Holiday, autumn cool on the first day of May. For the first time in weeks. So the animal and I are not on the run from unmanageable numbers of strollers as we usually do. Everyone now goes for walks from morning to evening, especially those who don’t have a dog. Walking and eating are the hobbies of the hour. If you eat too much, you have to go for a walk all the faster, even run a walk. On weekdays there are people in significant numbers where nobody else is. When they’re not walking, they stand around rooted to the spot yelling something to each other. This is not a loud conflict, but a chat, which is now a ruse because of the distance rules. So we always have to surf the roots and that where Panini and I couldn’t run a “figure eight” years ago in the dog school. So I hold my breath, dive under the chat aerosol and hope that the animal doesn’t just now discover a rice cone that has fallen out of a stroller and stop by the roadside. There are now prams and rice cakes everywhere. Going for a walk is not the same anymore.
Sometimes I switch to the rooted side myself and give a little scribble. After all, the dog people in the neighborhood are now one of the few people you meet, if only by chance and without intent. Then we assure each other how glad we are that we have our animals, which we have already insured ourselves before. “Basically, you’re never alone,” we say, nodding conspiratorially to each other. And the dogs nudge us or sit on our feet to demonstrate what they think of contact restrictions. Sometimes the bun lies down straight away during such conversations, because it has hay fever and is therefore quickly exhausted. The little piebald rubber stopper nose often runs out, as does the tears from the brown eyes, and in the evenings Panini snores as if she wanted to compete with bulldogs. I try medicinal mushrooms, homeopathy and an air purifier. A game of patience. But what is currently none? Sometimes the animal sneezes at me heartily and, unlike on the street, I am not uncomfortably touched by the noise, but when in doubt, wipe the pleasantest hand on my jeans, lost in thought. Panini has no “sneeze etiquette” and there is still room for improvement when it comes to the hygiene rules in dog households.
I don’t go out at all now, except for a short shopping trip, which the animal thinks is great. In fact, it thinks we should do everything together anyway. Because that would mean that it would get something to eat every time I eat something. I eat often and it would be really worth it for the animal. And above all, I should go to sleep when the animal wants to go to sleep, i.e. between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Panini is of the opinion that the best time has come to pee in the garden again, take a few drops of water and eat two cookies. She wouldn’t insist on peeing, but she’d even give me some of the biscuits. The decisive factor, however, is that I then go into the bedroom and go to bed. If I do not do that, I will be strongly admonished. When we are finally both ready to end the day, the animal climbs into bed, wipes its damp nose on my neck and drops with a swing on my upper arm, which slowly dies as a result. No, you are really never alone. Luckily.