As when entering any new city, the first thing I hit up was the free walking tour. I guess I underestimated the craziness of backpacking with a dog because I was immediately asked questions by several people. Most of which heard my American accent and said "wait, you're traveling with your dog??".
After the tour, a few of us (one Kiwi and two Czech girls) decided to grab some lunch which soon turned into drinks and ultimately (of course) ended in waffle time.
Lucky for the Kiwi and I, one of the Czech girls had been living in Antwerp for years and invited us over the following day to show us around.
What a special day it was. We were given a unique tour of the city, had some delicious falafel at falafeltof and got to spend yet another day with these fabulous people. Olive and I are very lucky.
And to think I was worried we wouldn't make friends as easily. I would actually argue that I made friends much faster with her than without.
So as a first day on my blind barkpacking experiment, I would say don't stress about finding young people to hang out with. If you have a dog, they will find YOU.