158 days with Leonard


Life with Leonard is the same life I had before. And, also not the same. I am more than I was before because of one small dog. I am more than I was before, even though I still wake up shocked. Even though my first word is still, always no. My no gets covered in dog kisses now, and having my weary waking up so celebrated, is doing something to my melancholic heart.

158 days with Leonard have got me into a few new rhythms and routines. I move much more than I did before. Losing whole swathes of time, poleaxed and helpless in Bed World, is no longer an option. Now, I walk out twice a day. Everyday. Around and about ninety minutes each time. That’s three hours a day. That’s a lot of movement for a sedentary depressive. I’ve lost six kilos, even though I still eat peanut butter KitKats and frequent cake.

158 days with Leonard have been demanding and generous. I mean, it’s a serious thing to love a dog… he needs a lot.

158 days with Leonard have tickled and touched me. He’s funny and gregarious and wide open. He expects the world to delight in him, and mostly it does.Yesterday in the park, he joined two picnics, licked a gaggle of squealing, teenage girls and stole a sunbathing man’s sock. Everyone forgave him. It’s quite something for this rather tucked in, borderline misanthropic human (me) to be dragged around in Leonard’s world. On occasion I forget myself and smile at strangers, even when I’m out alone.

158 days with Leonard have reminded me that pleasures can be simple, and that needing and being needed, can be clean like running water and easy, like the other Leonard’s voice.

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