I christen thee Jet Lag Burrito.
I knew traveling with Luna would be wonderful. I mean, aside from the large quantities of paperwork and the ridiculously high fees charged by every person who has to touch the dog along the way. I guess what I’m saying is that I knew it would be worth it. Worth it to have her with me, worth it to know exactly where she is and what she’s doing and not to be thinking about whether the petsitter might leave her outside too long in the cold or let her get stung by a bee.
What I didn’t expect is the additional benefit of being thought of as a local.
I have heard about this phenomenon before, from one or two of the dog travel blogs I read. But I hadn’t experienced it myself until now. Now, I understand. If you have a dog in tow, people assume you live there. And, for some reason, I absolutely love this. It makes me feel more a part of the landscape, more legitimate somehow.
So far, even in the many short conversations I’ve struck up with people on my long walks with Luna, no one has asked how long I’m staying or whether I’m traveling. Even with my distinctly recognizable American accent, they all assume I belong here. Did I mention that I love that?
And, in addition to being treated like a local, having Luna with me makes me feel like I belong. I’m sure my work schedule and the fact that I don’t have a return date or a physical address also help me feel this way. But a big part of this feeling is Luna and the fact that my schedule still includes walking and feeding and snuggling and potty-breaking. It adds normalcy to my day-to-day. Grounds me.
The biggest benefit of having Luna with me, though, is that I need her. I just feel better when she’s around. It’s always been that way–ever since I picked her up and held her for hours the first time we met, ever since I found a new apartment in one week just so that I could have her. She is, so far, the great love of my life. She’s how I got off anti-depressants. She’s what comforts me on the bad days. She’s my constant.
And, so, I’d like to take a moment to say thanks to the U.K. for changing your quarantine rules this year. And thank you for making it so much easier than I anticipated to get her in.