Land of Fire and Ice


The American Canine has been on the road! I took an amazing trip to Iceland, Finland, Russia, and Estonia. All of these incredible destinations have long and interesting histories with dogs. 

Our first stop was Reykjavic Iceland. We spent only a day there which was not nearly enough time to do anything but get a feel for the capital of this island country. You don’t see a lot of dogs in Reykjavic, possible because it was was illegal to have dogs in the city from 1924 until 1984.

No Dogs sign
Shop cat

The ban did not come from some strange hatred of man’s best friend, but from growth and development of the city in the industrial age. As the city quickly grew from a little fishing village into a modern city, the booming population created massive amounts of garbage. This drew many strays which became a real health problem. Working and herding dogs were allowed in rural areas, but the city became mostly dogless during that time. In those years, the cat became the pet of choice for Icelanders, which remains true today. 

Walking the cat coffee advertisement

We did see a couple dogs in the city, including (coincidentally) one German Shepherd, and many canines in the art and decor.

If you want to learn more about Iceland, especially about visiting this amazing land of fire and ice, shooting locations of Game of Thrones, and its countless natural geysers and lagoons, just follow this link. 

From there we headed over to Helsinki, where we got a chance to see a few more European pups. I’ll talk more about that next week.

Until then, have a great week and get out there do something with your dog!


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