It’s a Dog’s Life
© Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya
To my Ranger,the Yellow-Mellow Borjomi Mountain Husky
Gucha is a very spoiled “baby”. He sits at the table with grown-ups, he eats only meat and mushroom fillingfrom pies and he drags the curtains off the windows and cries in distress when left home alone.“Just do not pet him, not under any condition, he has a history of biting people,” I was told when firstcoming to Gucha the Staffordshire terrier’s premises, which was the whole house, the yard and as it seemedto me, way beyond the official borders of a fence.By the end of the visit, Gucha was goofing off by my feet while I was petting him; then when we werealready set to walk out of the door, he brought his leash and put by my feet, waiting… and then ran to themain room and back, eager to put his precious toy monkey next to the leash. “Gucha is gathering hissuitcase!” said the owner. “What did you do to my dog? He obviously wants to never part with you!”I have always been a dog person and these days I have loads of accumulated dog love: the flat I am currentlystaying in does not allow pets so my dog is staying in a “B&B” of a vet doctor…Ranger, my “Borjomi Mountain Husky” as I wrote in his pedigree, is the smartest dog I have ever met, andmy household has always been full of dogs. I would love to learn the story of his life before we met him: or better to say, before he found me and my friend in the Borjomi woods two years ago. We were walking upthe path No 1 when I saw yellow eyes of something, hiding behind the bushes.“O my God! There is a wolf!!!” I cried out, trying to desperately reach for a pepper spray bottle, hidden onthe bottom of my backpack…. Needless to say that I did not risk stopping and actually taking the backpack off my shoulders: talk about monkey and a bomb. The friend, walking way ahead of me was his usual kindself: “Well, then you’d better keep up!” he cried back.After our joint unsuccessful attempts of throwing stones towards the bushes to scare the hiding creature off we came to a meadow: the turning point for our one-day hike. From here we were supposed to go downfollowing the path No 6.A bright-orange dog slowly emerged from the bushes and dropped in a worrisome sleep in a safe distancefrom us. It was tired, afraid of us, and afraid to loose a sight of us at the same time… finally, I went to give itsome cookies: beware to give homemade cookies to dogs and men… they’ll follow you forever. That’sexactly what the woods’ dog did. It would follow our steps, dropping down for a power nap every time westopped to gulp some water or chew on Snickers. It did not take us long to find the path was buried in the bushes all the way round us. No GPS neither cell phone signal were available; we were lost. Later welearned that the Borjomi-Khargarauli Park staff had sent us down the path, which had not yet been clearedfor the season. After many hours of walking/falling down the steep hills, there came total darkness. Thanksfor the headlights that were still hanging in my backpack from the times of the Egyptian desert camping! Not that we knew exactly where we were walking to: with the huge trees covering the sky, even stars weredifficult to see. And then the dog found a stream: some little mud, flowing from under the old leavescovering the new grass.“The stream leads to the river and the river leads to people!” happily announced my friend. Clutching mynewly acquired walking stick, I followed him; the dog was still in a very safe distance behind us.