It’s probably no surprise to all you dog people out there how much our dogs reflect our personalities. But for those of you who aren’t familiar with this little trait, let me explain. I am an introvert. I know, right? Introvert? A lot of people are legitimately surprised when I admit to it. “But you’re a Photographer!” “But you’re so social!” “But you direct crowds so well!” are just a few of the statements I hear from people who find out my dirty little secret. But the truth is, at heart, I am. I am an introvert.
I would honestly rather sit on the couch with a glass of wine and a book than go out to a bar. I prefer small groups to large groups of people and at parties I am happiest sitting on my own, watching everyone else. I actually didn’t start drinking until I was in my 20’s (the legal age in Australia is 18 but most start way younger) and I was always the “sober sister” at high school parties where everyone else would drink and I would make sure no-one took a nose dive off the balcony.
I hate public speaking. Like.. I LOATHE it. I failed my public speaking test in high school after failing miserably to use flash cards and bursting into tears in front of the entire student body of my English class, running out of the room, having a few friends talk me into returning and then blubbering through the rest of it… much to my horror… to the applause of my peers.
I cringe whenever I have to mingle at parties and I got extremely nervous when all eyes turned to me at my own wedding when my Husband dedicated his speech to me… I ended up in tears and couldn’t look anyone in the eye… and THEN I had to dance our wedding dance… TWICE!! Talk about wanting to crawl into a ball in the corner! LOL
So, when the Hubby and I recently took road trip to the South of France and took our gorgeous 3 year old Golden Retriever with us, we had no idea we would find out he was just like “Mummy”.. or “Matte” as I prefer (In Swedish). We had a pretty great time, and being able to take our Bentley with us was so wonderful. The whole family together on holiday. We’d spend the mornings sleeping in, then by lunch we’d head out to the beach until the late afternoon when we would return to our apartment and get ready to head out to dinner.
The apartment we rented was just off a bustling Square, full of restaurants and kids using the Carousel and of course, lots of tourists… and narrow, cobbled streets. We first started to wonder if Bentley was too hot to go for walks with us on the hunt to find somewhere to eat dinner. But it wasn’t that warm. It was just busy.
He’s always been one to lay down in the middle of the street and protest (as most of you know), which is why I ALWAYS use cross walks/zebra crossings. He is NOT above plomping himself down halfway across the street, leaving motorists no choice but to drive around him. So when it came to this little mainly pedestrian street, it shouldn’t have been a problem. He LOVES being out with us.
But the more we started to take notice of his behaviour, the more clear it became to us that our dog, is, in fact, VERY introverted. Here are a few things to add to the list of proof…s
Walks against walls – If there is an open street or path, he will find the nearest wall or fence and stick to it like glue.
Hates walking in big crowds – this was new to us as Stockholm isn’t that busy, and even though we consider him a city dog, it really was news to us that he reacted so strongly to mass amounts of people by refusing to walk further and physically pulling us back to the apartment.
Plays by himself in the dog park – this one he’s always done. It doesn’t matter how many dogs, or how many of those dogs are his friends, he’ll say his hellos, play a little, and then go off on his own… sometimes sitting alone watching what happens.
Happy sitting at home, even alone – He is SUCH a homebody. When I say “walk” he actually lays down and looks at me as if to say “YOU walk!”
Likes to meet new people, but prefers the ones he already knows – Most definitely prefers familiarity. LOVES to meet new people… but is only comfortable with those he already knows.
Likes to sit on the balcony alone – this one is actually adorable. He just sits there watching over the neighbourhood.
So, I guess it shouldn’t have been that much of a shock to us that a dog like Bentley could be so introverted when the woman who raised him is exactly the same. He’s even the same as me in that he hates having his photo taken and only does it to humour me. But he IS the most well travelled dog I know. Below are a few images from our road trip… and a few of him protesting when there’s too many people around.
This image was the first stop on our trip. Still in Sweden at some ruins of a mansion.
Chilling out in Copenhagen.
Refusing to look at me in Germany.
Not wanting to pose in the rain in Zurich, Switzerland, but happy there are not that many people.
ZERO people in Italy.
Wanting to go back to the apartment in Antibes, France.
Showing he loves the vines just as much as Mummy/Matte does in Nice, France
Wanting to go back to the hotel in Luxembourg.
Refusing to pose with some Belgian Blue Cows in Belgium.
Protesting all the people in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Happy sitting on his own on a canal tour in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.