My friend Eugenia and her family lived several years on a dog breeding farm in the “Camino a 60 Cuadras” neighbourhood in Córdoba, as caretakers in the absence of owners who travelled very often.
There were different dogs off their leash who followed us everywhere, one of them was a German shepherd called “Doc”. At first, me being very girly, I was a bit scared of all the big dogs that got closer to smell me. But with time, and after playing with them from time to time, my fear disappeared forever.
Of all the dogs, the one that was the friendliest with us was Doc, even though others were other characters: a female sausage dog that always stayed close with the adults of the family, a female Setter that chased the chickens they were trying to raise, boxers and many puppies that, at times, snuck out of their kennels and that we had to run after all around the patio.
I visited 60 Cuadras on the weekends and during summer vacations. When I arrived by the road with my mother, Doc came running and barking towards us in a menacing way until he recognised me. At that moment, his behaviour changed completely, he truly seemed happy to see me!
Eugenia, Doc and I were inseparable. We swam and played in the canals and Doc ended up threw himself in the water when he thought we were drowning… but we had to save him instead, what matters is the intention.
We played detectives, solving cases that we usually made up, like the time we hid the soap bar and charge a fee to Monina, Eugenia’s mother, in order to find it. We even had our office, which was a small desk for the farm we borrowed when the owners were out of town, with a stationary bicycle as well as many books and pictures of dogs.
At the end of the weekend, when it was time to go home, we hid ourselves in the closets or in the field to stay just a little bit more… the story was the same every time, but what patience everyone had!
Doc was a well-trained dog thanks to the owners of the farm. He knew he had to look after us. He accompanied us in our outings and we didn’t leash them; he was our friend so it wasn’t necessary. He enjoyed fetching the sticks we threw, but he didn’t bring them back: his game was to make us run after him.
He separated only when his real owners came back in the main house. We got offended because he would abandon us, but it wasn’t for long since every time we came back, we seemed very happy to see us! Without a doubt, he was dog I loved the most in my life.
Later, my friend Eugenia and her family moved to another place. She told me that Doc jumped in the moving truck and that they almost had to forcefully remove home from the truck. He couldn’t go with them.
Several months later, without informing our parents, we went back to 60 Cuadras by bus using the money we were given to buy ice creams. Doc wasn’t there unfortunately, they moved him to a place in the Nueva Córdoba neighbourhood. So we asked directions and during weekdays, we went to visit the place.
We didn’t know the new owners, but they let us in and warned us that they weren’t to be held accountable if Doc bit us. That remark made us laugh… Doc didn’t bite us. He was so happy to see us, we were able to play fetch a little bit and pet him a lot. That day was the last time we saw him and heard from him.
He must have lived his last days there, with people I hope appreciated his lovely personality. We never forgot about him, our time with him is an important part of our friendship story, a time when we were three, inseparables.
Author: Helena Arroyo