I was reminded that I never reported on the outcome of our dogsitting venture, but partly that is because it was inconclusive. Having a dog around for only 5 days isn't nearly long enough to tell in Anders' case, since he never reacts to dogs anyway. The only evidence we have that he IS allergic is the reaction he had to the prick test at the doctor's. In the presence of dogs, he has never had a problem. So, there are no guarantees that we could have a dog because he could slowly get worse or he might NEVER react at all. I think we need to borrow a dog for at least 2 weeks, but even that might not be enough to know for sure, and of course, it could depend on the particular dog. The thing that is giving me more pause, after the weeklong experiment, is whether we really are ready to take on the additional commitment and sheer work that a dog would require...if it fits at all into our lifestyle. WANTING a dog is not necessarily a good enough reason for getting one, and that desire is certainly not what we should base our final decision on. We had Chimay while Anders was still on vacation, he was home all day and able to take the dog out without a problem. Our real life scheduling is much more problematic. We both work full-time, we both have evening and weekend activity commitments, and so do the kids. Can we make the necessary sacrifices and take the time to adjust to a dog's schedule as well? So far, on the whole dog question, unfortunately, the jury is still out.
Yesterday, we went to Bakken, an outdoor amusement park outside of Copenhagen, with 2 other Swedish couples. Rain was forecast and I made it quite clear to Anders that I really didn't have any desire to spend the day outdoors in the rain. I was a bit boggled that it was even a question and when we checked with the other families the evening before they were all still up for it and planning to go, rain or no rain. Since my good rain jacket needs a waterproofing refreshment and I don't own any rainpaints, I essentially had NO appropriate gear for schlepping around a park in a downpour. Anders went out early in the morning before we left and found me a rain poncho, so I had no choice but to acquiesce, with DEEP reservations about the whole Swedish attitude towards rain and clothing (don't say it!) in general.
It was raining as we left the house. It poured all the way to the train station. Rain rain rain on the train on the track through Copenhagen. It dripped and dropped as we took the horse carriage through the woods out to Bakken's entrance, and it POURED again as we sat down to lunch, our slickers steaming gently around us. *sigh* I was completely amazed by the sheer numbers of people who were at the park, parading gaily around in their raincoats and umbrellas...and then a miracle happened! The clouds lifted, and then parted, and the rain stopped. Puddles shone in the gathering sunlight. The screams and laughter of the children on the rollercoasters grew stronger. The kids shed their raingear in favor of fleeces and sped up to hit as many attractions as possible in the limpid afternoon light. We adults moved slowly through the crowds, stood chatting outside funhouses and gave in to every demand for junkfood in our sunshine-induced delirium: super slushies, popcorn, cotton candy, cinnamon sugar churros (yum YUM!). A fervent thank you sent from me to the weather gods: you made my day.