Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
I miss Em. I miss Em every day. Sometimes I miss her when I am out and about. Sometimes I miss her at home when I expect to see her sleeping somewhere nearby. I anticipate the sounds of her quiet snoring. She is normally such a part of my everyday life that I feel her absence.
I miss Em when I see other dogs. As always, I try to catch their eyes and to make friends. City dogs don’t care if I want to be their friend. They are many degrees removed from the gentle, sociable dogs of Tipperary.
Today I stopped at the pharmacy. A woman entered just before me with three dogs on leads. One of them had a plastic lampshade thing on his head. They were full of the bustle of dogs in a group, sniffing and identifying their new location. There were two low chairs and one normal chair for people to sit in while they waited for their prescriptions. I sat down on one of the low chairs, the children’s chairs, so that I could be near to the dogs. I reached out to let one of them sniff my hand. All three of them sniffed me. The woman saw this and started off on a tirade about how dangerous the dogs might be. I did not understand most of what she said. She never stopped talking, either to me or to the pharmacists. I got the impression that my advances towards her dogs were not welcome. I stood up and waited my turn at the counter.
I know Em would not be able for the walks we are doing here. At the age of 15, she would not be able to walk 12 or 10 or even 3 kilometres. She would be happy to walk around the block and she would be happy to smell the city smells on the edges of the pavement and the buildings. She would not be happy on these slippery wood floors. She is happy in Skeheenarinky with her dog friends. They have their infra-red room, their chalets and music played to them in the afternoon. They have Games In The Field. She is happy to sit on the porch by day and to sleep in the back bedroom with some of the other elderly residents at night.
Even knowing that she is in the right place, I still miss her. EVH