Saturday, 20 June 2015


She came out of nowhere, skinny little thing, jumping with joy, greeted me as if we were long lost friends finally reunited, carelessly messing up the beach towel I had meticulously laid-out.
Shussh, go away, skinny thing, Go. Go.
But she seemed determined to ignore my shushing, and having sniffed my face and all my belongings, decided to park herself right next to me.
I thought... just let the dog be.
With sunglasses on, I decided to take a better look at the creature: her skin had patches where the fur no longer resisted the glaring sun or had fallen prey to some infection, the little tits sagging underneath must have given birth to many a homeless litter, the ribs sticking out.
She must be hungry.
Every now and then, I'd walk up to the sea for a swim, and she would immediately jump up, follow me right up to the shore and watch me swim with great attention, her little ears upright, avoiding the breaking waves, like little children do.
By midday, as the sun got hotter, she would hide underneath the deck-chair, dazing off curled up, and only be disturbed by some undetectable smell, when she would dart off into a specific spot in the sand, and dig very fast and vigorously, and return, prey-free, with her little snout covered in sand.
I watched this behaviour all-day-long and was trying to work out what the digging frenzy was all about, when one time she returned, triumphantly, with the tiniest piece of soft crab hanging off her mouth. She'd been hunting for beach-crabs, and by the looks of it, failing miserably at most attempts.
It must be hard I thought, this having to constantly look for food - barely managing a bite - like so many people do: they wake up not worried about the weather or the traffic, but where and how they're gonna find enough food just to survive.
I spent 10 days on the beach, and we got into our little routine: I would get up, make coffee, and as soon as I opened the small gate of the blue wooden-house that led into the beach, she would turn up within seconds, jumping, tail wagging, as if she'd been watching that gate, waiting for my arrival to start her day.
One afternoon a jogger appeared, a handsome 20-something year old boy running the length of the wide beach - she did not like him, and went after him, barking loudly, jumping nervously, her small frame tightened into an angry shape, as she carried on barking until he was nothing but a harmless out of focus figure, disappearing into the horizon.
She came back, stared straight at me, as if to say: Did you see that? I'm looking after you, you know?
I thought, I'm not sure I can remember when was the last time in my life, if ever, someone, anyone, had tried to protect me with such determination and vigour.
I decided to giver her a treat.
I went back to the beach house and grabbed a few slices of ham and a bunch of small fried prawns.
Here, have some nice ham - here doggy girl, eat nice little prawns, eat!
She sniffed the food without much interest, and did not eat a single bite. She just sat by the deck-chair, staring at the vast expanse before us, occasionally looking at me, well composed and satisfied, as if everything in the Universe was just in its rightful place and order.
The afternoon fell with the sun setting right before us and below the green and deep blue sea. - The sky was enormous, the colours, a gradient so spectacular, fine and perfect, no artist could ever conceive or dare recreate.
That was when I realised, the skinny hobo dog wasn't after my food after all, she, like all of us, was just looking for some company.