Thursday, October 8, 2009
I want a dog. I really do. But I can’t have one. I travel too much, I’m never home during the day, and most evenings I get home late. But I still want a dog. I can’t help it.
Several times since I’ve moved to London I’ve contemplated alternative pets that require less care than a dog. For awhile I considered a hedgehog. Then it was a skunk; de-scented, of course. But I couldn’t get away from the fact that I really just wanted a cute furry animal of the canine variety.
Enter the fox. Last year we had regular visits from a neighborhood fox, including the time it showed up uninvited to our summer BBQ and the day in April when it ate my flip flops. I would see it on occasion on the street outside my building or in the walkway near my old flat. I had high hopes that it would become my surrogate dog, hanging out when it was convenient for me and taking care of itself when I wasn’t around.
But then the fox disappeared. I didn’t see it for months, and I feared the worst. So much for my dreams of having a fox-dog!
But today things took a sudden turn for the better. I’ve been sick all week, so rather than infecting my office with germs as I’m propelled into coughing spasms every five seconds, I’ve been working from home. As I went to heat up a bowl of the chicken soup my boyfriend made for me the other day, I glanced out the kitchen window into the garden. A fox!
There she was, sleeping peacefully in the sun. So peacefully, in fact, that at first I thought she was a dog. What kind of wild animal sleeps in broad daylight the middle of an open garden? A lion, maybe, but certainly not a fox. Maybe she’s more of a fox-cat than a fox-dog. Either way, I’m smitten.
I stood at the window for awhile, taking pictures, texting my boyfriend, and spilling chicken soup down my chin as I tried to eat and photograph at the same time (one of life’s biggest challenges!).
She woke up after a few minutes, looked around, then walked over to an even sunnier spot. She scratched her chin for awhile, sniffed around the garden, prowled about for a bit, then came back to her original spot and curled up for another cat nap.
Hours later, when the sun had disappeared, she sauntered off. I don’t know where she went, but I’m certainly hoping she’ll be back again soon. Maybe I’ll have my fox-dog some day after all!