That time Winston and I moved to Rembrandt’s old hood and tried to fit in

If you follow us on Instagram, you may have noticed I’m a bit between cities at the moment. That’s because a few months ago I rented out my place, packed up my pup, bid a temporary adieu to the city I’ve called home for the last decade, and moved from Chicago to Amsterdam. Looking back I realize how daunting this move was; it is not an exaggeration to say it took almost a full year for this to play out, from making the initial decision for Mr. Sir Dogwood to accept his new job offer, to figuring out what to do with our place, to shipping our things overseas before we signed a lease on a new apartment (feeling a wave of anxiety even just writing that last point as it was probably the most difficult part for me! “Alright ma’am, we’re going to take all your belongings, put them on a truck, then load them on a train, then put them on a boat, then ship them across the Atlantic, and you’ll totally see everything you own again in a couple months in the Netherlands.” Ok but will I though?).

I travel back and forth between the two cities pretty regularly as Sir Dogwood is still based in Chicago (shout out to my brilliant Operations Assistant who is holding down the fort!), but after a few months of getting settled in I’m finally feeling more and more like our new little apartment is home. I’m still trying to determine the exact date our place was built, but shout out to Rembrandt who, after going bankrupt in 1655, packed up his family and left their mansion in their richie-rich canal belt neighborhood for a more modest rented flat two streets over from where we live now in the Jordaan.


Not Chicago.

And what about my fur bae? Well, Winston has taken the move in stride I’m happy to report. The process for traveling from the US to the EU with a pup doesn’t require a quarantine - just had to schedule a quick vet check-up, update some health documents, add him to our flight reservation and he was good to go. Another bonus - Amsterdam is a ridiculously dog-friendly city. Pups are generally allowed everywhere as long as they’re on-leash. This includes on all public transportation and in most stores and cafes - the exception being places like museums and grocery stores, which is totally understandable.  Winston is slowly getting acclimated to the neighborhood - the owner of our local dry cleaners gives him treats whenever he sees us walk by, he’s getting used to riding around town in a puppy backpack until we get a more permanent basket affixed to our bike, and he’s fremenies with a fluffy orange cat I’ve named Garfield who can't seem to help himself from wandering into our garden. We recently scored Winston a pet passport so he can accompany us when traveling within the EU, which is a concept (and I think we can all agree on this), that is as useful as it is adorable.


Winston taking it all in. 


Can we pause and discuss how well behaved dogs are here? A quick google search results in a ton of articles on why European dogs are seemingly so much more chill than dogs back home. The most popular theory is that because dogs are welcome pretty much everywhere, they’re constantly experiencing new and varied sources of stimulation which, after years of exposure essentially makes them jaded. They’ve seen it all honey! Let’s just say Winston has a long way to go before he blends in as seamlessly as I’d like (he’s literally the only dog who chases the pigeons at the park while the other dogs stare and silently judge him). We may never fit in perfectly at our new dog park but I can certainly get behind being able to take him pretty much everywhere I go. A gal’s gotta keep her crazy dog mom cred intact.

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