I’d like to say we have a lazy day, but we don’t. The morning is filled with things we need to do but the late afternoon is lazy. Our second day home, Wendy says-
“Let’s take him to the dog park.”
“The one across the street?”
“No, the one by the Temple de Diebold where that little café is.”
“I don’t know if he can walk that far.”
“If he can’t we’ll stop and rest and get him some water and come home.”
I am dubious, and as usual, wrong. I come from a cautious family and I can’t help it. The safe route always seems smart to me. 99% of the time, I am wrong, so I have learned to just go along with what Wendy suggests and it usually works out just fine.
Thor still hates the stairs but I hold his harness and guide him down, letting him know I’m there to support him. He hugs the wall, as far away from the hole that leads to the bottom floor as possible. He stops at every door as if to ask “In here?”
No. Keep going.
On the street he is not frightened of the cars, or the people, or the noise, or the other dogs, or, well, anything. He prances along, head and tail wagging side to side, sniffing everything, leading the way, taking brief sniffs of people as they walk by, ignoring other dogs, weaving through people traffic like he was born in the city, eyes wide with excitement. He leads the way to the little café, ten feet ahead of us the whole time. It is two miles and by the time we get there his tongue is lolling out as far as it can go but his face is bright with excitement.
Wendy has smartly bought a portable cloth water bowl which I fill up in the restroom. He sits under the table, watches everything go by, eats his ice cream (which we bought to cool him off) drinks his water and smiles. He barks at nothing. We feed him bits of tuna and bread.
This might be okay…
It has now been almost three weeks.
We could not ask for a better dog. He walks like he has no limit. He smiles like he enjoys everything. He quietly goes to sleep under our table while we have paella or jamon or tuna. He does his taxes when and where I tell him to. He has mastered the steps in all of two tries and now bounds up and down them like he has lived here all his life. He sleeps on the bed with us, joins us on the couch, and could not be a more perfect child. (Well, he could kick a little less in his sleep actually.)
Lena found us an English speaking vet, close to the house, that boards dogs for up to months at a time. They even pick-up the dog and deliver it back to you if you don’t have a car! He was boarded this weekend, picked up and returned by a very sweet English girl and came back fatter than when we left him, chipped for Spain and his teeth were cleaned for free.
As usual in life, everything I worried about has turned out to be smoke.