Living a Dog's Life in Berlin

They say curiosity kills the cat, but in my case, it was more a case of curiosity that killed the dog. Seeing the sign for a dogs deli in Roseneck, I decided to investigate further and did not realize the Pandora's box that I was about to open.

Now generally dogs live a fairly comfortable life in Berlin. According to the law, they should be taken out for “walkies” on a regular basis, that means a dog should not be left in your flat or house for too long. This could result in them barking and higher powers help you if they bark between 12 and 2 in the afternoon or after 11 at night during the week, or anytime on Sundays or a public holiday. Such noise is classified as peace disturbance and you might easily either get a letter or even a visit from the “Ordungsamt” if someone complains. When taken out dogs must be on a leash at all times (except on special fenced areas like found on the Tempelhof Field), some also need a “mouth guard” and do not forget to take a poop bag along, otherwise you will be told in no uncertain terms by some grunting Berliner - you have to clean that up and put it in the bin.

We have all gotten used to dogs dressed up in ridiculous jackets and footwear with studded necklaces on Kudamm, carried around in handbags as a fashion accessory and the weekly visits to the Dog Salon which seem to be doing a brisk amount of business.

Back to my original train of thought, the dog deli located in Roseneck caters exclusively for the taste buds of owners with well-filled wallet, dried dog foods are only available in the premium variety, the Berliner dog deserves some prime cuts of meat and special homemade baked biscuits.

If your dog or pet is not feeling well, you can call the veterinary to do a house visitation so that your animal does not feel too much stress for being taken out of his or her regular environment – in some cases there is a special “animal ambulance” which you can call to collect  in more serious cases.

If afterward they should be developed some kind of psychological problem, you should have the number of an animal psychotherapist on speed dial. He or she will come and do some house visits or if you prefer your dog can literally go onto the couch. You will then be told why your dog barks after the cars, or at your neighbour by a sort of “dog whisperer”.

The word Kita (kindergarten) we all are very familiar with, this is where we take our children to be looked after while their parents are out earning the dosh. Brace yourselves there is now also a “Dog Kita” in Steglitz where you can take your dog while you go shopping for a rate of €5.00 per hour or a daily rate of €40.00 per day. They will be fed, taken out for a stroll in the Grünewald, driven there in a special air-conditioned car. Going on holiday or to work should no longer be a problem if you have the necessary small change. In the afternoon or evening as an extramural activity, they can attend a dog school where all sorts of tricks can be learned to impress their mates the next time they attend the kindergarten.

The meeting place or get together for small dogs is called “Kleine Strolche” in Steglitz as it is only proper that your dog meets in the right circles where small dogs speak the same language.

Last but not least there awaits the “Animal Heaven” located in Kleinmachnow. This can become the last place of rest for our four-legged friends. Gone are the days of having a backyard funeral or your goldfish flushed down the toilet and assured by your parents that they have gone fishing heaven. The rule is that you call the 24-hour service hotline, your dog will be collected in a special basket, placed in a proper black funeral van and taken away with dignity. The cremation will then take place, in a proper crematorium specially build for this purpose. Depending upon your preference the ashes will be handed over in special urn prices ranging from about €40 to €140, which you can either take home and place on the mantle-piece/shelve or bury in a grave on the premises, that can be decorated according to your taste and are open to visit anytime. The day we visited there was constant traffic of people placing flowers and even a dogs food bowl on graves A candle can be lit, a picture of your dog put on the memory wall physical as well as virtual. The alternative is that the ashes of your pet are put into a gold or silver pendant so that it is always remaining close to your heart. 

Remember when you leave the graveyard to attach a ribbon on the wishing tree at the entrance.

My wish will definitely be to come back as a dog in my next life to Berlin and live this kind of high life – a life with fun and to end in dignity. 

By Ruth-Louise Zehetner

Powered by Blogger.