Every single person that knew me wondered why I had chosen such a name for my dog. I always told them I didn’t really choose the name. Instead, he had been the one to choose it. I remember very well. I had been walking for a long time and was really hungry but didn’t know my surroundings at all. I had been living in that city for almost a year but the part of town I was in was not very well known to me. To be honest, it wasn’t one of those popular tourist destinations. It was one of those places people go very randomly or that locals know but no one else. I considered myself more of a local back then.
I was lost and hungry and started to wander the streets trying to look for anything in order to calm my stomach. I found a closed supermarket and a closed restaurant and then I realized I had become lost in the worst day possible for the place I was in: Sunday. Nothing opened on Sunday, nothing at all. Maybe a couple of little supermarkets down in the tourist area but in that neighborhood I had so stupidly stepped in, there was nothing at all on such a day.
How did I forget that? I have no idea. But the truth was I grew more and more desperate as the minutes passed. To make things worse, the clouds in the sky were staring to move and the sun, shiny and big as it looked, started to shine strongly above me. The temperature rose steadily until I had to walk back to a park I had seen before in order to sit down on a park bench beneath a tree, where I could at least try to make a plan or think of something to do in that case.
It was then when I met him. He just came up to me out of nowhere and I swear I never saw anyone around us in that moment. He was a very short dog, the kind that had a lot of fur and tiny legs and paws and also a very small head. His fur was a combination of orange and white and I could easily notice he hadn’t been bathed in quite a while. He just sidled up to me and sat on the floor, also avoiding the sunlight.
At first, I didn’t much for him. He was just a dog in a park, nothing too uncommon up to that point. It was when I stood up and walked to were I thought I had seen a metro station when things got really interesting. I did find the station and, luckily, I had one last trip in my metro card. It would help me go back home and eat around there or something.
It wasn’t until I was inside the train and sat down (not many people on Sunday), that I noticed the dog had followed me and sat just below the seats in front of me, as a way for me to notice him. I realized that from the first moment I saw him there, putting his small him on his paws, waiting for the train to arrive to its destination.
After thirty minutes, I was back where I knew where everything was and where I could trust I could find some nice food. I was so eager to eat that, again, I forgot about the dog. I climbed the stairs to the street as fast as I could and started looking around me as if I was hunting some rare type of animal.
Sure enough, I found a place were they did a very attractive fried chicken with French fries. It was perfect for my hunger, as my belly growled more and more loudly. Even people around me in the train could hear it complain. It was very embarrassing and I didn’t acknowledge any of it, instead playing the “I have no idea what’s happening” card. I sat on a table in front of the restaurant and asked for a lemonade to have with my beverage, as I was really thirsty too.
As I waited for my chicken, I noticed that part of town was as dead as the rest of it. There were a couple of business open but the amount of people in them was very sad. People were apparently very tied to their traditions and refused to change them for nothing, even if it could benefit them somehow. I could never get used to that as those are not my traditions but I think it’s interesting how people are sometimes. They keep amazing me.
The other creature that amazed me was that damn dog from the park. As I was wondering about people of that city, I noticed something was under the other chair by the table. As I looked down, I saw it lying down exactly as I had done in the train. Just then, the waiter came with my lemonade and my lunch/dinner. I was so hungry I forgot about the dog in two seconds, digging in mercilessly.
When I was halfway through my meal, I realized the dog had crawled out of under the chair and had decided to sit down by me watching me eat. Clearly it was the sign that meant, “Feed me”. At first, I really thought I wouldn’t give him a single piece of chicken. Not only because I was very hungry but also because the dog’s insistence on following me was very bothering. Besides, there was also the fact that I had no idea who the owner of the animal was and if it was a good thing for me to give him some chicken.
Finally, I decided to give him a little piece of chicken. I threw it just in front of him but, to my surprise, that damn dog didn’t seem to care for chicken. I did the same thing with half a French fry and nothing; he just didn’t seem to care about any of it. Then why was he following me and staring at me as I ate? What the hell was wrong with him?
Suddenly, the creature did something I wasn’t expected and that confused me even further: it got up on its to back legs and put the other two on my thigh, looking at me with his small black eyes. I was absolutely confused. He was begging or apparently that was the case but I had already given him food and he didn’t care for that. So what did he want it?
I decided to keep eating my meal. I would finish it and just go home. I had no time or desire to be guessing a dog’s needs or wishes. I had never really had a pet at home, except the rabbit that had died five days after my father had brought it for my sibling and me. Besides that, my relationship with animals had been very rare. Maybe when I visited my friends who had dogs or cats, that was really my only interaction with other species. Besides that, nothing.
The dog did the thigh thing a couple times more but I didn’t even acknowledge it. I finished the chicken, which was delicious, and ate the last couple of fries with some mustard, which was my favorite. I called the waiter in order to ask for the check and I just exhaled in a very content manner as I had fulfilled my wish for the afternoon. Thankfully, the sun was beginning to be covered by clouds again so I did not have to worry about sweating all the way home.
When I reached for my glass of lemonade to finish it, the dog went crazy. Not inly he touched my thigh again, he started jumping up and down as if he was doing some kind of show. I took a look around me and realized there was no one else watching besides me, no one to testify to how crazy that damn dog was.
It took me a while to realize that the key to his response had been the lemonade. So, feeling curious, I poured some of it in small saucer that the waiter had left on the next table and just put it in front of the dog. Sure enough, the little creature drank the lemonade in a couple of seconds. I was so entertained by watching him drink such a thing, that I poured twice more, give him the last of my beverage.
After I paid, I thought the dog would stay there but, for some reason, he kept following me. I had no idea why I did it but I let it happen. I didn’t try to scare him of or anything and when we got to my building, I let him pass inside.
He has been living with me for a year now. His name is Lemonade. And I have to say he’s one funny dog. Not only because of how I met him but because he seems to know things I haven’t even realized yet. Somehow, he’s more human than you, me and all others.