Dogs Laugh: Photo Friday

By Deborah Taylor-French on Dog Leader Mysteries

“Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails.” – Max Eastman

A funny thing happened to me after I crossed the street. A reddish-brown miniature poodle trotted out from under a grand Roman archway. He stopped on the narrow sidewalk. And then, he looked at me and he laughed. 

You do believe me, don’t you? 

His laughter (like his ability to see with his nose) did not need enlarged moves for the human eye. Plus his laugh came as a throaty chortle…so softly I doubt anyone else heard. 

Once I got over my surprise, I felt instantly worried for the little red poodle. A dog off-leash on the frequently tourist mobbed streets of Florence equals a dog in DANGER. I had seen only a half-dozen mutts following their masters on-leash. I spied only two dogs without leashes, playing in a car and truck protected corridor between souvenir laden wagons.

So far, no pedigreed dog had walked off-leash between the forest of fast-walking people and traffic. The streets of the heart of Florence tend to narrow. People bumped into me. I dodged their elbows, feet and bags. Buses crammed one-lane streets after motor scooters and bicycle riders rolled by. I could not find a safe place to avoid hurtling vans and would duck into shop entrances to feel safe. That’s how crowded I felt every hour on the streets of Florence.

I imagined this classy dog looked back at me in amusement. Why was I there? How dare I stand on his sidewalk. Then he went on his way smelling new and old messages. I had nothing to fear. He kept to the sidewalk. The instant his mistress a blonde woman in a handsome suite, said the dog’s name, he rushed to her and sat. He waited to have his leash attached.

This Dog Laughed

Red poodle + bike

Off they went down toward the Nave River. The poodle pranced like a model canine good citizen, just behind his mistress. Italian dogs show good manners, either walking just behind or just in step with their pet parents.

Red poodle crop

I walked with my camera on, trying to capture a blog worthy photograph of the dogs we saw.

Happily, I have a few lucky photos to show.


In my six days in Florence, Italian dog lovers kept a good hold on their dogs.

Italians who live in Florence do not permit their dogs to pull on the leash, get in the way of passersby or bark at strangers. Italians expect their dogs to behave well.

Do You Think Barking Dogs Are Laughing?

Only at rare moments did I hear any dogs bark. After sunset, a few little yaps echo as little dogs celebrate getting outside from city apartments. 

Once two guard-dogs barked at us from behind a high fence. They quieted as soon as we passed and near a public garden.

“Your dog has the ability to tell you exactly how he feels whether he is happy, sad, bored, excited,

disgusted, puzzled, confident, uneasy or frightened.” Sara B. Hansen

Fetch Sara’s blog Dogs Best Life to read her post Learn to Read Your Dog.

So lovely to see the dogs of Italy being given excellent care and leadership. Good manners never come from neglect. Good manners demand high expectations and follow through. Punishment will never be follow through. Punishment confuses dogs. But insisting on good manners and say behaviors depends on you, the pet caregiver. You make it clear what you do not allow. What you will let the dog do or not do.

Have you ever heard your dog laugh?

What did he or she do that let you know he was laughing?

Thanks for all your LIKES and comments. They keep me writing this blog.


One thought on “Dogs Laugh: Photo Friday

  1. My dog smiles with his tail, sometimes his whole body wiggles, sometimes he does this funny growl thing that comes from his belly. But His bark usually means he wants something or is has seen something that bothers. him.


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