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The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has long been one of my favourites, however on a recent visit I noticed something that has even more firmly cemented it into my Top 5 – the dogs.

Like many nationalities, the Dutch love their dogs.  It’s not often you go out into a green space in the Netherlands without seeing someone walking along with their best friend by their side (and unfortunately leaving the evidence behind to step in!) and even today a little terrier was sat up at the table with their owner enjoying lunch in a busy cafe.

What I hadn’t considered however, even after seeing their current joy of all things canine, was just how entrenched dogs were in the Dutch way of life.  So much so that even 16th century painters could barely portray an everyday scene without man’s best friend featuring somewhere.

There were droopy-eyed hounds,IMG_1684

scrounging thieves, IMG_1690

unfortunate mutts with regrettable grooming, IMG_1689

hopefuls waiting for handouts,IMG_1705

dogs enjoying a day at the beach,IMG_1693

dogs chasing ghost dogs (?!),IMG_1698

pups in that awkward not-a-puppy-but-not-fully-grown phase,IMG_1674

and just about every other scenario any dog owner would recognise.  In a tribute to the Dutch Masters and their hairy friends, here is a small collection of the Dogs of the Rijksmuseum…

 

 

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