Around the World in 180 Days

A journey across the Atlantic and into matrimony

Spot the Difference January 31, 2010

Filed under: daily life — rhet @ 1:00 pm

I keep meaning to (and attempting to) write posts about the wedding but after having devoted so much time and mental real estate to that one big day, I just haven’t been up for it.  So, in the meantime I’ll write a bit more about being an American in the UK.

Dogs are almost never on leashes here. When I first arrived, it really freaked me out. Like seeing a small child with no parent nearby makes you feel anxious, and concerned.   In the States a dog off its leash is either a possibly dangerous stray to avoid or has an irresponsible owner and should still be avoided. It shocked me that people would let their precious pets wander on busy streets without a leash or put themselves in a position of zero control should their dog go for someone.  However, I’ve come to realize that almost every dog I’ve seen has been the absolute picture of obedience. None have seemed wild or out of control or even remotely interested in harassing strangers. I’ve even seen a few sitting patiently outside of shops waiting for their owners!

I think this demonstrates a difference between the the laws in the US and the UK because here, they seemed to be designed to let people be responsible for their actions where in the US, its more policing people into correct behaviour.  This is also the sentiment behind letting people drink at a younger age in Europe.

It seems odd to me then that people are so obsessed with calling the UK communist for having an NHS when its the US that uses legislation to try and protect people from themselves.

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6 Responses to “Spot the Difference”

  1. It amazes me the number of people over here who just open the door and let their dog out to roam . . . We had to threaten one of our neighbors with the animal control officer before he finally activated the Invisible Fence he’d had installed – his dog’s behavior terrified some of the children in the neighborhood and he just didn’t ‘get it’. Fortunately we were able to invoke the town’s leash law.

    • the wife Says:

      Yeah, when I was growing up, one of our neighbors would let his dog out and it would chase me around the neighborhood and the owner would just watch and laugh as I ran around terrified.

      Obviously not everyone has perfectly behaved dogs in the UK (as is demonstrated on the tv show Its Me or the Dog) but I’m certainly glad they’re pretty good here in Glasgow

  2. Mary Says:

    I love the NHS. Since moving here its been a Godsend! I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want this when they can’t afford insurance?

  3. the wife Says:

    I agree! All of my experiences with health care so far here have been great.

  4. DaviMack Says:

    I was showing a picture of my father-in-law to a couple guys the other day. He was out walking his dogs, and my sis took a shot, ’cause he looked so happy. First thing out of these guys’ mouths? “What kind of dogs are those? Are they shepherds?” They are IN LOVE with their working dogs, here, and a poorly trained dog makes the owner look really bad.

    Truly: since we’ve been gone, BlueCross in California has raised rates by over 100%. When we left, it was cheaper to pay for a PhD and 2 flights home per year, just to be covered by NHS, than it was to buy health insurance in California. Now? Well, now we could fly home every 3 weeks and still come out ahead.

    • Carlie Says:

      Yeah, health care in the States is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve never had insurance because my parents have always been self-employed (which means the prices are even higher for them!) so the NHS has been excellent. Really don’t get why people are dragging their feet on that one in the US.


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