A year gone now, since we prepped the pups for their transatlantic return to the US. With that anniversary passing, I can’t help but compare last summer to this one–and be thankful a million times over that we had our last months in Portugal (this time around) during June and July of 2019 rather than this year.
Beaches a year ago: full of people, a warm summer, the regular crowds from around Portugal and the world. Now Oeiras’s main beach allows dogs–but people need a green light to go into others.
Festas a year ago: streets in Lisboa, Porto, and every concelho in between, full of people. Now even São Mamede in Janas is cancelled, and there are small parties in our homes instead, like the one we had here to celebrate Dia de Portugal. Like the one we’re having today, the 4th of July, to mark American independence from Britain. The ironies ring loud and clear across the ocean.
A year ago, we made reservations on TAP for Captain Billy and Mirra, and plans for Timmae to return via the UK with Stephen on Virgin. Their care was generally well-managed all throughout, though we suffered a bit that TAP had only recently started direct service into Washington-Dulles, and it was a trick to find Billy’s port of disembark-ment, as he came over in cargo, rather than as hold baggage, which was Mirra’s fate. That trip would have been much harder–if not impossible–this year. Who knew?
On June 18, we took the pups for a last run on the beach at Praia das Maçãs. While we had to navigate around the fixtures put in for cabanas and umbrellas, the pups played in the waves and sniffed in the sand, having no idea they would probably never step on those shores again.
We’d prepped them for their trip with the folks who had taken such good care of us over the four years we lived in this corner of Portugal, the Clínica Veteranária de Cascais, led by the brother-and-sister team of Dr/Dra Marques and Maria Vieira. Dra Maria took her DVM training at Michigan State University, and she carefully explained many things for me over my time in the area–and helped me practice my Portuguese a bit too! They were always loving and kind and patient with our pack, and I miss them. The pups do too!