Wolves Are Not Pets

Why do the strangest things happen to us?

We’ve had pretty calm Eurail experiences so far. We’ve sat with an 18-year-old British kid, 18-year-old Canadian guys and by ourselves.

But the trip to Munich was not really what we expected on a Sunday morning.

The thing about the Eurail pass is that we don’t make reservations. You can pay extra for them but you don’t need them for most trains. You just write down on your Eurail ticket sheet where you’re going and it gets you on.

However, anyone can book a reservation and if they do, you can’t sit in their assigned seat. It’s a little nerve racking. Most of the time it is listed above the seat if it’s reserved but several times it’s not, or people just don’t sit where it says it’s reserved.

On the train to Munich, there were seats like on a normal train but there were also compartments that looked straight out of Harry Potter. We found one that was free without any reservations listed so we put our stuff down and claimd it as ours.

And of course, I had to take a Harry Potter-esque photo. Apologies for my appearance. I hadn’t showered for two days. I’m a dirty backpacker, give me a break!


We got on the train pretty early in order to find a seat. Most people kept passing by our compartment even though there were six more free seats in it. We hoped whoever chose to sit with us was as fun as our last few train companions.

Then Dohnalova stopped by our door, with two of the largest wolves I’ve ever seen.

Yes, wolves.

She asked, in Czech, if she could join us with her dogs. As I started to try to climb out the window in fear, I mumbled that we didn’t speak Czech so in broken English she asked.

Chelsea about jumped out of her seat to make room. She’s probably said three times a day since we’ve left the states that she misses dogs. We did not get rabies shots because they’re so expensive so when she starts walking toward a random dog, I pull her by her hair to stay back. I’m not sitting in a German hospital just because she couldn’t keep her paws off a rabid mut!

I love dogs. Don’t get me wrong. My family has two golden retrievers that are my little boo boos. But I don’t really love dogs I don’t know. That look like wolves. In a foreign country. With an owner that barely speaks English and looks like Ms. Trunchbull from “Matilda.”

No, really. She is Ms. Trunchbull. I’m going to look up who played her and I’m sure I’ll find Dohnalova’s name.

Back to the wolves.

She informed us that her dogs were two years old and six months old and are a German Shepherd, wolf mix. Apparently they’re the most common Czech dog.

A. Wolves are not pets. They’re wild animals. B. German Shepherds don’t exactly have the best track record of being kind, gentle dogs.

So, like I said, I love dogs, but I was very nervous about Dohnalova’s dogs. They had giant metal muzzles over their mouths but I was still worried. She could take those muzzles off at any minute and sic them on us!


They also smelled pretty awful. If I was going to have sit on that stuffy train for six hours, those guys were going to need a bath. And to stop farting.

They were very well behaved and very friendly. Every time they got close to our feet, Dohanlova would yank them back and scream at them in Czech.

Chelsea was totally egging them on too! Begging them to get close to her so she could pet them. I’m surprised she didn’t let one sit on her lap! I only pet them a few times. I like my hands and kind of need them for the rest of my life, but thanks.

No one else joined us in our compartment (you’re shocked, I know) so it was just us, Dohnalova (aka Ms. Trunchbull!) and the wolves.

When the train started to move, they freaked out a little bit, which again, made me nervous. They started jumping on the seats and poking the window with their noses. But Dohnalova wasn’t taking any of their crap so she yanked them back to the floor and they laid down. Like I said, very well trained and behaved. Dohnalova should come take care of my parent’s dogs! They could use a little discipline.


She gave me her card. It had the usual stuff on it. Email, website, phone number, name, etc. But it also had a photo of two of her wolf dogs fighting.


“Do you think she trains these wolf dogs to fight?” I texted to Chels on my phone.

“No, I think she’s just a breeder.”

The jury is still out for me. I like you Dohnalova but I need more evidence.

Either way, I still have my hands so that’s cool by me. She only traveled with us for about an hour and a half before getting off so that was nice too. The second she left our compartment we opened the windows to air out the awful dog smell.

Now, what will the overnight train to Zurich bring us!?

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