My mornings all begin with pulling on sweats and a parka and trotting Bella over to the castle for her first relief of the day. Since we've been back, without fail, it's been very windy, rainy and cold in the early mornings.
But, our little walks afford us some sense of community, as we always tend to meet up with four or five old Danish men also walking their dogs. All of the dogs here are tiny, usually dacshunds or terrier types, brown or black, so Bella stands out like a Teutonic giant among the floor-skimming sausages.
After packing 300+ poop bags into my suitcase -- to last the next several months -- I have now come to discover that NO ONE picks up after their dog here. So, there are landmines everywhere, even on the sidewalk, but mainly all over the grass. Bella, of course, is in heaven. Sumptuous smells abound. I'm torn between picking up in a plastic bag for the trash can, or leaving it there to melt into the grass eventually. The crusty Danish guys keep walking. After spending far too much time thinking about it, I've decided I'll pick it up if it's within 10-15 ft. of a walkway or bench. I feel a little fussy in the shadow of these stoic loping dog-walking men. They just keep marching along, braving the wind and the rain in silence as I jump around and fret over my dog's poops being too close to the path.
A greeting used in southern Denmark is "mojn," which is pronounced "moin" (like coin). I love hearing these old guys schlep along at daybreak with their dogs, saying hi to one another. The funny thing is that, like many Danish words, the pronunciation tends to be drawn out quite a bit, so it ends up sounding like a fog horn -- "MOOOOOOIIIIINNN" -- deep and long. I love that I've unintentionally joined this club, if even as a spectator, of stone-faced Danish grandpas, lowing and bleating hello as they shuffle around with their tiny dogs in the drizzle.