Looking down from the great fortress under the famous Tower Clock on his home town my “walking manager” was very satisfied as I was chasing various odors around and Paco was following me. I thought this fabulous day and stroll all over this side of the river, my side, would never come. Strangely he didn`t come to walk us for a fortnight. Usually, he came every two or three days, across the river, but no news for so long. I was ecstatic, when the front gate opened and his tall figure petted me, but strangely, his face was covered with some mask. He didn`t enter into the house, waving to my owner grandma Rose:
“I would not come inside, I` ll go with them immediately”.
Somehow, I realized it is that virus, corona unfriendly microscopic thing that disturbed our regular meetings, but it was all over now. I wasn`t aware how deadly such a small particle could be and it is as a little zombie, it could venture back and haunt you for months.
Returning, we met a postman, only uniform visible, another human with a mask. He gave my second owner an envelope with only one word on it – Danny, which is my name.
“Who is writing to you? Do you have a secret sweetheart?” – He was holding Paco and turning the letter in the other hand. Paco, small pinch, although they are all rather small, but very energetic, can`t follow the traffic as I can. Our street is the main road for trucks going south, to the capital and Orient, and they all want to get there as fast as possible, driving five tones beasts like Lewis Hamilton his Formula 1, to enjoy free time, take a stroll or two around such magnificent sites like Istanbul, Samarkand or Paris. My geography isn`t good, but in my head, Paris is the most beautiful city in the East.
The supper was ready and without a minute to spare I cleaned my bowl with him opening the paper and shouting through the window:
“We are rich, Danny acquired some strange inheritance.” There was a lot of yelling and explaining with my “lady chef” didn`t comprehend what was written in the envelope. In the end, he explained that every viszla in the world, my breed - the keepers of the Hungarian kingdom, would get 50 ducats, since last dynast of some ancient Austrian-Hungarian medieval empire has died without any heir and all his fortune, accumulated after many centuries exploiting poor, old farmers was enough for many of my copper-brown colored coated relatives. Ducat is an original gold coin, very valuable as my walking manager explained to us all. Old Venetians were very rich and now we are, whatever does it mean.
However, when he returned, his pockets were still empty. Apparently, there is a catch as it is always in life. Another round of yelling and hand-waving through the window. At the end of the envelope, or I should say, of the paper inside, with small letters, it was written that the dog and the owner should swap for a week.
“What that mean?” – Rose was asking.
“That means”, not so loud, “I must sleep in his dog house and he will live inside.” Strange silent followed. After that I went to my lodge, I mean my dog-house with Paco, but we were kicked out as he wanted to go inside, too. After a lot of commotion and many legs stamping on each other, Rose opened the kitchen door and called my name. I wasn`t sure what to do, looking for clues in her behavior. When she produced the bone, I went in, forgetting about him and his troubles, enjoying the hot furnace and nice bed.
Paco, that devil, sensed before me what was going on, who is in charge now, and turned to bedding jumping up and down, taking the pillow with his small but mighty jaws and turning it into anything but a fine comfort head layer. Next stop, the blanket and after that Milica`s room, favorite granddaughter of Rose. Speaking of her, there was only one thing left to do:
“This is madness, I am off to the hotel. No one could live like this”. Well, no one except us dogs. She prepared the food for three days; she cares for us, despite everything, which we ate in the nutshell, naturally. What you can eat today, don`t leave for the following day, unless you are a tiger, top of the food chain. This is my mantra and Paco agrees on it. Having a house for ourselves, we entered every cupboard examining the content and rearranging stuff. It was time for flour to be put with the coats, all the dishes in the bathtub and Christmas ornaments thrown outside. It is a nice holiday, but we, the dogs, don`t really understand what it is about, except in some fine family movie with a happy end.
Next morning, I bit a leg sticking out of my former home, it was time for some magnificent stroll. He awoke with a headache; it is not easy for a 191 cm man to get a fine night sleep in a small, smelly but cozy dog box. I barked very loud, with my Mexican roommate giving his natural tune, annoying our “walking manager”.
I wanted a proper, long and illustrious walk across the Danube into the city, to witness first handedly, broad boulevards, parks and new buildings like Pupin s Palace in the center of his hometown. With full bellies, we could run for hours, mingle with other dogs, chase some cats and meet many new friends.
Days of Paco and me living as kings turned into the weeks and subsequently the months. Our human awaited every day his prize, but that postman has never again been seen in the neighborhood. I realized it was just a silly prank. That Australian-Hungarian monarchy never existed, maybe in Africa but not over here. However, I choose to say, I mean bark nothing as I love my large dog-box very much, sleeping among cushions and eating fine cuisine is a funny experience. Let`s make it last as much we could, another wisdom of a canine living in human quarters.