Praterwiese

A Dog’s Eye View of the “In” Scene in the Park

The snow makes crunchy sounds when it breaks under my paws as I run into the Prater Wiese. I’m free!  Hey what’s that smell on that tree?  I’d better go over and check it out.

Wow, Butcho has been here, not even ten minutes ago, and Fritzi stopped by about half an hour ago. If I hurry maybe I can find them.  If I turn by the old oak and run towards Kaiser Allee, maybe I’ll find the…..

“Sunny! Yoo, hoo! Come here.” …Darn it!  My Feeder doesn’t want to go that way. But who cares!  I am after all THE SUNDOG, the espanishe bastardo, the original Perro Andaluz. And, anyway, he can hardly see me through all these trees….

“Sunny! COME here!” ….shucks, I better run faster to see if I can find them.  Wait a second, who am I looking for?  Hey what’s that smell?  Somebody’s pissing in my territory again.  I better mark it again so they get it. This is MY territory…..

“SUNNY, COME HERE, DAMMIT!!” ….Oh no!  There’s the Feeder.  He’s looking a little flustered, not to say angry.  I’d better stick my tail between my legs and give him a really pathetic look, or else he’s going to put me on the leash.

“Sit.”  Wait for it…. “SIT!”…. Just a little longer….. “SIT, YOU MANGY PIECE OF SHI…” ….there I’m sitting. You happy now?…..

“Baby, stop screaming, he’s only a dog.” ….The other Feeder, the nice smelling one…..

“Yeah, but he has to learn sometime.  I’m putting him on the leash.”….Oh no! Not the leash! Please, please! I’ll be good, I promise….

“Baby, let him go.  We don’t bring him here that often.” ….Yes!  Listen to the voice of reason!  No leash!  Let the king be free in his territory.  Ooops he’s looking, better keep sitting here and looking pathetic.  Ohh, goody, his eyes are going soft that usually means…..

“Okay Sunny, last warning, GO!” …..JACKPOT!  Free again!  I’m running down the path, sniffing the trees as I go.  Lift a leg here, lift a leg there.  Lovely day for it too, the sunshine cutting through the leafless trees, just a couple of patches of snow left here and there, and the browned earth of the Viennese winter peaking through.

And even though there are armies of other dogs here with their feeders, they all know this is my territory!  Well most of them anyway, some of these mutts haven’t quite gotten the point and keep marking on my turf. But I just mark over them. There, like that.

Oh no, there’s that poncy posh Afghan again.  I can’t deal with this dog, always telling me his coat is shinier, and his tail is bigger than mine.  I mean that mutt introduced himself by giving me his pedigree: ‘Hello my name is Rhoderick Afghan, the 20, 431st, purebred for 20,000 generations straight from the Afghan Empire’.  I mean what self-respecting dog does that? Probably doesn’t even lick his own balls.

I better make myself scarce before he sees me.  I’d better run deeper into the tree, away from Prater Hauptallee until the forest falls away, and I’m on the glade. This is my favorite part of the Praterwiese.

Playtime!  This clearing of grass, which almost spans all the way from Rustenschacherallee to RotundenAllee and Hauptallee, is as usual filled with dogs and their Feeders of all shapes and sizes, walking, playing, running or just sitting there enjoying the sunshine.

I run out on the grass to make my presence known.  The King has arrived! And nobody notices?  I mean hello, I’m here!

¡Mierda!  There’s good news and bad news.  The good news is that my entry on the scene hasn’t gone completely unnoticed.  The bad news is that I was noticed by that HUGE, fudging Rottweiler!  Better look sharp.  As the monster of a killer canine approaches I prepare myself.  Chest out, ears up, tail straight and stiff.

‘What are you doing on my turf, punk?’ the monster has the cheek to bark.  His territory?  ‘This is my turf nitwit’ I growl back.  That seemed to stump him for a second.  I use the reprieve to sidle alongside and give his butt a good whiff, he retorts with the same behavior.  Wait a second, I know that smell!  ‘Butcho!’ I’m ecstatic!

‘Sunny! I didn’t recognize you.’ He barks. ‘New coat?  You smell so clean!’  I mumble something about baths and winter coats growing.

‘So what’s up?’

‘Oh, you know same old, same old,’ he growls. ‘Chasing balls, looking at all the hot bitches.  That poodle we saw last week just got a new trim.’

As we stand there talking, a Golden Retriever comes bounding towards us chasing a ball.  It’s drifting back towards earth, and it doesn’t look like a catch, but just before the ball hits the ground, he jumps and snatches it from the air – and crashes right into us.  Ouch, ‘way to go dog! What d’ya think you’re doing?’

The culprit stares at me with vacant brown eyes. ‘Good dog Hatchi!  Good dog Hatchi!’ he barks, wagging his tail. Jesus. Lights are on, but nobody’s home.  Some dogs are really dumb.

My Feeder strolls towards us, picks up the ball and tosses it to the owner of the not-so-bright retriever.  ‘Good dog Hatchi!  Good dog Hatchi…’ the Golden barks repeatedly as he zooms off into the distance.

“Let’s go, Sun” says the Feeder.  For a moment I consider running back into the woods, but decide it’s not worth it and dejectedly follow him.  Sometimes you gotta let them think they’re in charge.

We cross the snow towards the parking area at the end of Lusthaus Strasse, past a couple of old biddies with a shiatsu and a grumpy old terrier, enjoying the sunshine on a bench.

I’m giving the shiatsu a sniff when I notice the biddy’s big old coat of fur.  Good effort, but it’s not dog fur; smells more like mink. When are the stupid Feeders going to learn that it takes more than thick fur for servants to become masters!

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