2020: the best year (for our dogs)

I wouldn’t like you to think I decided to exclude the rest of all the pets with just one struck. In this text I also picture my cats, each day more pampered and dependent to my presence since the freelance life begun in 2019, the ferrets, parakeets, goldfishes, hamsters.

But also the kids, the parents, the couples which only saw each other before going to bed, at the end of the day; the plants, who discovered it is possible to receive water and care at the recommended frequency. This was, too, a great year for the postponed projects, like those books on the corner, waiting for «more time», or the dusty brushes, the saved yoga videos in the YouTube profile until they, finally, were played — and followed — . And what about the long phone calls with faraway loved ones, the home repairs that were not urgent, but were about to turn into a catastrophe.

It was a nice year in which we learnt to handle different kinds of duel, since the smallest one until the most devastating, the one we kept for years, the one we thought we wouldn’t have to face because work, traffic, chores, homework, cooking, the dishes and the walks with the dog will keep our attention away from it. Something our dogs (and cats, goldfishes, kids and plants) noticed very well, because, all of the sudden we didn’t show up with the smartphone in our hand. Because we took the longest route back hoome and we started to talk with them in the middle of the afternoon, inside a silence impossible to fill with our favorite song or the dialogues of a series on the background.

New threads of communication were created, right? Dogs learnt new tones in our voices, new looks to the emptiness of a naked wall. «Something’s wrong with this one», «This woman hasn’t been this quite for so long before», «Something is broken». So they came closer, put one paw on over our knee and offered a glance which, we didn’t notice before, was the one we’ve been missing for months, since the beginning of the confinement, even though we couldn’t put a name on it: empathy. «You just feel like I always did», the dogs in our homes said. And then the cats, though I can’t prove it, stopped judging and took their place on our lap, like saying: «Look: to me, it was just a matter of sharing warmth with you. Give me a couple of minutes and you’ll see».

Plants learnt to wave back when we passed them in the way from the living room to the kitchen. That sort of high-five became a ritual. The goldfishes? They raise the eyebrows as an aknowledgement, just like the vatos at the licor store around the corner, the ones we’re afraid of when we go there at night. The kids? I’ll leave that to you, since you’re already parents and everything.

Anyway, this 2020, the year we just burnt to the bone because it reminded us that we’re bags of ground meat ready to rot, was the best ever for our dogs and cats and goldfishes. I don’t know about you, but I doubt many people will have the heart (ice cold heart, that is) to come back to those long hours in the office, miles away form the pet’s favorite chair. It will be a year dogs will remember all of their lives as the Golden Age, and damned those who dare to stop it.

*This is a translation from the original I pusblished at the begining of the year

Escribo. Tengo gatos. Amo el queso.

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