One thing I love and one thing I like less about the dog lovers of Florence
Florence, the Italian Mecca of culture and art has been on the map of travelers for many centuries, but as far as I know, there is not much written about the canines of Florence. Today, my plan is to change that.
I started writing this blog sitting on the stone steps in front of Galeria dell'Accademia where thousands of people line up every day to see Michelangelo's David, patiently waiting in line for hours to see the world's most famous sculpture.
A pessimist would say people want to see David because others do, like sheep who don’t know any better. An optimist, knows people flock to David, Mona Lisa and famous art because they get inspired and their souls are nourished by the mastery, beauty and naked truth of the work.
1. Naked Truth
Nudity is the first thing that makes David and dogs alike. In fact, I think people would get quite upset if someone decided to dress David and no one gets offended by dogs walking around in their 'birthday suit.' Perhaps we like them this way because they remind us the way we came into this world, free and unrestricted by clothes and our society's norms.
David is considered the world's most beautiful man by both men and women who agree in many articles, blogs and studies.
2. Passion & Joy
Dogs in my mind are the epitome of passion and joy. They love play, travel, food, friends and most of all they love their people. They inspire us to put more emphasis on fun and play and to be honest about what we want or don't want to do.
When it comes to David, Michelangelo wouldn’t have been able to create his masterpiece without passion. He reminds us that creating something special in life requires passion.
I have a friend, who for years has been trying to make his business succeed, but when I asked him if he loved what he’s doing, he confessed he doesn’t but needs to make money. This is how struggle happens. Doing wrong things for wrong reasons.
3. Repetition & persistence
I have met many people who are constantly looking for something new. They tell me they don't like to do the same thing every day. But when you think about it, the parts of life, nature and the universe repeats in very predictable patterns.
Dogs come to teach us that routines and repetition are good. They love routines: dog walk time, play time, meal time. They love doing things over and over and I am certain that Michelangelo did the same. He kept coming back to his David and chipped away the rock to uncover his masterpiece. It would not be born without tireless repetition of the hammer and persistence.
I don't want to generalize here, but it appears that people who stick with things and are persistent seem to be more successful and happier in life than those who jump from one thing to another and never get anything finished.
One thing I love about dog lovers of Florence
I have seen many dogs, despite the lack of parks and trees. They nonchalantly accept their city living, read their 'peemail' regularly at the neighborhood corners and bravely face the scorching heat of summer.
Dog lovers of Florence appear to be lost in thought, walking from A to Z with a final destination in mind. This is different from Americans and Canadians, where a dog walk is often a separate event.
What I love about Florentians is that most of them use a dog harness as opposed to collars. It seems they are aware of collars damaging effects. If you are curious why collars are not good for most dogs click here.
One thing I don't like as much about the dog lovers of Florence
Don't get me wrong, Florence is a great place and so are Italian people, but what it seems that most locals are grumpy because they live in a city full of tourist. They love that tourists bring money, but one will often see them frown or hear them complaining about tourism.
I have seen this phenomenon in another touristy place, Maui, Hawaii. The locals like to complain about how much they dislike tourists, but most of them wouldn’t have a job if there was no tourism.
They somehow forgot that most of them came to Maui as tourists too and if not, their ancestors did. They were the tourist of the past. Welcoming tourists makes everyone feel better and every local turns into a tourist when traveling and I am sure they like to be warmly welcomed too.
Photos of Dogs of Florence
For those of you who know me, photography is an essential ingredient of life besides writing for dogs and formulating all-natural supplements for dogs. Having multiple interests and passions allows me to look deeper into the canine and human soul.
Here are some of my recent photos that I made into a video.
P.S. - If you love taking dog photos, there are two ways of capturing great moments. One way is to have your camera always ready and be quick. The other, easier way, is to find a photogenic location and frame and wait until a dog walks in the frame. If you are new to photography, it is also good to remember the rule of thirds and position your subject of the intersection of two horizontal and two vertical lines that divide the whole photo into nine equal segments.
Here are some of my recent photos of the dogs and people of Florence. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM