It's a (better) dog's life

I FEEL I must reply to Ian Halliday’s letter (France is not a dog-loving nation, November).

I have been living in Nord - Pas-de-Calais since 1973, and while I recognise the picture he paints was like that when I arrived here, things have dramatically changed since.

We have owned a dog since 1974, and I walked her as I always did when in the UK, but at that time I was a very rare bird. People just opened their door, and let their dog out.

I had to travel a long way to the vet, as vets only had farm animal practices. How things have changed – nowadays there are two small animal vets in our small town. People who have dogs walk them regularly. and we have boarding kennels.

My husband has been to dog training with our latest rescue, there were at least nine other people there with their young dogs to learn to be sociable.

Of course, we can take our dog to any restaurant, as it is assumed we possess a well-behaved animal.

If Mr Halliday had lived here for half as long as I have, in a non-rural area, he might see how people’s attitude to their pets have changed.

Ricky Beets, Nord

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