• Sweden edition
 

Julie\'s Nordic Island

Space & Time for Your Wellbeing

Discovering Dog Island

The morning sun shone through the wide spaces between the bare branches onto the silhouette of a dog breaking the frost-encrusted ground. The frost yielded, and the grass turned to green again where Ellie had rolled on it; that little bit of body heat freeing it from its stiff winter encasement. The leaves were like stiff wafers in great mounds all around Dog Island; the only place in the park where no one rakes the leaves. In fact, Dog Island is a small oasis amid the formality of the Royal Park, where the usual etiquette does not apply. Here, dogs run free, the leaves pile up, and the trees tower above, unmanaged and unpruned.

A frightening looking animal charges through the gates and stands with ears pricked, ready to pounce on Ellie’s morning frost frolick. What looks like potential calamity almost always ends up as a lightning-speed chase through the maze of trees, and then a refreshing sip at the moat separating us from life dictated by humans. Here on Dog Island, the animals organize themselves, and they seem to do it very well, just not the way we’d do things. Another animal bounds in. It decides it is going to be dominant, and a little feigned cowering takes place among those gathered. Suddenly, it gets left behind. No one is interested. King for thirty seconds.

The truth is that for years I said I would never come to this place. Either it was too dangerous, too muddy, too disorderly, or too something-else. Everything that Dog Island represented seemed to be not me. In fact, it was so not me, that if I crossed the bridge over that moat, I might be in danger of becoming someone else. One day, however, Ellie decided that it was for her. She sat with ears pricked as I rested on an orderly park bench, and whined as she watched dogs of all shapes and sizes in a wild chase in the distance. Like a mother preaching to her child about the evils of candy (and forgetting how much she adored sweets as a child), I told Ellie to hush up; Dog Island was not good for her. Yet (also like a mother of a child), eventually I was forced to bend, and so we crossed the bridge over the moat together. “Just for five minutes in the early morning while no one else is around,” I said, strangely whispering so that no one would hear. Her raven black ears were pricked and her brown eyes focused, and like any excited child, she wasn’t listening to mother at all.

Within two minutes, a cross between a giant poodle and a German shepherd (can you imagine it?) came bounding in, and Ellie was off. As my five-minute plan collapsed somewhere on the hill, which the dogs ran incessantly up and down, I began to wonder about my objections to this place. There wasn’t really anything wrong with it. In fact, it was charming with the ducks paddling around in the last of the open water in the moat, oddly unafraid of the canines wrestling on the land above. Then it occurred to me that newness can be frightening, particularly as it means that we have to start questioning our old selves.

———————————————————-

Order Rose in the Sand, Julie Lindahl’s prize-winning account of a decade lived on a Swedish island. Learn more about her non-profit for story-telling and the new initiative, Beyond Tolerance, at www.storiesforsociety.com.

Report abuse »

One response to “Discovering Dog Island”

  1. Monica-USA :o) says:

    A nice story Julie. Sounds like your new dog is teaching you lessons like your last dog? Isn’t it wonderful that no matter how old we are we are always learning something new.

    Report abuse »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

746
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se