Friday, December 15, 2006
Country Pup in the Big City
We’ve noted that Levon loves living in Asturias. For a dog, what’s not to like?
He chases his tennis ball and rides the surf at the San Pedro beach, he walks along the cliffs to the Faro Vidio, and he wanders around the Molino and its grounds day and night, according to his whims. After his traumatic plane ride across the Atlantic almost a year ago, he probably thought he’d landed in heaven.
Last week, things changed. We had avoided taking Levon to Madrid with us because, with his fear of climbing stairs, we figured we’d never get him up the five flights to our piso. And if we did somehow manage that, we couldn’t imagine repeating it several times a day for walks, bladder relief, and the rest.
But Levon is a different creature since coming to Spain; he’s changed a lot more than I thought he (or any dog) could. As the months have passed, the notion of at least attempting a trip to Madrid with him has seemed less and less crazy.
So we finally tried it.
Last Saturday, after a five-hour drive down and another half an hour trying to find a parking spot, Levon and I approached Almendro 27. With some hope but realistic expectations, I opened the building’s large front door and plunged ahead. I’d decided that I would walk swiftly up the stairs and simply tolerate no lagging or resistance from Levon.
To make a long story short (and sweet), Levon went up and down those stairs dozens of times without a hitch. He was certainly anxious at times, and when we reached the top he always wanted to get inside the apartment door as quickly as possible. But a trip that I had accepted might be a drive down to Madrid and back to Asturias the same day, turned into a week and a half of pleasure (for us) and adventure (for him—and us).
Sunday morning we took him along the Calle Belén to the Royal Palace and the Plaza del Oriente. At first skittish about all the loud noises and sudden movements of the city, Levon quickly realized that he could run and play here, too (if he could just sneak past those pesky Guardia Civil).
And when he was ready for a nap, he found that a bed under the living room window suited him fine.
I think we all expanded our horizons a bit. And Levon, at times the most stubborn dog in the world, discovered that even in Madrid, there’s a place for him.