Gone are the days where I can just hop in my car and drive wherever the wind, or traffic, may take me. It still shocks me how much a car can change you life, change everything about it. I’m proud of myself that I manage to get around without a car, get around quite well actually, and even manage to navigate the public transportation system fairly well.
All my smugness and self-satisfaction got blasted right out the window the other day when I had to haul the puppy, no longer a small puppy, into the city to be seen by the vet. I had put it off getting the immunizations for long enough, possibly leading to his afore mentioned illness.
Simon and I woke up yesterday morning around 4:30, had our breakfast, packed our lunches, and left home around 6:15am with plans to arrive at pre-arranged transport at 7am. It normally takes me 25 minutes to walk there…. turns out, dogs slow you down. Especially dogs that still don’t understand the concept of a leash. Now we’ve been practicing our leash training by prancing around the house with it; we had even graduated to walking around the house with it. Nope, not the same as a 25-minute/75-minute walk. In fairness, he didn’t pull that much. He did however cower and shake uncontrollably every time a chicken came within 10ft; there are no less than 11,23,820,982,309,823,948,203,948 chickens walking around my village. He’s also refuses to walk if there are cars, people, large rocks, holes of any nature, big sticks, and strong breezes.
Over an hour later we arrived at my friend Diane’s house who had graciously agreed to let us ride along with her to the city. How does Simon thank her? By vomiting profusely all over me, the seat, the car floor, her coffee cup, and himself.
As previously agreed, we were dropped off on the street where we could take a public bus to get to the vet’s office. Important point: Many Malawians are terrified of dogs, even 7kg dogs like Simon. They are even less impressed with vomit-covered dogs. Can't say I blame them.
The bus dropped us off in the middle of the market in the largest city in Malawi. It took exactly 0.2 seconds for me to understand that Simon was absolutely, under no circumstances, going to walk through the chaos. So into my arms went the vomit dog; not that it mattered since I was equally covered. Just six blocks to go!!
I suppose I should have expected this, since I’m not the picture of grace and poise normally; but, of course, I fell, crashing to the ground with a shriek, still clutching the dog high in the air so as to avoid crushing him. Skinned both my knees, which started bleeding like slaughtered pigs (believe me if you haven’t seen this in person, its gory).
5.5 blocks, after Simon desecrated a churchyard, and peed on a Malawian’s shoe, I limped into the vet, caked in blood, vomit, and despair.
Simon is now vaccinated.
The vet says I need to return in three weeks for the second round of shots…