On Monday the 23rd of March 2020, the government declared a state of confinement. They had been trying to avoid it or push it as late as possible, but it was inevitable, and they finally came to terms with it. The announcement was made at 8.30pm by the prime minister, on TV. I don’t have a TV, but I have friends who have and that kept me on the loop.
Earlier that day I’d had to cancel yet another trip I had planned and made me reach the conclusion that, since the universe kept fucking with my plans, the universe could well go fuck itself. I was going to isolate, not because of the Covid-19, not because of the government’s guidelines, but because I was fed up with getting all muy plans crushed, one by one, and with them all my dreams and hopes.
That very day I also decided I wanted a pet.
I had always wanted a dog, as I am a dog person, although lately I had been entertaining the idea of getting a cat. They can be cute, that is undeniable, and they are also more independent, which in normal circumstances is desirable. But then they are maybe too independent and totally ignore you and love you only on their own terms. My self-esteem was resenting itself due to all my crushed plans and hopes and so I realised I needed unconditional love, therefore I needed a dog.
I quickly looked online and saw this cute dog, Sprite, gorgeous lurcher of sandy colour and clever eyes, age between 3 and 5, and I knew she was the one. I called the dog rehoming centre, they only accepted visits with previous appointment, given the circumstances, and I reassured them that I was going to walk out of there with a dog, quite possibly Sprite.
They asked me if I had a garden, I said I had a back garden, which is true, although is a common one and I never use it, because I never feel like it. I also said my flat is big and I am home a lot.
Like everybody these days, the smartass on the phone said with a monotone voice. Yeah, like everybody these days, but I also work from home, in general, I answered with a superiority tone. Ah, right, the guy replied. Normally, he told me, they would run so many checks on me, but they couldn’t have people going to people’s houses these days, which worked out great for me, as they were just happy to rehome a dog. Good, it will be quite possibly Sprite, I assured him. They gave me an appointment for the following day.
Funny name that one, I wonder who came up with it, who named my future dog, was it a previous owner or the smartass on the phone or any other volunteer with the intention to be funny? I suppose that adopting a dog from these kind of rehoming centres has its disadvantages, like the rehomed dogs come with their baggage of trauma or/and an ugly name, or/and a trauma for having an ugly name… I was a bit disappointed about the name, I must confess.
I always thought I would call my dog Clyde, because I love rivers and I also love Glasgow, but then Clyde is more of a male name. I also used to amuse myself thinking I would have not one, but two dogs, by the names of Ben and Nevis or something like that. Maybe I am a bit of a smartass myself. Anyway, I didn’t think changing the name of the dog was a possibility, so I kept repeating the name in my head, trying to get used to it. I better get used to it, I thought. But then, I thought too, imagine I don’t connect with Sprite and I have to leave with another dog for whose name I was not prepared…
Enough, I said to myself, get a grip, get there first. I thought I would probably get a lead at the rehoming centre, and what else did I need? Realistically a mat for the dog to lie on, a couple of plates or bowls for the drink and food, food, of course, and maybe balls. I only needed to get dog food, then. I don’t know why, but I have plenty of balls, it has always been a very odd hobby of mine, collecting balls, of different sizes, colours and purpose. Stupid, I know. So I went to the shop and I got a sack of dog food. This new goal of mine of having a pet, I realised then, was breaking off right from the beginning my other my goal of isolation, and that would continue to be the case, as I would have to walk the dog, but then I really didn’t care anymore.
I suppose I had lost faith on my own ability to get things done or goals didn’t matter anymore. It was better to go with the flow and to avoid people, in general. I came back home with the dog food and looked at the site again, looked at Sprite and thought: tomorrow, you and me, baby, you and me against the world.
To Be Continued (potentially).