I have the best travel partner. We’ve been on the road together since I first picked her up at a friends house in the suburbs of Rome almost 12 years ago. My dog Margot.
Anywhere, 24 May 2019
One day I was randomly scrolling MySpace (as you would occasionally do if you were in your 20s/30s with a parallel identity and a fancy made-up name on the internet back in 2007).
A bulletin post from my friend Federica on the left of the screen was insistingly bothering my attention.
She just posted a notice that spelled “INPORTANT!” in its title.
I’m no a grammar Jedi, but that N leading the P got my eyes twitching: she just graduated in i-do-not-know-what, while I was dropping out of Architecture studies. I could not afford to let this one go without expressing my disappointment.
So, I clicked on it.
A few days before, what was not my dog yet escaped the home she was living in. She was the puppy present to a little sweet girl named Livia. One day her father had to tie her (the dog, not the girl) outside at the porch as they were revamping the living room.
I did not know all this yet. By the time I was sitting on my laptop commiserating grammar errors of my graduating friend, all I knew is that Federica (besides misspelling words) found a dog roaming in the streets alone with what was left of a leash that the 1-year-old puppy managed to rip off with her own teeth. She picked her up, took her to the shelter and then home to live with her other dogs. However one of them was particularly intolerant to Margot, attacking and biting her, so my friend decided it would’ve been a better idea to find for her a new home.
I learned about Margot’s “extended” story only a few years later, when she escaped again, this time from our own apartment.
One day I left home for the supermarket. I left Margot outside on the balcony, it was summertime and she enjoys being in the sun. Curtains down, but I did not lock the door since it was going to be a 5 minutes business. When I got back the door was open, "thieves" I thought, but the only thing missing was my dog. After searching for hear in all possible places with no success, I kept my poise and spammed the Social Medias with pictures of her and a melodramatic notice. Spelled correctly of course.
Margot apparently was born with the unusual capability to lift curtains and open doors. She doesn’t like to be left alone, so she decided to leave the house and came looking for me.
I received a called later in the evening by the girl who found her and took her to the shelter where volunteers were managing her situation as they do with all the “lost dogs” emergencies.
So I called the office to ask about Margot, let them know I am on my way to pick her up, and make sure everything is okay.
The lady on the other side of the phone pauses. Silence for an awkward second too much. Then she speaks
– Yes Sir, we called you earlier. We are waiting for you.
It sounded weird but i was focused on my Margot
– Yes yes, here i come.
I cut it short.
I rushed to the shelter, parked my car, ran into the building and cued in line at the desk. In front of me there was a short line of two: a big guy with his little daughter.
– You called me about a found dog… – he approaches the lady at the desk.
– Oh, yes sir! Your dog is on her way here, the volunteer just went to pick her up – she reassures them winking to the little girl.
– But... – he hesitetes – ...we haven’t had news about this dog for the past 7 years!
In that moment something resonated in my head: I adopted Margot from Federica exactly 7 years before that day.
Federica told me she found Margot walking alone on a very dangerous road. She picked her up and taken to the shelter where they had her checked for microchips and sterilized.
I am not going to say it was a big lie, but just very “inaccurate”. Federica found her, yes, roaming alone in the streets, but Margot got sterilized and microchipped by the big guy who was, at that moment, standing in front of me holding hands with his little daughter. My friend never went to a vet nor a shelter. She just kept the dog, believing someone just wanted to get rid of it so bad to tie it with a leash to the guardrail on the road where it was found.
– There she is, sir – Said the lady at the desk pointing her finger behind our shoulders.
– Yes Dad, is her, is Luna! – cheered out little Livia while we where turning around.
– Oh well...yes – confirmed her father – is her.
– WAIT! THAT IS MY MARGOT!! – I cracked out.
I didn’t understand what was going on but got pretty clear moments later.
The day I picked Margot up at my friend’s house I took her to the vet to control her and have her chipped. My vet did not check for previous ones because I told him that my friend already went to the shelter to have her checked. So he proceeded with a new microchip implant.
By the time I was in line at the shelter with the big guy and little Livia, Margot had then 2 microchips and of course, the lady called the legitimate first owner.
Luckily the man and his daughter understood. They were not mad, on the contrary, they were happy to see that their lost dog was fine, with a loving owner, and willing to give me full custody of their long lost Luna.
Since then Margot and I have been to many places together.
And Margot still has her two microchips, both turned in my name.
PS: I think she hates our van.
In loving memory of Margot's vet Pierpaolo Iannelli, who disappeared suddenly a few years ago, taken away from a bad disease, leaving his wife and his 5 y/o son.