Monday, July 26, 2010

The most hurtful thing you can say to a dog owner?

I think I had my second encounter with a dog hater today. The woman was around forty and for some reason she was hanging by the door that leads to the bike room (where the residents of this building can keep their bikes so people won't steal them). I don't know what she was doing there, because these apartments are for students only and she looked nothing like a student in her posh flower dress and high heels. Anyway. Papu usually barks once or twice if we meet strangers on our way out. Sometimes she barks like crazy, but since we live in the second floor (or first floor depending how you count) we are usually out before anyone gets annoyed. I know she shouldn't bark at all, but we haven't exactly done anything to stop it because

a) the hall is usually empty
b) nobody is bothered because people here are used to barking dogs

And you probably guessed it; Papu started to bark and since the woman wasn't moving anywhere and other people were making noise in the bike room, she kept barking. When we get close to the woman she said "what's wrong with your dog?!" ("mikä sun koiraas vaivaa") and since I didn't bother to answer she continued "train your dog" ("kouluttaisit ton koiras"). Her tone was really aggressive and the things she said made me seriously upset. It was hard not to cry when we finally got out.

Papu means the world to me and I have done my absolute best to take care of her. Life has not been so easy with her and I have tried so effing hard that you have no idea. God knows how many times I have cried over her because the things have looked so hopeless. And after all that pain and tears and misery, suggesting that I have failed with her is the most hurtful thing anyone could ever say to me. I know that Papu is still very far from the perfect dog she could be, but I'm doing OK with her. She's OK too. We are getting there eventually. I'm not a failure as a dog owner.

And I love my dog no matter how loud she barks.

But that woman obviously wasn't a dow owner herself. Dog owners know that other people's dogs are a very sensitive subject. Their like babies, and you definitely can't say to a mother that her kid's shitty even when it's completely true.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shopping baskets ARE dirty

Do you remember when I blogged about shopping baskets earlier this year? Probably not, so let me repeat the main part briefly:
Shopping basket is another environmental choice by us, though now you might wonder why we don't use canvas bags like everybody else. News for you: they're just not as handy. When you walk to a store, you have basically two options: You can pick one huge family-sized shopping cart or you can choose one big dirty (they're always dirty!) plastic basket. Not very appealing. But ha! We have our own perfectly sized clean shopping basket with us. And you walk out with the very same basket. Very convenient.
Our friend Elina was the first one to comment on the statement about dirty shopping baskets. She said that she has not noticed such thing. I don't blame her, because many people don't pay attention to these things. They just take the first basket that looks good. But really, they're dirty. Just read on.

Couple weeks ago I read from a Finnish news paper that they have actually made a small study about how clean the shopping baskets really are. The study wasn't probably completely accurate or reliable, but the result was that almost all the shopping basket they tested were flooding with bacteria. And when it comes to food, the shopping baskets should be clean. Sometimes the food can even touch the basket! Just think about bread or lettuce in those open bags... Doesn't this completely put you off?

I took pictures of the magazine, and luckily the quality is quite high. It's easy to read if you just click to enlarge. The story is also online.

The point of this blog post was to prove that I'm not crazy and paranoid because I use my own shopping basket. It's actually quite smart. And I know that my shopping basket maybe dirty too... but at least it's our own dirt.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One stinking dog poop story and some very, very exciting news

It seems that I love stories about dog poop... A little while ago I was walking with Papu when we bumped into a big dog we knew from the dog park. I said "hi" to the owner and checked the dog's name because I wasn't sure if I remembered it correctly. The dogs also greeted each other. Then we started to move on since we were heading to the same direction. Everything was pretty usual, until his dog started to poop and he did nothing, I mean absolutely NOTHING to pick up after his dog and he made no excuse why he wasn't doing so. And I was standing right next to him!

Finnish law says that in all urban areas it is compulsory to pick up the dog poop. There's absolutely nothing voluntary in it. If you get a dog and you live in the city, you have to pick up the dog poop too. And it wasn't any shady forest we were walking in, but a very popular and lovely pedestrian street. And the dog pooped on the lawn where Papu usually walks! I thought it was very irresponsible and plain stupid.

People who don't pick up dog poop are responsible for feeding dog hatred. No wonder there are people who don't like dogs if all they see is a smelly mess! I think it's my responsibility as a dog owner to pick up poop so the neighborhood stays dog friendly. There are hundreds of dogs in this area, and if we all suddenly stop picking up dog poop, they would eventually ban dogs from public places. The vision is so not nice. Besides, I don't like to see piles of poop either when I'm walking with Papu, and I don't know who does. Probably those people who don't do their share to keep places clean.

In case you're wondering, there is actually one good enough excuse for not to pick up after the dog: If the dog has upset stomach, there might not be anything to pick up at all...

Enough with the dog poop now. I have other news to share too.

My mother found a thin mattress from the flea market and she thought it would make a nice dog bed. I agreed with her and bought it. My mother later donated me some giraffe fabric and I sewed a cover for the mattress. I think it looks really nice and colorful now:

There mattress is actually folded in half in that picture above. Since it's so big you can easily make a nice dog burrito with it:

Or you can simply open it to make enough room for two dogs:

And we actually need room for two dogs... because we are getting a NEW PUPPY!!!