Can I pat your dog (please)?

(Noa gets a new fan!)

☝ Perry and Noa. Enjoying the summer sun!

This in not an unusual request. I mean, look at this dog 👇 mega cute and just asking to be patted!

My experience is that there are basically 2 groups of people that ask to pat Noa. The first group is parents of very young children who want the kids to have a nice safe interaction (up close and personal!) with a friendly dog. Usually Noa is as tall, if not taller than the kids. He lets them pat him, and if the children are laughing will often sniff or try to lick their faces.

The second group tend to be primary school aged children, travelling in mini-packs (two, three or four), and more likely to be girls. They usually come up and ask a little shyly to be able to pat the dog. If they have a dog at home, this detail usually comes out pretty quickly!

Most dog owners don’t mind sharing their dogs and are happy to let you pat them and answer random questions. I know more dog owners by their dog’s name than I do their real name 😉

Tonight Noa and I were heading home enjoying the early evening warmth and sunshine. There were several small groups sitting around a protected basin that catches the sun and is very pleasant for people watching. I was pondering whether to parade Noa in front of them, or if walking behind would be better when one young gentleman (early 20’s I would guess) jumped up and asked if he could pat my dog? Of course I answered. There was then the usual what breed is he question? Lagotto, Italian water dog, truffle dog I responded. And where are you from he asked? Are you from there? (Meaning Italy). Big laugh, no I’m Australian and the breed is Italian, the dog is Finnish!

This is when the conversation switched from 100% Finnish to Finnglish* to English. It seems that my accent was what he wanted to hear! What followed was a very interesting conversation that went from tick-collars to Australian heavy metal music to Tasmanian weather. Then his girlfriend turned up and wanted to know what he was going on about, followed by his friends who weren’t all at surprised that their mate was chatting away in English with a complete stranger.

*Finnglish: A mix of Finnish and English. Unique to each conversation. My interpretation is that native Finnish speakers add English words to the mix whilst native English speakers bring in Finnish words.


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