Today's walk reminded me that it's Fasnacht season, so as a public service announcement
to anyone new to Switzerland:
Depending on local traditions, in the next weeks as you and your dog are out and about on your walks you might encounter groups of people dressed in Narren costumes tossing confetti and blowing noisemakers - and often rather tipsy. Which can present something of a challenge to dogs who are not used to this.
People walking in a lurching or uncontrolled manner, making unexpected noises, dressed in outlandish masks, wigs, flapping capes can be frightening to a dog who has not seen this before, especially those already of a nervous disposition.
In fact, learning to remain in a calm sit or down when approached by someone walking 'drunkenly', remaining calm when approached by people in costume, remaining calm when sudden noises go off - these are three of the exercises on a standard Wesenstest.
Hooligan is used to Schwyzer Fasnacht, as we practice such encounters regularly in our Hundeschule and after so many years here she's a veteran of local celebrations. But this was skittish Heffalump's first encounter with Narren - and he's still having vapors.
So we have our work cut out for us.
So - just be aware as you are out and about, be prepared to reinforce calm behavior - and enjoy the tradition.