A street of woofs and wags…
This Valentines day there’s lots to bark about! We’ve teamed up with the best street in Haarlem, the Gierstraat, to be part of their Valentines shenanigan ‘the street of love’. The Gierstraat is full of our favourite, dog-friendly, independent stores and they’ve all come together to create something truly unique! You can check out their imaginative ideas on the street’s Facebook page: Haarlem Gierstraat.
Anyway, back to dogs. In the Netherlands, it’s very common to find yourself being welcomed by a wagging tail when you enter a shop. It’s one of the things I love most about the Dutch lifestyle. Dogs get to spend their days with their beloved owner rather than waiting at home for them to return from work. From a training perspective, it’s excellent for socialising and conditioning dogs to all the distractions, noises and smells that accompanies city life.
Whilst all the shop owners were being busy bee’s making magic, I decided to take some romantic snaps of their canine companions …
(Yep, the Nero squad are also the BKS pup posse.)
Daisy the Cavoodle.
I’ve said it before but Daisy truly is a professional belly rub hustler. She’s even invented her very own welcome woof to greet customers before rolling over and exposing that cute little tummy. The funny part is that I’ve yet to see someone refuse her! This learnt behaviour is earning her belly rubs by the dozen and she knows it. She loves the attention and warms instantly to anyone, particularly small children. Our curly haired Snoopy doppelganger also loves to be pose for photos with those that recognise her from Instagram.
Crunchie the Mal-shi.
Where there’s a Daisy there’s a Crunchie not far behind! Little Crunch has a tendency to queue-jump in front of Daisy to introduce herself thanks to her rabbit-like acrobats. This bounding ball of fluff is guaranteed to make you go ‘awww.’ Crunchie’s licking service is sure to follow suit once you bend down to introduce yourself. What better way to earn a humans love then covering them in kisses? She also likes to sniff shoes and figure out what you’ve been doing with your day.
Nero the German Shepherd.
Although not in BKS often, my BFG still enjoys relaxing by the counter and silently watching the world pass by or itching his face along the changing room rug. Unlike Daisy, Nero prefers you earn the belly-rub privilege but he will happily settle for a good scratch behind the ears. He’s also learnt to bark at anyone carrying a bag who’s contents were not purchased on the Gierstraat. (Just kidding, he’s not that well-trained.)
Clint the Clumber Spaniel.
An in-house pup with the job description of toy and food sampler and taster of treats. This boy has got the best life! Clint likes to cherry pick his own things to take home as payment for all his hard work. He gets to make handfuls of new friends (human and canine)that visit his owners pet shop every day. He sleeps a lot and has his own little private area where he can relax away from the hustle and bustle. (Quck tip – if you’re searching for something special for your four-legged friend for Valentine’s day look no further than Bea’s! She stocks a great selection of dog gifts for the woof of your life.)
Tess the Speckel.
Sweet little Tess has bundles of energy and it’s hard to say no to playing with such an innocent face! Don’t let her size fool you, she will tire you long before you can wear her out. She likes to give a wag and woof to customers and of course it is compulsory to offer some strokes in return. Tess loves spending quality time with her owners and is a known mini-pup celebrity in the Gierstraat. It’s amusing how many people will greet your dog before they greet you when you’re out and about in Haarlem!
Jane the Grand Griffon Vendéen.
Jane adores the attention and cookies that her personal fan club bring to her. The affection received from customers and passers by is probably the highlight for most shop dogs. Her long crimped ears are amazing (and surprisingly heavy) plus she has the sweetest approach with a gentle wiggle of her bum and swish of her tail. Jane loves to sit outside and observe her street and it’s two and four-legged wanderers throughout the day.
Sofie the Jack Russell.
This lovely little lady has been a shop dog since she was a tiny puppy. Sofie is totally off-leash reliable and enjoys receiving treats and butt scratches! She’s almost at the grand old age of fifteen, is both deaf and losing her sight but she doesn’t let that stop her. She loves meeting customers, is very gentle and loves to snooze behind the desk. Photographing a pup that is both going blind and deaf was a challenge and unfortunately I forgot to bring a rose for this cutie but I improvised with those decorative hearts. The gift of a grey muzzle is truly something special.