Chapter 8 
(June 2015):

Good Girl Goes to Groningen


Mummy took my crate out of the car. What? Canít I go along? Then she put a strange harness on me and hooked me into the seat belt on the back seat. Off we went. With Aunt Uschi on my right and Mummy on my left, I didnít have a lot of the seat to stretch out on (Iím a BIG girl now, 8 months old and practically finished growing. Iím long!), so I put my head on one of their legs, trading off every now and then to get a more comfortable position.

After two hours, we stopped at a highway rest area and Mummy said, Ągo piddleď, so I did. Back in the car and on the road. Soon we disembarked in a parking ramp and they took me along in my Sunday Wheaten Terrier collar and leash! Market! A hundred times as big as the ones in Bassum and Syke, where I practiced as a baby puppy, and full of people and bicycles, baby strollers and electrocarts. There are so many bicycles in Dutch cities that you canít imagine anyone being left to drive a car. In fact, there are more bikes registered than population!

Market! Itís Matjes season and the best Matjes are in Holland. The very best are at the market in Groningen. Matjes are virgin herring, marinated in brine. They are not cooked, but are not raw. Huh? We headed straight for that stand and the humans stood at a table and each ate a Matjes, swishing it in chopped onions and holding it up by the tail, the authentic Dutch way. All thatís left is the tail and the spine. Like cats do in the cartoons.  Mummy gave me a cookie.

Having put in an order for 40 Matjes in an hour (They are gutted on demand.), we Ądidď the veggie and fruit stands: pak choi, artichokes, eggplant, sugar peas, cherries, Ö until all hands and Mummyís backpack were full. The loot was carried back to the car. Mummy was very impressed that she could carry bags in both hands and still have me on the leash, because I was so cooperative. Next year I will wear my saddlebags from GrŠinne and help with the schlepping.

We all trooped off to a cafť for a drink of water or coffee. The waitress brought me my own bowl of water. Mummy gave me a cookie. I stayed calmly with Daddy while Mummy checked out the facilities, furnished like an Irish pub! Then it was back to the market. Three of my four humans were astounded that I could walk so nicely next to Mummy in such a crowd. Mummy knew that that was why Trainer Annika had sent us to practise in local markets and city streets when I first moved to Bramstedt.  Daddy and Gregor both remarked about how well-behaved I was. Mummy was proud and thrilled that I didnít have any trouble with the crowds and never pulled on the leash; Aunt Uschi took pictures for my homepage.

We did the cheese and bread stands and then the flower market. Mummy found the biggest EdelweiŖ she had ever seen. I stayed at her side.  Back to pick up the Matjes and buy fresh fish at the next stand. Mackerel to grill for supper. A side of salmon for graved lachs. I got a cookie.

No wonder my crate had to be removed; the trunk of my station wagon was full of goodies and pretties. On the way home they stopped at the first rest area for me to piddle (In Groningen we were only on pavement.)  Mummy said, ĄGo piddleď. I did. At home we grilled the mackerel on the terrace in my backyard and I got to try one bite for having been such a good girl.  After all, Iím a teenager. ;-)

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