Ireland has recently got on board a cultural trend already established in continental cities. With a rise in the number of people living in apartments in large towns and cities across the country, more and more residents are keeping pets in less square footage.
As a largely rural nation, we tend to believe that to keep a dog as a pet we need a reasonable garden for them to run around in. At least that’s what my mother always told me when I asked why we couldn’t get a puppy. (Cue nostalgic weeping.)
It wasn’t until I lived in Spain during my undergrad years, when I saw canine cuties dining out with their owners at restaurants and trotting along with their humans to the supermarket; that I realised I had been shafted. Thanks, Mam.
I noticed a similar trend when I travelled to France, and it was then that I thought: maybe a dog’s life isn’t only to be spent on sprawling farmland. Perhaps dogs deserve the right to be cosmopolitan creatures also.
I spoke to dog-lover, Scot. He is human to Dylan Hummel, a mini-dachshund. Scot refers to Dylan as “the master of my world”. Both human and pooch are originally from the U.S.A. but decided to make the move to Scot’s ancestral Ireland. Scot describes the commitment made when you decide to have a pet: “My animals are my family. When you are single, having a pet is just wonderful because you have someone to give you attention and love. It also makes you responsible. Dylan is walked three times a day.”
Scot discussed the issue of finding dog-friendly accommodation. The stipulation: “No Pets Allowed”, is commonplace on rental agreements in Ireland. Because having space for Dylan was priority, Scot says he was upfront with potential landlords; providing a profile of Dylan in his applications. Thankfully, Scot and Dylan found a suitable two-bedroom apartment in which to live as they kicked off their Irish adventure.
It is of no harm to a dog to live in an apartment. The important point is that your dog should be taken out for a half-hour walk, twice daily. Opening the door to the back garden to let Snuffles take a lone stroll is not the equivalent of a brisk walk with his human.
Dog owners may wish to jazz up their four-legged bestie’s abode by tuning into a new movement known as Architecture for Dogs. This is the brainchild of designer Kenya Hara of New York. “Barkitecture blueprints” created by a group of well-known designers are made downloadable so that owners can build the pieces for their dogs. It looks like a new age for trendy, city-dwelling, dogs in Ireland.
If you’d like to find a Scooby-Doo to your Shaggy, remember to head down to your nearest post office to buy a Dog Licence, as all dog owners are required to have one. And lastly, don’t forget the winning formula: lots of walks and plenty of love and care for your nearest and fluffiest.