comparison, but did you ever think it could be used in reference to dogs? I did not until I came to DC. Now that Spring has arrived, the flowers, people, and dogs are all out in full force. What is particularly interesting to me is how the dogs here in the District act. Probably like most of your dogs, Mason and Abbie (our dogs we left behind) run pretty much wild around the house/outside and have a mind of their own. Dogs in DC do not act like that.
Story #1: I was running around the National Mall when I noticed an older lady running with two huge poodles. As she approached the intersection, she stopped running. The moment she stopped, the dogs sat down. When she was able to cross, they got up and continued to jog beside her. Being from the country I thunk "them are some pur-dee smart dogs ryyyht thur" and continued on with my jog, not realizing this would be a reoccurring experience.
Story #2: Another instance occurred where I was observing a guy with three dogs, leashes unattached, walking down the sidewalk. The guy stopped at the street corner and all three dogs sat down. He took a step as if to make his way across (the dogs stood up) when he realized he could not cross he took a step backwards (the dogs sat back down). I was amazed.
I feel that you are following me, but Story #3: A guy with his chocolate lab puppy was walking down the sidewalk. He would stop and the puppy would sit down. He did this several times while walking the sidewalk. I feel he was in the middle of training. (I honestly think when the time comes for me to get a new dog, I am going to try this maneuver).
On Sunday afternoons, when the weather is beautiful, Lo and I like to go Lincoln Park down from our house. This park is similar in layout to the Square in Oxford. Imagine the park is the courthouse. Traffic runs completely around it. There is not a fence around the park. Got the picture? Well, the dogs here run around like a wild heard of elephants, well tiny elephants, without leashes WITHOUT EVER RUNNING INTO THE STREET.... I MEAN NEVER. Their owners stand and watch (some do not pay attention at all) as the dogs chase after one another. It is quite amazing how they never get an itch to go defy their normality and venture beyond whats known to them. I mean my dog always likes to defy whats normal.
Whenever the time comes for us to migrate back to our homeland, one thing is for sure, I will bring with me a new bread of canine to the South. Woof Woof until next time.