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  • I find my walks with Thomas extremely interesting and rewarding. They make me very happy, because I make someone else happy. At least I think that I do, because once Thomas sees me wearing my special Thomas pants he makes 20 clumsy jumpy circles around the house, with his butt going up and down, eyes looking mad and happy, and his long spotty soft lips flipping around like butterflies. That always scares me because I end up hurt or scratched and covered with his saliva. So the trick is to go out as quickly as possible.
    Once we are outside, I let Thomas choose the direction. Invariably, it’s always to the left because that’s where the nice-smelling bakery is located and that’s where he has a chance to find something to eat. Sometimes he finds nothing and seeing his disappointment I laugh at him in Portuguese: “Nada para Tomas hoje, absolutamente nada! Nada! Nada!” (Nothing for Thomas today, absolutely nothing). But something he is lucky and finds a big bun of fresh bread, probably accidentally dropped by the workers. Then I celebrate with him by giving him some time to enjoy the catch.
    Weimaraners need to run a lot. And we run so fast that neighbors laugh at how Thomas is pulling me forward like jet ski across the streets and over the puddles until he suddenly sniffs something edible and stops so abruptly with all his force that I fly forward 2 meters ahead still following the inertia.
    I call him a food detector, or sniffing machine, because once we are outside he puts his head down and nothing can stop him from steadily and obsessively moving through every meter occasionally stopping near another dog’s poop and marking his territory on houses, bushes, and cars (sorry, car owners! I try to keep him away but he is just too strong).
    According to the amount of dog poop on the ground I figured that it’s not very common for people in Argentina (or at least in the neighborhood where I stay) to clean after dogs. So, I don’t, either. After all, it’s always good to try to fit into the local environment by copying them. Usually, Thomas does his thing about seven and a half minutes after leaving the house (perfect internal poop clock). So I try to time our walks in such a way that we could get to the “safe” place on the railroad on time before he embarrasses me in front of someone. Once, however, his poop clock got messed up and he started to embarrass me half a meter away from a worker who was doing something on the grass. I tried pulling Thomas away but the process was unstoppable. Neither having poop bag with me nor any desire to clean it I was mortified with shame, which my red face clearly showed. Thanks god Thomas is much faster with that business than us humans (and he doesn’t need any iPad games to play while doing it either). But still those few seconds seemed like eternity and I just kept smiling with embarrassment, and once Thomas was done we disappeared as fast as wind.
    When we get to the railroad I can finally relax because I let him run without his leech. And that means no more jet ski for me. I then start talking to him aloud using my crappy Portuguese. That never goes beyond things like: “Thomas, vamos! (Thomas, let’s go), Thomas, por favor, nao coma lixo! (Thomas, please don’t eat trash!), Thomas, eu gosta de voce (Thomas, I like you) etc. Not much, but, come on, it’s still practicing.
    Once in a while we encounter other dogs. I created 5 categories for them and gave them names too. Also I couldn’t help but assign a corresponding person to each of them from the people whom I know personally. So, there are dogs, which bark but never get close to Thomas (probably jealous of his handsome looks and not very confident); then there are dogs, which don’t bark but actually attack (These are for real. We respect them, because they defend their territory. Although it’s quite embarrassing, because Thomas who is much bigger runs away from them like a girl); there are also dogs, which neither bark nor attack (those are usually old or simply indifferent and they don’t give a damn about who is stepping on their territory); there are dogs, which both bark and attack (those are stupid dogs who I think do it because they are bored and just like to make some noise); finally, there are happy dogs, who don’t bark and don’t attack but express vivid interest in making friends with Thomas (these are my favorite ones).
    When I run out of my Portuguese sentences and Thomas gets thirsty I put the leech back on his neck and we make our way back home. That’s another 15 minutes of obsessive sniffing for Thomas, jet ski fun for me, and free entertainment for the neighbors.
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