After so many months of Miradouro, I’ve learned to recognize people and dogs also walking there. I don’t pay much attention to the fluffy little ones (I am talking dogs, of course), but I know most of the large ones, particularly Labradors, a breed that I like. Max is the star among them, a promising black Labrador with 8 months.
As I don’t know most of them by names, I usually give them names matching their personalities. Sad, for instance, is an average golden Labrador lifelessly walking all his sadness from one extreme of Miradouro to the other. I know the lady owner of this dog, but lately someone else has been holding the leash.
Wrong is a spotty Labrador, always displaying a miserable posture. This dog attracted my attention because he walks towards one direction, while the person holding the leash walks towards a different one. It looks like she is pulling the world instead of a dog.
On a given April day, I abruptly interrupted my walk to witness something unbelievable: Sad and Wrong playing together on the grass, leash free. The sigh was truly amazing because both dogs seemed completely different: happy, energetic, playful… I just couldn’t stop staring. And what I was witnessing wasn’t a mirage: Sad looked happy and Wrong looked right!
From those few minutes I concluded a few things, and mainly one: leashes don’t suit some dogs. Their personality changes with or without them. My dog Thoth, for instance, doesn’t change because of a leash. In fact, dogs’ reactions and personalities are completely different.
That same day I had another surprise. After months of curious and cautious friendship, rebellious toddler Katherine also changed. During months our relationship was all about questions and answers. Then, the same day Sad and Wrong showed their best mood, Katherine asked me: “Upa!” Upa is a colloquial Portuguese word, surely imported from the English. As it is evident, she wanted to be lifted.
Once in my arms, the “little lioness” was another surprise: hugs, kisses… A truly sweet little girl! And when after all that bout of tenderness I tried to discover what on earth had happened, she explained to me: “You let me play with your iPod and my brother doesn’t.”
That’s how a few daily minutes of borrowing my iPod conquered Katherine’s heart. At least Katherine was clear when she explained her sudden love and effusiveness: I deserve more than her own brother!
The image shows Sad and a Redgeback dog, also playing.