One of the things visitors from outside Germany appreciate about Berlin is its liberal attitude towards anything that concerns people’s personal freedom, be that to be able to drink alcohol on the street or on the Underground, be that the non-existing closing hours for clubs, or be that the fact that smoking in bars is still allowed – unlike in most every other country in the Western hemisphere. Or: Be that the fact that in Berlin dog owners are allowed to walk their dogs without a leash.

Seems, exactly this “personal freedom” is now coming to a rapid end when, on January 1st, a new law kicks in, requiring all dog owners to keep their doggies ON a leash! I’m under distinct the impression that due to a few “black sheep” among the more than 100,000 dog owners in this city – I’m referring to those that are either incapable or too lazy to train their dogs accordingly – the rest of us, clearly the majority, will now have to pay the price for the irresponsible attitude of just a few.

But then, why not ban car-driving?

Or drinking alcohol?

Or – and that would,for once, be a really useful idea! – the possession of fireworks and fire crackers?

In all of the above listed cases there are countless examples over the course of one year, of accidents as well as irresponsible behavior that ranges from the untoward to the downright criminal. And yet, none of it gets banned. In some cases with good reason, in the case of the possession of fireworks and fire crackers I’m not so sure … … However, I can’t help thinking that the Dog Lobby is either not powerful enough or that else, the Berlin Senate doesn’t have any more pressing problems to deal with.

But hang on a minute … … wasn’t there something about an airport that should have been completed in 2011 …? Or a housing shortage which is about to reach fever pitch …? And so on … … the list is endless!


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