Dogs on Sunday

In Berlin

We stayed for the first few days at a lovely place – the Yogitel on Tschaikowski Strasse – which is really a community of families who teach and practice yoga and various therapies.  Part of alternative Berlin, I guess, and very very cheap.  They don’t do breakfast or meals, so one pops out to the local Bäckerei first thing in the morning – only to discover that it is the weekend and so the place is full of families, dogs, relaxation.

On the way down the street I spotted:

lovely tri-colour border collie seen on Grabbeallee

lovely tri-colour border collie seen on Grabbeallee

This beautiful chap was the first I photographed – just because he looked a lot like Bandit.  Nice leather lead, too.

FB keeps asking me to tag these seedy characters, who watched my entire sequence of photographic exploits.  NO, facebook, I really don't know who they are.

FB keeps asking me to tag these seedy characters, who watched my entire sequence of photographic exploits. NO, facebook, I really don’t know who they are.

The streets are populated by families (many wearing bright green), cyclists, dogs. The atmosphere is warm and relaxed.  Little kids come to the shop by themselves and go out with big bags of croissants or buns.  Two little girls had brought the family dog – but I didn’t take their picture – it doesn’t feel seemly to take kids’ photos, and so I have to deny you many many bright green garments, dog owners and cyclists.  But I did take some photos of dogs waiting willingly outside the Bäckerei, or trotting along with their owners.

Standing patiently outside the Bäckerei without a lead at all.  He was there for some time, solid as a rock.

Standing patiently outside the Bäckerei without a lead at all. He was there for some time, solid as a rock.

Not far away was this little poodle –

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When I tried to take Pablo’s picture, his owner gave me a rather formal ‘look’ and asked me what I was doing – the only person who was even slightly suspicious.  I explained (best German, worked out in advance) that I was making a collection called ‘Dogs on Sunday’ and she said ‘OK’.  Then her friend got Pablo to pose like this.

Pablo

Pablo

– We found out later that we were in fact staying in a quarter (Schönhausen) that had been in East Berlin.  It had been rather smart, though: the location for the foreign embassies.  Indeed, many houses there looked very fine indeed, especially on the Mayakovsky Ring nearby.

By the time I photographed Ken I was becoming quite confident about asking owners for permission.  Ken’s owner spoke really good English and was more than happy to chat. – Ken is a rescue dog and very friendly – you can see from the tail.  He even accepted a treat from me.  ( I didn’t ask about the name.)  He, too, waited outside the bakery off-lead.

little dog at the Backerei

little dog at the Backerei

OK, I thought, that was fun.  Then I caught a very crowded tram down Grabbeallee

discreet, conscientious: a dog that manages a bus, crowds and a complex lead, and gets everything right.

Discreet, conscientious: a dog that manages a bus, crowds and a complex lead, and gets everything right.  You had to admire his style.

to the Mauer Park  ( a park that contains a short stretch of the Wall).  Here the atmosphere is absolutely hopping on a Sunday.  Hordes of people, singers and buskers and ‘acts’ involving comedy/juggling.

slack-wire walking

slack-wire walking – also note green garment on the little boy drawn from the crowd to assist. (‘Leo’)

A massively tempting flea market; loads of fabulous street food.  And (a German speciality, I later found) – deeply concealed toilet facilities.  This last can be a bit of an issue for me – but a helpful stall holder saved the day.  And, to my great joy, I had at last found someone whose English was worse than my German: we communicated effectively auf Deutsch. She was immensely kind and helpful – made absolutely sure that i knew where I was going.

But I am straying from the point of this post: the people in the park were accompanied by their dogs, in the most natural and unassuming way imaginable.  Your correspondent, photographer and dog-lover, was bowled away by the sheer variety and numbers.  And all – all, I tell you – impeccably behaved and happy. Here are a few:

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Sorry about the angle – it hardly looks like a dog at all.

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Excellent owner-plus-dog combo. Is that dog even on a lead?

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A lot of people use these great harness contraptions: must try them out.

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This fine fellow was unusual for being a clear cut breed. (most of the dogs at the park were excellent bitsers). I think he is a Bernese Mountain dog.

Tall thin person with tall thin dogs.

Tall thin person with tall thin dogs.

stalking away - having checked out the other dog.  Owners were picnicking nearby.

stalking away – having checked out the other dog. Owners were picnicking nearby.

belongs to a stall holder - maturely calm in the crowd

belongs to a stall holder – maturely calm in the crowd

There’s more to come about the Mauerpark – but I need to find my camera’s connection lead – somewhere in my packing, before I can upload the photographs.  Another day!

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One Response to “Dogs on Sunday”

  1. albertine Says:

    A fine display of canine (and human) diversity!

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