Something’s happening here. What it is isn’t exactly clear.

When people walk their dogs around town, along the beach, through parks (all quite common) they rarely need to use a leash. The dogs, magically, just follow their masters–rarely venturing more than 10 yards away.

About a week ago I saw a man with a terrier of some sort walk into a store. His dog happily took a seat next to the door and just waited. Mind you, literally hundreds of people were walking by–some with dogs of their own–on this busy main street.

Yesterday while sitting at the park I watched a young boy–probably around 3 years old–try to sit on a large yellow lab as if it were a horse. This reminded me of the time I tried to ride our westy Nicky that way when I was about three. Nicky turned around and bit me in the face. I couldn’t eat solid food for over a week. This time however, the dog just shook a little, seeming to be a little annoyed.

Its quite unnerving to walk on a skinny sidewalk along a busy street with an unleashed dog and its owner walking in front of you. My immediate instinct is to lunge for the dog and prevent it from running out into traffic. But, it never happens…at least not yet.

What’s behind this amazing phenomenon? Does the ‘dog whisperer’ live down the street? Are the dogs just cultured into good behavior by overwhelming doggy peer-pressure? Are the dog owners secretly beating their pets into submission and obedience behind closed doors?

Or is it the dogs in the U.S. that I’m used to that are the peculiar ones? Have American dog owners, through their use of fences, choke leashes, and the like created in their dogs a longing to break free? But, didn’t we invent those forms of control because the dogs had the tendency to run away in the first place? So, why wasn’t that the case here?

Whatever the case, its a thing of wonder. And beauty.

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