Travel

To be a dog in … Stockholm (as told by rescue collie Roxy)

The latest instalment in Wunderdog’s ongoing series comes from the beautiful, snowy Swedish capital. Rescue collie Roxy shows us around her favourite parks and cafés, together with her human, Elin Bohman

Cold greetings from the north!

Roxy here, rocking it out up in Stockholm, Sweden. My life sure looks great now, but that’s not how I started out in this world. I grew up alone in a backyard in Ireland. I don’t remember much about the early days, but apparently, when I was one year old, the humans left me in a cold cell at the pound waiting to have me put down. I had five days to live, and thankfully Coolronan Dog Rescue found me and took me out of there.

The day after, in July 2016, my soon-to-be mum in Stockholm got an email with a picture of a very sad and scared dog and fell in love in an instant. Two weeks later, I came to Sweden by bus. This new place was initially very scary. I laid flat on the floor by the door for two days and refused to go any further in the flat. It took 20 minutes to get me outside for the first walks. But my mum was very careful, and after a couple of days, I started to feel more at home.

Me and my mum

Being a sensitive border collie it’s not always easy. There are a lot of noises, smells and people to keep track of, and I still get really scared when it gets too busy around me. Thankfully, Stockholm is a very green city with lots of parks, fields and woods where dogs can have a great time. And since I am a very well-behaved girl, I get to run free in many places – and it’s the best thing I know. I listen to mum, stay close and never run after wild animals or greet another dog without permission.

The quiet in the city

We live just outside the busy city centre, so I have the luxury of walking in the woods every day. When my mum is at work I have daycare on wheels to take me out. A nice girl picks me and eight other dogs up and drives us out to nature. We run free, play and have very active days with nose work (that’s human for “sniffing”), obedience and balance. When I get back home, I’m both happy and tired, and mum and I snuggle and play when she is finished with work.

No sleeping dog

Weekends are our best days – for me at least. My mum often seems to wish she’d get to sleep longer in the mornings, but I always wake up at around 6:30 am and wake her by growling and dropping a ball on her head. We start the day with walks along the water and some stick throwing. I really love those sticks!

Sticks are my cryptonite

Then we mostly go for breakfast at a café, we have a couple of them close by where dogs are welcome. My favourite one is called Brostugan, which means “the cabin at the bridge” in Swedish (Brostugan Kärsön, 178 93 Drottningholm). It even has a dogs menu, and I like its meatballs. The morning we took the pictures, mum had a “semla”. It’s a famous Swedish pastry that you can only get from January to March. I always taste the cream to make sure it’s good enough for mum. I like to look after her too.

How many cafés do you know that serves meatballs for dogs?

We live close to the castle where the royal family lives, Drottningholm, and in the royal park, there is a small island where all dogs can run free and play. It’s the best! We go there at lunch time, the dogs play like crazy and the humans watch and talk. I’m usually careful in the beginning but always find someone who likes to chase me. I’m always the fastest dog there.

After two hours of play, mum often wants to go into town to run some errands. She brings me because it’s good training. I still get a bit stressed out sometimes when the streets are busy, but south of the city centre is a neighbourhood called Södermalm. It’s less crowded and dogs are welcome in most shops. We meet some of our human friends and then we go back home for a quiet night. No matter how busy my day’s been, I always want to play with my favourite ball and cuddle on the bed. Mum usually eats her dinner in front of the TV and, although I get my own food, I use my cutest move to get to taste some of hers. Human food is the best! Then we brush our teeth (yes, mine too) and go to bed, I always crawl into bed before mommy and she has to drag me out for the last pee. It’s safe to say my life is so much better now than in Ireland.

To see more of my new life, follow me on Instagram @roxyborder

Dogs, if you would like to tell us about your town, get our human to contact us. 

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