Early on in the deciding-to-move-to-Vienna thinking process, the natural question of, “How will Clayton Theodore manage without a backyard kingdom from which to rule?”arose. A little research on the matter identified over 160 Hundezone (dog parks) scattered throughout the 23 districts of the city. At least one or two in each district are fenced so dogs like ours can get their crazies out in an enclosed environment. Compare that to the 3 dog parks near us in the US.
Dogs are almost more regarded than small children here; they are welcome on the transportation, of course, and welcome at just about every outdoor restaurant. They are welcome in non-grocery stores, (although we did see one little doggie tinkle on a display carpet at IKEA, so consider that a PSA to never buy floor samples at Austrian IKEAs). Just about every grocery store I’ve passed has a leash hitching post for your canine companion to wait while you shop, too. And, we know the vineyards are dog-friendly!
In a city with so many dogs, then, another natural question is, “What happens to the poop?” At home some of our neighbors think these little signs solve the problem. NO. POOPING. AT ALL.
Someone in Vienna with a little more commonsense took a different approach. Thanks to The Internets I learned that not too long ago a frustrated mom drafted a petition to urge the city to do something about the stinky speed bumps she had to navigate her pram around, so now the Viennese authorities have thoughtfully placed numerous bag dispensers around the city to remind us to scoop the poop.
“Crap for me, praise for you.” And should the bag dispenser be empty, simply dial the “Crap Telephone” to inform the city. Wouldn’t you just love to see that business card?
The bags have helpful stick figure instructions on how to use them. And like hair bands, they are in all of my pockets. Thankfully they go through the washer and dryer just fine.