Recently, I have spent some time walking a dog. I stress, dear reader, that I haven’t lassoed a stray for the purpose. No, this is an animal slowly becoming my own – being, as she is, the ward of my girlfriend, Marta. It is with some interest, and no little amusement, that I realise Bajka, our doggy protagonist, has the personality of a toddler with all too easy access to a gallery of sugary drinks. An explosion of energy followed by an altogether more sedate nap.
This afternoon, as I waited beneath Marta’s flat, Bajka emerged from the stairwell with all the speed and purpose of a ginger bullet, her slender guardian of a “mother” pulled behind in her wake. Once the pleasantries had been adhered to (jumping, wagging, howling, barking, running, and eating – in that order) Marta and I set to walk Bajka around the less than perilous streets of Słodowiec.
Having once looked upon this paragon of canine charm with less than adoring eyes – frankly I once, astonishingly, thought her less than aesthetically agreeable – I realised, as her diminutive legs padded along with deft conviction, I was in love. Spending more time with this occasionally terrifying – and occasionally terrified – creature is turning me into that most sneered upon character: the cat-AND-dog person.
Now, I no longer know which way to turn. At home, I have a small, erratic, black devil to keep me company, and I love her dearly but she treats me with the disdain you would expect from a 4 year old cat. “Food, or you are dead to me”. And away, I have this panting, wagging, ball of childlike exuberance desperate to impress. Mind you, the prospect of bringing them together, does not fill mother or father with particular joy.
An early memory of my love for Bajka will forever be tied to an early memory of my niece Charlotte as a toddler. On both occasions I’m out with their respective mothers. On both occasions there was a lot of running around. And on both occasions, a lot of sleeping afterwards.